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2016 OK 100. FILED ‘SUPREME COURT ‘STATE OF OKLAHOMA OCT 4 2016 MICHAEL S. RICHIE CLERK OF IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA" LISA D. CALVERT and TERESA ROPER, Plaintiffs, v. WAYLAND GUY SWINFORD AND DAWN, ELYNN SWINFORD; NOCONA L. CARTER, AND BRIAN L. CARTER, ROGER D. WARDEN AND SUSAN WARDEN, BRANDON VAUGHN: AND SERRA VAUGHN, FIRST NATIONAL BANK, JEREMY D. WOODS, CHRISTY S. WOODS, BLACK BEAR CREEK ENERGY COMPANY, LLC., ROUTE 66 MINERALS, L.P., SUNDOWN, ENERGY, L.P. AND HIGHMOUNT EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION, LLC., Defendants. AND LISA D. CALVERT and TERESA ROPER, Plaintiffs/Appellants, v. MKB Royalty Corporation, Randee Koger, and Bremyer & Wise, LLC, Defendants, and No. 114,957 For Official Publication POWERS ABSTRACT CO,, Inc., Defendant/Appellee. APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF NOBLE COUNTY Honorable Phillip A. Ross, Trial Judge ‘0 The plaintiffs/appellants, sisters, sold real property in Noble County, but allegedly intended to keep their mineral interests in the property. Some twelve years after the deeds were filed, the sisters realized that mineral interests were not reserved and they filed a lawsuit for professional negligence against the defendant/appellee, the abstract office. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the lawsuit was untimely, and the trial court agreed and granted summary judgment. We retained the cause to address the dispositive issue of whether the statute of limitations for an action brought by a grantor begins to accrue when a deed is filed with the county clerk. We hold that it does. MOTION TO RETAIN PREVIOUSLY GRANTED; TRIAL COURT AFFIRMED. David R. Cordell Hayley N. Stephens Tulsa, Oklahoma, For Plaintiffs/Appellants. William J. Boker KyD. Corley Steven M. Ruby For Third Party Defendant/ Stillwater, Oklahoma, Appellee Powers Abstract Co. KAUGER, J.: {1 We retained this cause to address the dispositive issue of whether the statute of limitations for an action brought by a grantor begins to accrue when a deed is filed with the county clerk. We hold that it docs. FACTS {2 The plaintiffs/appellants, sisters, Lisa D. Calvert, an Illinois resident, and Teresa Roper, a Tennessee resident, (sisters/grantors/sellers) were attorneys in fact for their father, Allen Dwayne Downy, under a durable power of attorney. He owned Oklahoma real property which included mineral interests. The property is located in Noble County, Oklahoma.' On October 29, 2000, acting as attorneys in fact for their father under a durable power of attorney, the sisters entered into an agreement to sell the property (surface only) with Wayland and Dawn Swinford (Swinfords/grantees). The sisters retained Kansas attorney, Randee Koger (attorney) and his law firm, Wise & Reber (then named Bremyer & Wise) (the firm) to represent them as their legal counsel and to prepare legal documents in connection with the real property transaction. The sisters also retained Powers "The legal description of the property is as follows: the East Half (B/2) of the Northwestern Quarter (NW/4) of Section 28, Township 21 North, Range 3 East, Noble County, Oklahoma and the West Half (W/2) of the Southeast Quarter (SE/4) of Section 20, Township 21 North, Range 3 East, Noble County, Oklahoma. *The property interest to be sold in the contract was the W/2 of the SE/4 of Section 20, ‘Township 21 North Range 3 East, Noble County, Oklahoma. 3 Abstract Co., Inc., (Abstract Co.) a Perry, Oklahoma abstract company, to perform abstracting and closing functions for the sale of the property. {3 The contract provided that the sellers would “retain the mineral rights on the property for a period of thirty-five years (35) years or for as long as oil and gas are being produced from the property. At the end of such time the mineral rights shall revert to the then surface owner.” The purchase price of the property was $62,000.00. On January 24, 2001, the sisters and their spouses entered into another agreement to sell additional real property to the Swinfords under the same terms and conditions of the as the October, 2000, contract.‘ The contract price for this sale was $75,000.00. {4 Apparently, because of some undisclosed title defect issues, the closing was delayed until June of 2002, when the Abstract Co. mailed the sisters a packet of closing documents and deeds to sign, The deeds did not contain a reservation of any mineral interests. The sisters allege that they sent the packet to their attorney to review and he insists he corrected the deeds so that they each included a reservation of mineral interests. The conveyances for both transactions took Roth sisters submitted signed affidavits dated August 31, 2015, in which they aver that: 1) in September of 2000, they had the properties appraised with the value of mineral interests expressly excluded; 2) the agreements to sell the property reflected the reservation of minerals and the sales price of the property reflected this as well; and 3) although they signed the deeds, it ‘was never their intention to convey thé mineral rights to the Swinfords. ‘This property was described as the E/2 of the NW/4 of Section 28, Township 21 North, Range 3 East, Noble County, Oklahoma. place on July 20, 2002. Neither the sisters nor the attorney were present at the closing, Only the Abstract Co. and the Swinfords were present at the closing. The deeds were filed July 25, 2002, in the Noble County Clerk’s office.’ The sisters never received a copy of the filed deeds from either the Abstract Co., or the attorney. The filed deeds did not reserve any mineral interests from sale. 45 On November 7, 2014, the sisters filed a lawsuit in Noble County, Oklahoma, against an MKB Royalty Corporation, an Oklahoma royalty corporation, Randee Koger, the Kansas attorney who handled the property transactions, and his McPherson, Kansas, law firm, Bremyer & Wise, and Powers Abstract Company, the Oklahoma abstract company who did the title work on the real property transaction in an attempt to recover their mineral interests which they thought they had retained. On August 14, 2015, the Abstract Co., filed a motion for summary judgement, arguing that the applicable statute of limitations had run because it has been more than twelve years since the deeds were filed. The sisters argued that the limitations period did not begin to run when the deeds were filed, but rather when they knew or should have known that negligence occurred. They *The first deed, concerning the west half of the property, is from the grantor, Lisa Calvert, acting as Attorney in Fact for her father, Allen Dwayne Downey, to the Swinfords as husband and wife. It was recorded in Book Volume 0569, page 258 on July 25, 2002 at 3:26 p.m. It does not expressly exclude oil and gas and/or mineral interests, The second deed, conceming the east, half of the property, is also from Lisa Calvert, acting as Attorney in Fact for her father, Allen Dwayne Downey, to the Swinfords as husband and wife. It was filed in Book Votume 0569, page 261 on July 25, 2002 at 3:31 p.m. It does not expressly exclude oil and gas and/or mineral interests. contend that they didn’t discover the mistake in the deeds until 2013, when they first became aware that the Swinfords were leasing the mineral rights. {{6 The statute of limitations applicable to an action for negligence is found in 12 O.S. 2011 §95(a)(3) and it provides that such a claim must be filed two (2) years after the cause of action shall have accrued.’ The same statute provides a five (5) year limitation for deed reformation.’ On November 18, 2015, the trial court held a summary judgment hearing. At the hearing, the attorney for the Abstract Co, disclosed that the sisters had actual notice of the mistake in the deeds in 2003, because the Swinfords filed a quiet title action to the property in Noble County No, CV-2003-10, which resulted in a default judgment in favor of the ‘Title 12 0.8. 2011 §95(A)G) provides: A. Civil actions other than for the recovery of real property can only be brought within the following periods, after the cause of action shall have accrued, and not afterwards: 3, Within two (2) years: An action for trespass upon real property; an action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including actions for the specific recavery of personal property; an action for injury to the rights of another, not arising on contract, and not hereinafter enumerated; an action for relief on the ground of fraud - the cause of action in such case shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery of the fraud; TTitle 12 0.8. 2011 §95(A)(12) provides: A. Civil actions other than for the recovery of real property can only be brought within the following periods, after the cause of action shall have accrued, and not afterwards: 12. An action for relief, not hereinbefore provided for, can only be brought within five (5) years after the cause of action shall have accrued. Swinfords.’ The sisters, essentially ignoring the 2003 lawsuit filings, argued that: 1) the only purpose in filing a deed is to put third parties on notice of the deeds, not to put grantors on notice as to whether the deed comports with that they intended to convey; 2) the grantors were not under any duty to check the record to ensure they were correct; and 3) the quiet title action did not involve the Abstract Co, and was, therefore, inapplicable. {7 On April 5, 2016, the court filed an order granting summary judgment to the Abstract Co, It determined that the deeds, which were examined and signed by the grantors, gave the grantors constructive notice of any alleged mistake when. they were filed of public record. Consequently, any claims of reformation and/or negligence were precluded by the long expired statute of limitations for either claim. The trial court also directed the filing of a final journal entry of judgment pursuant to 12 O.S. 2011 §994(a).’ “Consequently, the attorney argued in addition to the statute of limitations issue, the sisters were barred by res judicata/collateral estoppel from challenging the deeds. According to the Noble County Docket, the quiet title action, No. CV-2003-10, was filed in Noble County on ‘May 21, 2003, with the Swinfords as plaintiffs and the father and Lisa Calvert as his attorney in fact named defendants. The trial court issued a journal entry of judgment on October 8, 2003, determining, by default, that the Swinfords owned the real property in fee simple absolute. Although we do not decide the issue, we note that in Panhandle Royalty Co., v. Eami, 1968 OK 89, {L1, 747 P.2d 932 the court held that the plaintiffs were charged with constructive notice of a judgment when the judgment was rendered and filed in the public record in the Office of the County Clerk of Roger Mills County, thereby precluding their later action to quite title in certain tineral interests. Title 12 0.8, 2011 §994(a) provides: 48 On May 3, 2016, the grantors appealed, arguing that summary judgment was premature because fact questions exist as to whether the statute of limitations had run. On appeal, the Abstract Co. argues that, in addition to the cause being untimely filed, an unpublished decision rendered by the Court of Civil Appeals in cause no. 113,558 in which the sisters sued Route 66 Minerals and Sundown Energy for unjust enrichment and quiet title and in which the Swinfords were also named defendants, precludes the sisters from bringing this lawsuit altogether. In cause no. 113,558, the Court of Civil Appeals held that the sisters’ action for quiet title and unjust enrichment was time-barred, and it affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment. We retained this cause on May 25, 2016, to address the statute of limitation issue. THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR AN ACTION BROUGHT BY A GRANTOR BEGINS TO ACCRUE WHEN THE DEED IS FILED WITH THE COUNTY CLERK. A. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, if taken, must be commenced by filing a petition in error with the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma within thirty (30) days from the date a judgment, decree, or appealable order prepared in conformance with Section 696.3 of this ttle is filed with the clerk of the trial court. If the appellant did not prepare the judgment, decree, or appealable order, and Section 696.2 of this title required a copy of the judgment, decree, or appealable order to be served upon the appellant, and the court records do not reflect the service of a copy of the judgment, decree, or appealable order to the appellant within three (3) days, exclusive of weekends and holidays, after the filing of the judgment, decree, or appealable order, the petition in error may be filed within thirty (30) days after the earliest date on which the court records show that a copy of the judgment, decree, or appealable order was served upon the appellant. 49 The sisters argue that their lawsuit, brought more than twelve years after the deeds were filed with the county clerk, is timely because they did not discover the deficiency in their deed until 2013, within two years of filing their lawsuit. The Abstract Company disagrees, relying primarily on the Court of Civil Appeals opinion in Pangaea Exploration Corp. v. Ryland, 2010 OK CIV APP 66, 239 P.3d 160 as particularly persuasive as applied to this cause." The record also includes various other cases in which the same “timeliness” issue has re-occurred in Oklahoma Courts with differing results.!! Accordingly, we retained this cause to address the discovery/constructive notice issue and we do not address or express any opinion on whether the previous unpublished Case No. 113,558 Calvert v. Route 66 Minerals or whether the 2003 lawsuit filed by the grantees may also be The Abstract Company relies on the Court of Civil Appeals opinion as authority for us to decide this cause. Because the opinion was not approved for publication by this Court, it could be entitied to persuasive effect only, Title 20 0,S.1991 § 30.5; Rule 1.200, Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules, 12 O.S. Supp.1997, Ch. 15, App. 1. Pangaea Exploration Corp. v. Ryland, 2010 OK CIV APP 66, 239 P.3d 160 holds that public records afford grantors with a means of discovery of a mistake in a deed, and therefore provides constructive notice of a mistake sufficient to start the statute of limitations period to begin to run, We agree, as explained by our rationale herein. “For example, in Case No. CJ-2014-348, Wedel v. Keim, in the District Court of Payne County, State of Oklahoma, the trial court determined that a similar action was barred by the statute of limitations, In Case No. CV-2014-31, MePeek v. Castlerock, in the District Court of Logan County also held that constructive notice occurs when the deed is filed and the statute of limitations begins to run, Other cases include Case No, 113,981 Wedel v. Bartley, an unpublished opinion of the Court of Civil Appeals, Division II; Horn v. Hom, 2007 OK CIV APP 114, 172 P.3d 228; Overholt v. Indep. School County, 1993 OK CIV APP 75, 852 P..2d 823, dispositive of this cause.” {10 The enactment of a statute of limitations is a legislative expression of a policy that prohibits litigants from raising claims afer the expiration of a given period of time.” Statutes of limitations are generally considered procedural defenses'* and are designed to prevent fraud and to protect litigants against stale claims," Exceptions to statutes of limitations are strictly construed and are not enlarged on consideration of apparent hardship or inconvenience.'* LL A cause of action accrues when the injury occurs.'” However, Oklahoma also follows the discovery rule allowing limitations in certain tort cases to be tolled until the injured party knows or, in the exercise of reasonable "The Court notes that the result reached today is not inconsistent with the outcome of either Case No. 113,558 or No. CV-2003-10 from Noble County. See discussion pages 6-7, “Kinzy v, State ex, rel. Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System, 2001 OK 24, (IL, 20 P.3d 818. “Sullivan v. Buckhorn Ranch Partnership, 2005 OK 41, 16, fm 12, 119 P.3d 192. '"MeVay v, Rollings Const. Inc., 1991 OK 102 {8, 820 P.2d 1331; Special Indemnity Fund v, Bames, 1967 OK 216, §7, 434 P.2d 218. "Resolution Trust Corp. v. Grant, 1995 OK 68, $8, 901 P.2d 807; Lake v. Lietch, 1976 OK 45, 13, 550 P.2d 935; Hoskins v, Steven, 1947 OK 311,f)8, 185 P.2d 911. McVay v.Rollings Const. Ine., 1991 OK 102 47, 820 P,2d 1331. In other words, when ‘the litigant first could have maintained an action to successful conclusion. Digital Design Group, Inc., v. Information Builders, 2001 OK 21, (19, 24 P.3d 834; MBA Commercial Const., Inc. v. Roy J. Hannaford Co., Inc, 1991 OK 87, {13, 818 P.2d 469. 10 diligence, should have known of the injury."8 The rule is applied to delay the running of the statute of limitations when daing so would not offend the purpose of the rule.” It, much like the doctrine of adverse domination, arises from the inability of the injured, despite the exercise of due diligence, to know of the injury or its cause.” The purpose of the rule is to exclude the period of time during which the injured party is reasonably unaware that an injury has been sustained so that people in that class have the same rights as those who suffer an immediately ascertainable injury.! {12 The crux of this cause is whether the discovery rule should apply to toll the limitations period when a grantor alleges ignorance of the contents of the deed nearly twelve years after the grantor signed and filed it with the county clerk, The Legislature, by the enactment of 16 O.S. 2011 §16, has expressly provided that a recorded deed serves as constructive notice of its contents as to subsequent purchasers, mortgagees, encumbrancers, or creditors. The sisters point out that "Resolution Trust Corp. v. Grant, sce note 16, supra; v. Wiek, 1992 OK 140, 29, 840 P.2d 619; Reynolds v, Porter, 1988 OK 88 46, 760 P.2d 816. "Resolution Trust Corp. v. Grant, see note 16 supra. The question of whether the discovery rule is applicable to a cause is generally depends upon the facts of the particular case. See, Woods v. Prestwick House, Inc, 2011 OK 9, $25, 247 P.3d 1183. The applicability of the discovery rule to professional negligence actions is a judicial determination which must be made ‘on a case by case basis, Lovelace v. Keohane, 1992 OK 24, §25, 831 P.2d 624 * Resolution Trust Corp. v. Grant, see note 16, supra, Resolution Trust Corp. v. Grant, see note 16, supra. i absent {rom the statute are “grantors.” {13 Section 16 provides: Every conveyance of real property acknowledged or approved, certified and recorded as prescribed by law from the time it is filed with the register of deeds for record is constructive notice of the contents thereof to subsequent purchasers, mortgages, encumbrancers or creditors.” The statute does not expressly list a grantor as being included as the types of persons which a recorded deed provides notice of its contents. Several other states do, by statute, expressly state that a recorded deed serves as notice to everyone, including grantors of its contents.” Nevertheless, this does not end the inquiry because, unless the Court applies the discovery rule to this cause, the limitations Recording instrument in county where land is situated constitutes constructive notice. Berryman y. Producers Comp. of Nevada,, 1952 OK 48,40, 240 P.2d 111 Some states use language making such statutes applicable to those “whose duty it is to search the record.” Ala. Code §35-4-63; Craig v. Craig, 372 So.2d 16, 21 (Ala. 1979). Other states apply it to “all persons” [Ark. Code Ann, §14-15-404 (West); Markham v. Markham, 80 Hawai'i 274, 909 P.2d 602 (1996); Kiowa Code Ann. §558.55; Kan. Stan. Ann, §58-2222] and still others apply it to “all the world.” [Conn, Gen Stat. Ann, §47-17 (West); Byer v. MeGuire Properties, Inc., 285 Ga, $30, 679 S.B.2¢ 1 (2009); NM. Sta. Ann. §14-9-2 (West); Strong v. ‘Clark, 56 Wash. 2d 230, 352 (196).]. The object of such statutes, regardless of the precise Janguage used, is to require the public to act with the presumption that recorded instruments exist and are genuine, See, Lewis v. State, 32 Ariz, 182, 256 P. 1048 (1927). ‘The object of the registry laws in providing recordation of an instrument is to afford ‘notice of its contents, and of all rights, ttle, and interest, legal or equitable, created by or embraced within it, to every person subsequently dealing with the subject matter Whose interest or duty itis to make a search of the record, Conly v. Indus. Trust Co, 27 Del. Ch, 28, 29 A.2d 601, 602 (1943). The statutory recording requirement for validity of an interest in real property provides notice to the public of a conveyance of or encumbrance on real estate and serves to protect both those who already have interests in land and those who would like to acquire such interests. C.P. Investments, Ine. v. Option One Mortg. Corp, 163 N.H. 313 42 A.3d 847 (2012) 12 period has clearly expired. 14 In Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc. v. Vick, 1992 OK 140, 426, 840 P.2d 619, the Court addressed whether the discovery rule should apply to professional negligence in construction. We followed the trend of sister jurisdictions who applied the discovery rule to negligence claims against architects and engineers. Quoting the 10" Circuit Court of Appeals,” we stated that: ‘There is no difference, in our view, as far as the wronged plaintiff is concerned, whether the negligence of the defendants was concealed or for some other valid cause the plaintiff failed to lear of the negligence, unless of course, the plaintiff, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the negligence at the time of its occurrence. The Court has applied the discovery rule in similar types of actions where the negligence is not readily discoverable such as the repair of a storm damaged roof the failure of a plumber to reconnect a sewer line;”” medical malpractice;”* damages to realty caused by pollution of a stream;”” damage to realty caused from Title 12 0.8. 2011 §95, sce notes 6-7, supra. City of Arora v, Bechtel Corp., 599 F.2d 382, 387 (10 Cir. 1979). *Le¢ v, Phillips & Lomax Agency, Ine., 2000 OK 65, $9, 11 P.3d 632. ‘MeVay v. Rollings Const. 1991 OK 102, 10, 820 P.2d 1331. *geitz v. Jones, 1961 OK 300, §12, 370 P.2d 300. Continental Oil Co. v, Williams, 1952 OK 303, $9, 250 P.2d 439. 13 an oil well;° damage from the negligent installation of electrical wiring;* libel, in actions where publication is likely to be concealed from the plaintiff or published ina secretive manner: breach of fiduciary duty;*? conversion or theft;** and claim for recovery of stolen property.** {15 The obvious purpose of applying the discovery rule to such actions is because: 1) the negligence was not readily discoverable by a plaintiff utilizing ordinary due diligence; 2) the negligence was hidden from being readily discoverable by the plaintiff; or 3) the plaintiff was prevented from knowing of it, and it did not become apparent until problems arose and the negligence was uncovered without any apparent negligence on the part of the plaintiff. This cause does not fall into those type of actions in which the discovery rule applies. {16 The rule has been applied in very limited real property cases in Oklahoma. For example, in Webb v. Logan, 1915 OK 354, (14, 150 P. 116,a “Yarper-Turner Oil Co., v. Bridge, 1957 OK 124, 5, 311 P.2d 947. *\Smith y. Johnston, 1978 OK 142, 415, 591 P.2d 1260. The Court of Civil Appeals has also determined that the discovery rule applied to negligent exposure to an infectious disease. Sloan v. Canadian Valley Animal Clinic, Inc, 1985 OK CIV APP 39, $4, 719 P.2d 474. Woods v. Prestwick House, Inc., 2011 OK 9, $28, 247 P.3d 1183; Digital Design Group, Ine. v. Information Builders, [nc., 2001 OK 21, $18, 24 P.3d 834. Smith v. Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, 2002 OK 57, 7-8, 50 P.3d 1132. “Kondis v, Kordis, 2001 OK 99, 43, fn.3, 37 P.3d 866. *Ip re 1973 John Deere 4030 Tractor, 1991 OK 79, ¥L0, 816 P.2d 1126. 14 Choctaw freedman, who could not read or write, agreed to deed a portion of her interest in real property. She was told that the deed only contained what she agreed to sell, but the defendant inserted additional property without informing the seller. Because fraud was perpetrated on the seller, the court held that she did not know or could not have known of the additional real property which was inserted in the deed. The circumstances of her ability not to read or write coupled with active fraud, allowed the discovery rule to apply. In other cases, where mutual mistakes were made as to the amount of mineral interests actually conveyed, the statute of limitation has been tolled in a few cases wherein circumstances warranted. These circumstances are not present in this cause.” *For example, in Cunnius v, Fields, 1969 OK 8, 47, 449 P.2d 703, the Court held the statute of limitations inapplicable to a mutual mistake as to the amount of mineral interests actually inherited. The deed to transfer such interest was filed before the abstract of the property had been seen by the grantors, and grantors were under mistaken belief that they inherited 1/4th mineral interest rather than the % that they actually inherited. Other cases in which the actual amount described in the reservation clause was not the amount intended. These cases are likewise distinguishable on their facts, See, Maloy v. Smith, 1959 OK 69, 99, 341 P.2d 912 (The ‘court held that reformation of the deed was barred by the statute of limitations because defendant ‘was on notice of plaintiff's claim for eight years. But the court noted that the statute would have been tolled ifa person seeking to remove a cloud from tite is in continuous possession of the land in question.); Good v, Cohimia, 1958 OK 230, 45, 330 P.2d 588 (Tolling the statute of limitations because defendant accepted 50% of lease payments for years, leading plaintiff 10 believe cach party owned half of the mineral rights despite a typographical error indicating plaintiff owned 1/16.) Still others involve reformation of trust instruments or mortgage notes, or are cases in which the grantee bought and paid for the property and took possession of it and the grantor subsequently executed a mineral deed to another person. See, Harrison et al. v, Eaves, 1942 OK 339, §3, 130 P.2d 941 (Tolling the statute of limitations and allowing the heir of a trustee to reform a trust agreement because the trustee had performed the duties of his trust while alive in regards to the subject real property, despite a typographical error in the trust agreement referring to real property not owned by either party.); Crabb et al. v. Chisum et al, 1938 OK 402, 16, 80 P.2d 653 (The court allows for reformation of a deed due to mutual mistake, but there is, no statute of limitations defense.); and Staub et al. v. Swaim, 1956 OK 17, 47, 296 P.2d 147 15 4117 Here, the sisters signed the deed, They had the opportunity and obligation to read or at least inquire as to what they were signing.”* The deed clearly did not reserve any mineral interests whatsoever. ‘The deed was filed in the public land records office of the county clerk where the property was located. The deed was readily available to anyone who wanted a copy of it, A reasonable person would have read the deed before signing it, or at the very least, asked for a copy of it after it is signed and filed and then read it. Now, a copy of the filed deed can be secured anytime from one’s computer in the comfort of their own home.”* (Statute of limitations defense was not pleaded by defendant and thus waived. The Court held that when two grantees receive from a common grantor, the recording of a deed by the second grantor does not provide notice to the first grantor if the first has paid for the property, received ‘an executed conveyance, and taken possession of the property before the second records.). Other cases have reached similar results. Ford et al. v. Perry, 1917 OK 465, $12, 168 P. 221, another illiterate seller was tricked into signing a deed that was purported to be a rental contract. Even when fraud is alleged, the filing of a real property transaction of record may serve to establish constructive notice thereby triggering the statute of limitations to run. For example, in Mattewson v. Hilton, 1958 OK 6, 42, 321 P.2d 396, the plaintiff was to be given property pursuant to a will and when the decree of distribution was entered was not distributed as the plaintiff understood it would be, the plaintiff was precluded by constructive notice of the filing of the decree of distribution. “The duty to read and know the terms of a document before signing it has long been recognized. Sec, Globe & Rutgers Fire Ins. Co. v. Roysden, 1953 OK 644, (8, 258 P.2d 644 [It is the duty of the assured to read and know the conditions of the poliey before he accepts it and ‘where he fails and neglects to do so he is estopped from denying knowledge of its terms and conditions unless he alleges and proves that he was induced not to read the policy by some trick or fraud of the other parties). County land records for Noble County are available at hitps:// at any hour of the day or any day of the week 16 {18 We stated in Board of Comm'rs of Garfield County v. Renshaw, 1909 OK 4, $6, 99 P. 638, relying on a Kansas case and English common law, that which still holds true today: Whore the transaction is a matter of public record, either through conveyances registered as required by law or through other means, so that the party complaining has abundant means of finding out the fact of the transaction and its nature, there can be no concealment, and he will be charged with notice of the transaction and of facts which a diligent investigation thereof would develop. A party must be presumed to know what, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, he might have discovered; 40 “Furthermore, the Court stated in Whitman y. Harrison, 1958 OK 141, §]13-16, 327 P.2d 680 that . + «To ereate a reservation it must appear from the instrument that the grantor intended to and by appropriate words expressed the intent to reserve an interest in himself. Otherwise, the exception must be construed as an exception to the warranty.’ 14 We have not overruled that decision and the rule thereof stands and was followed by the trial court. 15 That rule was followed in Cutright v, Richey, 208 Oki. 413, 257 P.2d 286 , 287, where, in syllabus paragraph 4 we held: “A grantor in a deed in presumed to have made all the reservations he intended to make and he is not permitted to derogate from his grant by showing that some reservation was intended but not expressed. [16 Am.Jur. Deeds, Sec. 406; Tong v. Feldman, 152 Md. 398, 136 A. 822, 51 ALR. 1291}. 416 That rule was implemented and applied in Kassner v. Alexander Drug Co., 194 OK. 36, 147 P.2d 979, 981, where this court said: “The deed not being ambiguous governs and controls as to intention, * *, There is nothing ‘whatever in this deed to satisfy the rule that the deed must clearly express the reservation in the grantor of the right of reversion or it will be deemed to have passed with the conveyance,’ ,.. 7 No fraud is alleged nor is any concealment of facts o secretive publication." The alleged negligence was readily discoverable by a the sisters utilizing ordinary due diligence and not hidden from being readily discoverable by them. Nor were the sisters prevented from knowing of the negligence because it was not apparent. CONCLUSION 19 Although limitation issues may involve mixed questions of law and fact, they are ordinarily reviewed in this Court as questions of law. There exists a statutory presumption that a recorded signed document relating to title to real estate is genuine and was properly executed.’ The record supports but a single conclusion, that the statute of limitations began to accrue when the deed was filed and that the discovery rule is inapplicable to this cause. If this were not the case, “'Nothing expressed herein affects those cases in which fraud or concealment by a defendant has tolled the limitation period. Sammuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc. v. Vick, 1992. OK 140, 426, 840 P.2d 619. “Woods v. Prestwick House, Ine., 2011 OK 9, 14, 247 P.3d 1183. Title 16 O.S. 2011 §53 provides in pertinent part: A.A recorded signed document relating to title to real estate creates a rebuttable presumption with respect to the tile that: 1, 1. The document is genuine and was executed as the voluntary aet of the person purporting to execute it; 2. The person executing the document and the person on whose behalf it is executed are the persons they are purported to be and the person executing it was neither incompetent nor a minor at any relevant time; 3. Delivery occurred notwithstanding a lapse of time between dates on the document and the date of recording; 4. Any necessary consideration was given; .. 18 real property transactions across the state could be set aside at almost any time which could leave all real property transactions unsettled indefinitely. Accordingly, we hold that, as a matter of law, any action for negligence regarding the mistaken deeds began to accrue when the deeds were filed. MOTION TO RETAIN PREVIOUSLY GRANTED; TRIAL COURT AFFIRMED. KAUGER, WATT, WINCHESTER, EDMONDSON, TAYLOR, COLBERT, GURICH, JJ., concur. REIF, CJ., not voting, COMBS, V.C.J., not participating. 2016 OK 99 FILED IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OKLARGHEME Cour MA, F ORL LARRY A. BURNS, D.O., on behalfof —) OCT 4 2016 himself and his patients, ) MicHaE ) a CLES RICHIE Plaintiff” Appellant, ) SATE Counts ) v. ) No, 114,679 ) TERRY L. CLINE, in his official ) For Official Publication capacity as Oklahoma Commissioner ) of Health, and ) GREG MASHBURN, in his official ) capacity as District Attomey for ) Cleveland, Garvin and MeClain Counties, ) ) Defendants/Appellees. ) COMBS, V.C.J., concurring specially, with whom KAUGER, TAYLOR, and GURICH, JJ., join: 1 Lagree with the majority’s conclusion that Senate Bill No. 642, 2015 Okla. Sess. Laws c. 387 (SB 642) is unconstitutional, not only because it violates Okla. Const. art. 5, § 57, but also because it continues to place undue burdens on access to abortion under the guise of protecting the health of women.' The United States Supreme Court ruling in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 112 S.Ct. 2791, 120 L.Ed.2d 674 (1992), reinforced by Whole "In public law controversies, this Court is free to decide a case on ll dispositive issues, regardless of whether they were tendered below. shikian v. State ex rel. Okla. Horse Racing Comm'n, 2008 OK 64, §17 nS, 188 P.2d 148; Davis y. GHS Health Maint. Org, Ine. 2001 OK 3, 9925-26, 22 P.3d 1204; Simpson v. Dixon, 1993 OK 71, $26 1.55, 853 P.2d 176. Accordingly, this Court i not limited to Appellant's elim concerning Okla. Const. at. 5,§ 57 ifthe record compels a conclusion that SB 642 is unconstitutional on other grounds. See Simpson, 1993 OK 71, 426. Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 2292, 195 L.Ed.2d 665 (2016), requires lower courts consider the burdens a law imposes on abortion access together with the benefits the law confers, Hellerstedt, 136 8.Ct. at 2309. By virtue of the Supremacy Clause, we are bound by the decisions of the United States Supreme Court with respect to the federal Constitution and federal law, and we must pronounce rules of law that conform to extant Supreme Court jurisprudence. Akin v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Co., 1998 OK 102, 430, 977 P.2d 1040; United States v. Home Fed. S. & L. Ass'n of Tulsa, 1966 OK 135, (18, 418 P.2d 319. (2 The Supremacy Clause of the United States Const. art. VI, cl. 2 provides: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding, Additionally, Okla. Const. art. 1, § 1 requires compliance with federal constitutional law on issues of federal law, and provides: The State of Oklahoma is an inseparable part of the Federal Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land, In Inre Initiative Petition No. 349, State Question No. 642, 1992 OK 122, 13, 838 P.2d 1, this Court stated: ‘We are doubly bound to uphold the law of the land. Our limited role, like the role of all state courts in such cases, is to apply federal constitutional law, not to make it nor to guess what it may become. By virtue of our constitutional oath of office, we have solemnly sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. (Footnotes omitted). 43 SB 642 is constitutionally infirm not only because it violates Okla. Const. art. 5, § 57, but also because it violates the standard set by the Supreme Court of the United States in Casey, and more recently revisited in Hellerstedt. In Casey, 505 U.S. at 878, a plurality of the Court concluded a provision of law is constitutionally invalid if the purpose or effect of the provision is to place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability. The United States Supreme Court also stated: “{uJnnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right.” Casey, 505 U.S. at 878. 44 In Hellerstedt, the United States Supreme Court revisited the rule recognized by the plurality in Casey, and applied it to a Texas statute directly regulating abortion providers. The Court examined two provisions: 1) an admitting privileges requirement that effectively required physicians providing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles; and 2) a surgical-center requirement mandating abortion facilities meet the minimum standards for ambulatory surgery centers under Texas law. Hellerstedt, 136 8.Ct. at 2300, After a detailed analysis, the United States Supreme Court determined neither provision conferred medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposed, and therefore cach violated the Federal Constitution, Amdt, 14, § 1. Hellerstedt, 136 $.Ct. at 2300, 2309-2318. This binding precedent, mandates our review of the provisions of SB 642 to determine whether the provisions confer medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens on access imposed by their terms. 5 SB 642 contains four provisions that subject abortion providers to new requirements, and penalize them substantially for violations. Section 1 of SB 642 amends 63 O.S. 2011 § 1-740.4b, making it a felony when a person “intentionally causes, aids, abets or assists an unemancipated minor to obtain an abortion without the consent required by Section 1-740.2 of this title.” Further, Section 1 amends 63 O.S. 2011 § 1-740.4b to grant broad powers to the Attorney General, a district attorney, or any person adversely affected to enjoin conduct in violation of that section. The inclusion of such all-inclusive power to enforce to any person adversely affected greatly expands the threat of litigation to a limited very specific profession in a method not heretofore seen. {6 Section 2 of SB 642 creates a new section of law, to be codified at 63 OS. § 1-749, authorizing the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to create a new forensic protocol for statutory rape investigations and requiring abortion providers to preserve fetal tissue when an abortion is performed on a minor less than 14 years of age. Section 2 further declares that failure to comply with the new section or resulting rules is both: 1) unprofessional conduct; and 2) a felony. This provision forces a limited section of health care providers to become agents of law enforcement and failure to perform these requirements would lead to both professional discipline and a violation of criminal law. What other areas of the medical profession have such far reaching requirements? 7 Most troubling are Sections 3 and 4 of SB 642. Section 3 adds a new section of law to be codified at 63 O.S. § 1-749.1, granting sweeping authority to the State Boatd of Health to promulgate policies and procedures for conducting ies. Section 3 further licensure and re-licensure inspections of abortion faci grants the State Commissioner of Health inspection authority, and provides in pertinent part: C. If the State Commissioner of Health determines that there is reasonable cause to believe a licensee, licensed abortion facility or abortion facility that is required to be licensed in this state is not adhering to the requirements of Section 1-729a et seq, of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, local fire ordinances or rules or any other law, administrative rule or regulation relating to abortion, the Commissioner and any duly designated employee or agent of the Commissioner including employees of county or city-county health departments and county or municipal fire inspectors, consistent with standard medical practices, may enter on and into the premises of the licensee, licensed abortion facility or abortion facility that is required to be licensed in this state during regular business hours of the licensee or abortion facility to determine compliance with the provisions of Section 1-729a et seq. of Title 63 of the Oklahoma 5 Statutes, local fire ordinances or rules, and any other law, administrative rule or regulation relating to abortion. Additionally, Section 3 provides for the closure of abortion facilities that fail to comply with any of the new requirements, as well as existing ones: E, Ifan inspection or investigation conducted pursuant to this section reveals that an applicant, licensee or licensed abortion facility is not adhering to the requirements of this section, the provisions of Title 1— 729a et seq, of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, local fire ordinances or rules and any other law, administrative rule or regulation relating to abortion, the Commissioner may take action to deny, suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a license to operate an abortion facility. 48 Section 4 of SB 642 also creates a new section of law, to be codified at 63 O.S. § 1-750. This provision is primarily punitive, and punishes any person who intentionally, knowingly or recklessly violates “any provision ot requirement of this act, Section 1-729a et seq. of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes or any regulation adopted under Section 1-729a et seq, of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes.” Section 4 makes such a violation a felony, and subject to a civil penalty or a fine up to $100,000.00. {9 Sections 3 and 4 of SB 642 both reference 63 O.S. § 1-729a, which regulates termination of pregnancy through the use of certain medications. Section 4 provides severe penalties for any intentional, knowing or reckless violation of 63 OS. § 1-729a, The constitutionality of the bill which most recently modified 63 O.S. § 1-729 (2014 Okla. Sess. Laws c. 121, 375-80 (HB 2684)), was considered by this Court in Okla. Coal. for Repro. Justice v. Cline, 2016 OK 17, 368 P.3d 6 1278. While I agreed with the majority’s determination that the bill was not unconstitutional on the narrow grounds the Court considered, I wrote separately to emphasize the dangerous line the Legislature insisted on walking. I noted, specifically, that “[wJhile H.B. 2684 does not prohibit all medication abortions, it nonetheless binds Oklahoma physicians and their patients to the FDA's final printed labeling, regardless of whether evidence and the judgment of the medical community indicate it is not the best method for providing medication abortion.” Cline, 2016 OK. 17, {2 (Combs, V.C.J., concurring specially). I also noted that little had changed in the statute from its prior incarnation, which this Court previously considered: In Cline I, 2013 OK 93, this Court examined a prior statute requiring adherence to the FDA's final printed labeling for abortion-inducing drugs. We noted with disapproval the law's drastic interference in the role of physicians and agreed with the determination of the district court that restricting the use of abortion-inducing drugs to the regime in the final printed labeling is so completely at odds with the standard that governs the practice of medicine that it can serve no purpose other than to prevent women from obtaining abortions and to punish and discriminate against those who do." Cline II, 2013 OK 93, 427 (quoting Okla. Coal. for Repro. Justice v. Cline, No. CV-2011- 1722, slip op., {7 (Dist. Ct. Okla. Cnty. May 11, 2012). H.B. 2684 requires adherence to a protocol in contravention of prevailing medical standards; one that simultaneously shrinks the window in which medication abortion is accessible to the women of Oklahoma. This Court's above-quoted statement from Cline IT remains apt. Cline, 2016 OK 17, $4 (Combs, V.C.J,, concurring specially). 10 The Legislature’s substitution of its judgment for that of physicians concerning best practices by requiring adherence to a protocol in contravention of prevailing medical standards, is troubling. With SB 642, any intentional deviation from that protocol becomes a felony, and subjects providers to closure and a potentially enormous fine. Further, there are other pitfalls that arise with any required adherence to 63 O.S. Supp. 2014 § 1-729a because it has potentially become unclear what protocol physicians are required to follow. Section 1-729a. contains a findings component that notes specific details of the FDA’s original final printed labelling for Mifeprex, an abortion-inducing drug. For example, 63 O.S. Supp. 2014 § 1-729a(A)(4) provides: ‘As approved by the FDA, and as outlined in the Mifeprex final printed labeling (FPL), an abortion by mifepristone consists of three two- hundred-milligram tablets of mifepristone taken orally, followed by two two-hundred-microgram tablets of misoprostol taken orally, through forty-nine (49) days LMP (a gestational measurement using, the first day of the woman's “last menstrual period” as a marker). The patient is to retum for a follow-up visit in order to confirm that the abortion has been completed. This FDA-approved protocol is referred to as the "Mifeprex regimen" or the "RU-486 regimen" However, the FDA changed these requirements on March 29, 2016, when it approved a supplemental application by the company that markets Mifeprex. Questions and Answers on Mifeprex, March 30, 2106, http://www. tsandProviders/ucem492705.htm.? The findings contained in 63 O.S. Supp. 2014 § 1-729a are no longer in accord with the current FDA label, which has changed in several ways, including but not limited to: 1) permitting use through 70 days’ gestation instead of 49; 2) specifying a single 200mg dose on day one instead of three; 3) and allowing home administration of Misoprostol. Mifeprex Label, 2016, Ref. ID: 3909592, available at pdf. 1 Sections 3 and 4 of SB 642 compel compliance with 63 O.S. Supp. 2014 § 1-729a, with providers facing closure and potentially a felony for failing to comply. Meanwhile, the detailed findings of 63 O.S, Supp. 2014 § 1-729a (based on the outdated FDA final printed labelling) which are used to justify adherence to the FDA final printed labelling, are now not only at odds with the prevailing standard of care but also at odds with the current FDA-approved regime itself. This raises the specter of substantial ambiguity in a statute that abortion providers will be forced to adhere to lest they be subjected to strict penalties, $12 While the articulated goal of SB 642 is to protect the health of women, it creates an open-ended array of regulatory hurdles that subject practitioners to harsh le 12.0.8, 2011 § 2202 permits the courts to take judicial notice of facts whether requested or not, which are not subject to dispute when they are capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy ‘cannot reasonably be questioned, Actions taken by the FDA and disclosed on its own website present such a situation. As the United States Court of Appeals forthe Tenth Circuit has pointed out, itis not uncommon for courts to take judicial notice of factual information found on the World Wide Web, O'Toole v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 499 F.3d 1218, 1225 (10th Cir. 2007), 9 penalties for any potential violation. It is an inescapable conclusion that SB 642 will make it considerably more difficult for providers to operate, and accordingly will make it more difficult for the women of Oklahoma to exercise their federally- recognized constitutional right to control their own reproductive futures. I would find SB 642 unconstitutional not only because it violates Okla. Const. art. 5, § 57, but also because it places an undue burden on the right of women to choose. Hellerstedt, 136 S.Ct. at 2300; Casey, 505 U.S. at 874. 2016 OK 99 FILED IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OF EERE LARRY A. BURNS, D.O., on behalf of OCT 4 2016 himself and his patients, MICHAEL 8. RICHIE Plaintiff/Appellant, ‘THe APPELLATE Couns vs. TERRY L. CLINE, in his official No. 114,679 capacity as Oklahoma Commissioner of Health, and GREG MASEBURN, in his official capacity as District Attomey for Cleveland, Garvin and McClain Counties, ) FOR OFFICIAL Defendants/Appellees. } PUBLICATION ) J ) a) )) a) ) y » a] ON APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF OKLAHOMA COUNTY, THE HONORABLE JUDGE THOMAS PRINCE, PRESIDING $0 The plaintiff, Larry A. Burns, D.O., (Burns) challenges Senate Bill No. 642, Okla. Sess. L, 2015, Ch. 387 (West) (“SB 642"), as violating the single subject rule mandated by Okla. Const. art. 5, §57. Burns appeals from summary adjudication in favor of defendants and the denial of his request for declaratory judgment that SB 642 is unconstitutional and his request for permanent stay, We granted certiorari and we hold that SB 642 is unconstitutional and violates the single-subject rule of Okla. Const. art. 5, §57. MOTION TO RETAIN PREVIOUSLY GRANTED; DISTRICT COURT’S JUDGMENT REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS J. Blake Patton Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Appellant Zoe Levine New York, New York, for Appellant Sarah A. Greenwalt Office of the Attorney General Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Appellees WATT, J.: 4 The issue before this Court concerns the constitutionality of SB 642, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor on June 4, 2015. The effective date of the legislation was November 1, 2015. This legislation includes one section modifying an existing statute relating to abortions, and enacts three unrelated new sections in this same title. We reverse the district court’s findings and hold the statute unconstitutional as it violates the single subject rule set forth in Okla. Const, art. 5, §57. PROCEDURAL HISTORY 42 Prior to filing the declaratory action giving rise to this appeal, Burns filed an application with this court to assume original jurisdiction, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the defendants, Terry L. Cline, in his official capacity as Oklahoma Commissioner of Health, and Greg Mashburn, in his official capacity as District Attorney for Cleveland, Garvin, and McClain Counties (defendants/State). In the petition for original jurisdiction, Bums asked this Court to find SB 642 unconstitutional and to issue a permanent injunction blocking its enforcement,' On October 26, 2015, this Court assumed original jurisdiction and ordered a stay of the enforcement of the legislation for 30 days.’ After Burns filed his petition for declaratory relief in district court, this Court ordered the stay to remain in effect. This appeal arises from Burns’ petition for injunction filed in district court and its grant of summary judgment finding SB 642 constitutional and denying injunctive relief. This Court issued an order retaining this appeal on March 2, 2016. STANDARD OF REVIEW 3 We determine we have authority to address the constitutionality of SB 642. Under Douglas v. Cox Retirement Properties, Inc., 2013 OK 37, 302 P. 3d 789, we acknowledge the heavy burden placed on those who raise constitutional ' Larry Burns, D.O,, Petitioner, v. Terry L. Cline, in his official capacity as Oklahoma Commissioner of Health, and Greg Mashburn, in his official capacity as District Attomey for Cleveland, Garvin and MeClain Counties, Respondents, Case No, 114,312, filed September 25, 2015. 2 See, Corrected Order, filed October 28, 2015, “Original jurisdiction is assumed. The enforcement of Senate Bill 642, which amends 63 O.S. §1-740.4b, and enacts 63 O.S, §$1-749, 1-749.1 and 1-750, is stayed for 30 days from the date of this order. If, within that 30 days, the petitioner files a petition for declaratory and injunctive relief in the Oklahoma County District Court, and notifies this Court of the filing of the petition, the stay shall continue in effect. Ifno petition is filed, the stay shall be dissolved. This Court does not express any opinion on the constitutionality of Senate Bill 642 at this time.” > See, Order, Case No. 114,312, filed November 16, 2015, “Petitioner’s motion to continue stay in effect is granted. The Court notes that petitioner has filed a petition in the Oklahoma County District Court on November 3, 2015, in Burns v. Cline, case no. CV-2015- 2050. This Court’s stay of the enforcement of Senate Bill 642 remains in effect until further order from this Court”, challenges to legislation. This Court favors a statutory construction that upholds the constitutionality of a statute. Oliver v, Hofmeister, 2016 OK 15, 5, 368 P.3d 1270, 1272. This Court does not consider the “propriety, desirability or wisdom” ina statute. Douglas, 2013 OK 37, §3, 302 P.3d at 792. The function of this Court is limited to a determination of whether legislative provision is valid and nothing further, Douglas, supra. ANALYSIS 44 Art. 5, § 57 of the Oklahoma Constitution provides: “Every act of the Legislature shall embrace but one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title...” 4 This clause is commonly referred to as the “single subject rule”. The purpose of this constitutional provision is not to impede legislation. Rather it is to insure transparency in the legislative process.* The single subject rule is to prevent the Legislature from making a bill “veto proof” by appending unpopular “The Oklahoma Constitution , art. 5, §57 provides: Every act of the Legislature shall embrace but one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title, except general appropriation bills, general revenue bills, and bills adopting a code, digest, or revision of statutes; and no law shall be revived, amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred, by reference to its title only; but so much thereof as is revived, amended, extended, or conferred shall be re-enacted and published at length: Provided, That if any subject be embraced in any act contrary to the provisions of this section, such act shall be void only as to so much of the law as may not be expressed in the title thereof, 5 Kent v. Fallin, 2013 OK 107, 4, 315 P.3d 1023, 1025 (citation omitted). 4 legislation within popular bills.® $5 We have stated the purposes of this rule are: 1) to ensure that the legislators or voters of Oklahoma are adequately notified of the potential effect of the legislation; and 2) to prevent ‘logrolling’, the practice of assuring the passage of a law by creating one choice in which a legislator or voter is forced to assent to an unfavorable provision to secure passage of a favorable one, or conversely, forced to vote against a favorable provision to ensure that an unfavorable provision is not enacted.” 6 The recognition of this doctrine extends back to statehood.* This constitutional provision acts as a safeguard against enacting legislation which, if introduced as a single bill, could never command the approval of a majority of the legislature.” {7 Defendants advance two theories in support of their argument that SB 642 is constitutional. First, defendants attempt to argue that this legislation does not violate the single subject rule because it is germane, relative and cognate to one subject, the protection of women’s reproductive health, Defendants next Sia. 7 Kent v. State ex rel. Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority, (hereinafter “Oklahoma Capitol”), 2009 OK 15, 4 14, 214 P.3d 799, 804 (citations omitted) * Inve County Commissioners of Counties Comprising Seventh Judicial Dist.,1908 OK 207, 98 P. 557, ° Oklahoma Capitol, 2009 OK 15, 15, 214 P.3d 799, 804-805 (citation omitted). 5 contend that SB 642 is simply comprehensive legislation, and that this Court has found that comprehensive legislation does not necessarily violate Okla, Const. art 5, §57. Upon careful review of Oklahoma jurisprudence, we find defendants’ arguments are not in accord with our prior decisions on the single subject rule. lation Must be Germane, Relative and Cognate to Satisfy art. 5 §57 of the Oklahoma Constitution 48 Defendants posit that SB 642 is constitutional under the single subject, rule, because all sections in this legislation relate to protecting the reproductive health of women. To reinforce this point, the State argues that all four sections in SB 642 simply create enforcement mechanisms and put “teeth into existing laws designed to protect women’s reproductive health.”"” {9 Burns asserts this law fails to satisfy the constitutional mandate of art. 5, §57. Specifically, plaintiff argues that the different provisions of SB 642 impose directives to different state entities for different purposes," similar to the law struck down in Oklahoma Capitol. Plaintiff urges that the provisions of this law are so unrelated that legislators voting on the bill were presented with an “all or nothing choice” suggestive of logrolling, the very thing this constitutional "© See Record, Defendants’ Combined Response to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, and Defendants’ Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. " See, SB 642, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Okiahoma State Board of Health and the Oklahoma Attorney General. provision is designed to prevent. Oklahoma Capitol, supra.; In re Initiative Petition No. 382, 2006 OK 45 14, 142 P.3d 400, 407-408; Nova Health Systems y. Edmondson, 2010 OK 21, 1, 233 P. 3d 380, 381-382, (hereinafter Nova Health). 410 The sections of SB 642 contain the following provisions: (a) Section 1, amends 63 O.S. 2011 §1-740.4b, adding powers to the Attomey General (A.G.) or the District Attorney (D.A.) to enjoin certain conduct relating to requisite consents for minors seeking abortions; (b) Section 2, adds a new section of law, authorizing the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) to create a new forensic protocol for statutory rape investigations; (c) Section 3, adds a new section of aw creating a new licensing and inspection scheme for abortion facilities, directing the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) to develop requisite regulatory protocols; (@ Section 4, adds a new broad-sweeping section, imposing felony penalties as well as civil penalties up to One Hundred Thousand Dollars for a violation of any existing regulation relating to abortion statutes contained in 63 O.S, 2011 §§1-737.7 to 1-737.16. $11 We have consistently found legislation is related to one subject when the provisions are “germane, relative, and cognate to a readily apparent common theme and purpose.””? However, it is not enough for defendants to simply " Oklahoma Capitol, 2009 OK 15, 16, 214 P.3d at 805. 1 articulate some rational connection between similar or related provisions.” Instead, our focus is “whether it appears that either the proposal is misleading or provisions in the proposal are so unrelated that many of those voting on the law would be faced with an unpalatable all-or-nothing choice.” ‘12 Section 1 amends 63 O.S, 2011 §1-740.4b, dealing with the consent required for an abortion to be performed on a minor and delineating civil and criminal penalties for any violation. The amendment creates a new class of people subject to this prohibition and adds new authority to both the A.G. and D.A. Sections 2 and 3 both place new duties and directives on OSBI and OSDH respectively. Section 4 is a very broad sweeping provision that provides for substantial civil as well as criminal penalties for any violation of any statute contained in 63 O.$. 2011 §§1-737.7 to 1-737.16. {13 We reject defendants’ arguments and find this legislation violates the single subject rule as each of these sections is so unrelated and misleading that a legislator voting on this matter could have been left with an unpalatable all-or- nothing choice." The heart of the single subject rule is to insure constitutional Big 4 Oklahoma Capitol, 2009 OK 15, 4 15, 214 P.3d 799, 804-805 (citation omitted), 'S Oklahoma Capitol, 2009 OK 15, 416, 214 P.3d at 805. 8 protection that each piece of legislation enacted is worthy of the approval of the voter and to prevent the enactment of unpopular provisions by logrolling or attaching it to a favorable bill. We also find this legislation violates the single subject rule under Oklahoma Capitol, supra., as it delegates authority to three different state agencies. ‘Comprehensive’ Legislation Is Not Determinative of Whether a Bill is Constitutional Under Okla. Const. art. 5, §57. 4114 Although we have already concluded that this legislation fails for violating the single subject rule, we will briefly address defendants’ second contention. Defendants assert that SB 642 is simply comprehensive legislation, and that this Court has found that comprehensive legislation does not necessarily violate Okla. Const. art. 5, §57. In this loosely reasoned argument, the State relies on Coates v. Fallin, 2013 OK 108, 316 P.3d 924, (hereinafter “Coates”) and Thomas v. Henry, 2011 OK 53, 260 P.3d 1251, (hereinafter “Thomas”). Defendants’ position is not supported by these cases. {15 Defendants’ interpretation of Coates is misleading and not in accord with this Court’s findings and narrow pronouncement in this published order. The central constitutional challenge in Coates was whether Senate Bill 1062, 2013 Okla. Sess. Laws, Ch. 208, (SB 1062), as a multiple subject bill, violated Okla. Const. art. 5, §57. SB 1062 repealed the Workers’ Compensation Code," replacing, it with three separate acts.'” The petitioner in Coates urged enacting legislation with three separate acts was unconstitutional logrolling under art, 5 §57. We examined SB 1062 under the guidance of Thomas, supra., emphasizing, the relevant inquiry is not how many acts are in a particular bill, but rather whether the multiple parts reflect a common closely akin theme or purpose. The analysis of this bill revealed that all sections related to the common theme of workers’ compensation or the protection of workers against work-related injuries. This Court decreed SB 1062 did not violate the single subject rule.'* The focus of the inquiry is not the number of sections in a particular bill, but rather whether the multiple parts reflect a common, closely akin theme or purpose, Coates does not stand for the proposition proffered by defendants, that comprehensive legislation does not violate the single subject rule. Whether or not legislation is comprehensive is nof the determinative factor for constitutional challenge under © 85 O.S. 2011, §301 er seg. "” Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act, 85A O.S. Supp.2014 §301 et seq., Oklahoma Employee Injury Benefit Act, 854 O.S. Supp.2014, 201, ef seg., and the Workers’ Arbitration Compensation Act, 85A O.S. Supp.2014 §301 ef seq. “This Court specifically noted that “[u)ntil such time as a case or controversy or a |usticiable issue is presented to this Court, we are without jurisdiction to rule further with regard to the Act.” Coates, 2013 OK 108, 43, 316 P.3d 924, 925. 10 art. 5, §57. We reject defendants’ argument on this point. 4116 The State also relies on Thomas, supra. for the same principle. Their reliance on this case for the proposition that comprehensive legislation does not violate the single subject rule is likewise misplaced. Thomas incorporated the same principles already enumerated in this opinion for determining if legislation is germane, relative and cognate. In fact, we clearly stated, “t]he question is not how similar two provisions in a proposed law are, but whether it appears either that the proposal is misleading or that the provisions in the proposal are so unrelated that many of those voting on the law would be faced with an unpalatable all-or-nothing choice.” Thomas, 2011 OK 53, (26, 260 P.3d 1251, 1260. This Court Previously Struck Down Comparable Abortion Legislation as Violating the Single Subject Rule {17 The legislation before us is indistinguishable from legislation we determined violated the single subject rule in Nova Health, supra.” In Nova Health, we examined the “Freedom of Conscience Act” and its multiple sections. Most sections in the Freedom of Conscience Act contained some reference to abortion procedures, However, a common connection or theme is not sufficient to satisfy the single subject rule where the legislation is potentially misleading or '° This Court resolved the issues in Nova by a “Disposition by Order” ul leaves the Legislature with an all-or-nothing choice.” 18 We find that each of the four sections of SB 642, lack a common purpose and are not germane, relative and cognate. Although each section relates in some way to abortion, the broad sweep of each section does not cure the single subject defects in this bill. Although defendants urge that SB 642 does not constitute logrolling, we find the provisions are so unrelated that those voting on this bill were faced with a constitutionally prohibited all-or-nothing choice to ensure the passage of favorable legislation. CONCLUSION {19 We conclude that SB 642 contains different and unrelated purposes contrary to the single subject requirement of Okla. Const., art. 5, §57. Although we understand the power of the Legislature in enacting new laws, we are bound to uphold our Constitution. SB 642 is unconstitutional and void. ® See, Nova Health, 2010 OK 21, 233 P.3d 380, footnote 5, “The choice, often known as ‘Hobson's choice’ is an apparently free choice that offers no real alternative: in the parlance of our times, a ‘take it or leave it’, ‘The phrase finds its origin in the practice of an English livery stable proprietor named Thomas Hobson, ... who required that his customers choose the horse nearest the stable door or none at all.” (Citation omitted). 12 TRIAL COURT’S ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS REVERSED; CAUSE REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS CONSISTENT WITH TODAY’S PRONOUNCEMENT REIF, C.J., WATT, WINCHESTER, EDMONDSON, COLBERT, JJ.~CONCUR COMBS, V.C.J., KAUGER, TAYLOR, GURICH, JJ.- CONCURRING SPECIALLY