We read in the Williamsport paper that they will be listing all the leases in the Marcellus Play over the course of time.  My question is is this legal to do what they are since they are even going to list addresses and even amounts of money they are to receive?  It seems to me that this would be an invasion of privacy.  Would open people up to being robbed or harrassed!  Anyone else read this article or have info on how they will take info from records in courthouses and print it in the paper.  I know it is "public information" in the court houses and all but when have we crossed over to putting it out into the media  -  Seems like a major error to publically announce these things with names, addresses, and amounts.   I know I would not want to have been the one to put this out there for all to see.  If this happens I feel that the media has crossed yet another line ---- one that could cause lots of problems in the future.  I hope they have thought of all to come with that including future crimes against innoccent people.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Beth,

I certainly agree with you that these listings will be an invasion of privacy. However - correct me if I am wrong - no amounts will be listed with the information. You're right, the lease information is available at the court house, but no amount should be listed there either. Additionally, the only way the newspaper could receive amount information would be to contact the natural gas companies directly, and I highly doubt those companies would release that information.

Again, please correct me if I am wrong.


Andrew Paulhamus

I would say that the Newspaper may have many lawsuits filed against them.


The article that I saw said that the amounts would not be listed. If the Gas companies are listing the amounts in the courthouse, shame on them. Usually those items are "redacted" or only a simple Memorandum of Lease recorded.
I misread the part about the amounts being listed but I still think that the paper/media is taking giving out info too far. They said it was to let people know what their neighbors are doing so they can get a good deal from the gas co. but if someone needs this info I do not think the paper is a good place to find it. The media should find other news to report.
So, the next step of showing our disgust in the printing of the gas lease information is to inundate the newspaper company with letters to the editor emphasizing our disgust.

In regard to BuckinghamGasMan's reply: if the contract we property owners have is not signed and the gas companies only recorded a memorandum, does a signed contract exist?

Andrew Paulhamus
If there is anything on file from the gas company in the courthouse, there does in fact have to be a signed contract. However, I noticed what some of the gas companies were doing was filing the MOU prior to completing their end of the contract - making payment. I noticed once we started getting offers from other landmen the memorandum showed up in the courthouse.

There is no real invasion of privacy here, in fact the sun gazette is behind most of the other areas who have already posted this information online. This will most definately cause an increase in the junk mail from all local financial institutions and investment firms, but simply ignoring them as always is good practice.
Junk mail may not be the only issue here, which has already increased in our areas - but lets keep the postal service going and our recycling alive (at least those who bother to recycle) -- I wish I owned a security system business -- I am afraid people will actually have unwelcomed visitors with addresses listed in the papers. The amounts are not really the issue either - there has been alot of media coverage as to the value of the Marcellus Shale area. I only live in the Williamsport paper's delivery area and our whole area is going to change and very positively --it will also bring more crime and rift raft to the area to follow the "Gas Gold Rush" as it has been referred to in the past. As for following other papers - we need to rise above that and watch out for our own people.

A contract between a person and a Gas Company should be a private matter just like our saleries, spending, and medical records. I just think so things are a need to know and I don't think it is the papers judgement as to who to know our information. I know of people who still have family values and would even like for their children to think they have to work hard in school and maybe work for their college degrees instead of waiting for handouts. Don't we already hand out toooooooooooo much in this country so that some think it is their right to receive and not have to contribute???????????????? Food for thought !!!!!!
PA is a "race to file" state. Delaying the filing of a lease could jeopardize the original lease if a Landowner was dishonest and signed another lease after signing the original. A memo is written under the Memorandum Act and must reference an existing contract/lease to be valid.
Andrew. the Memo is signed as well and is bound by the rules of the Memorandum Act.
I am not sure how a lease is compared to real estate transfers? It is totally different ---- the person is not giving up their property. legal or not it seems like it has no reason to be put in the paper and especially morally. People should expect so privacy.
There are specific laws in PA that must be followed with regard to leasing of any kind. Memorandum laws also apply.  Leasing is publc information and the papers are just adding another reason to subscibe or log on. NO financial amounts are listed in any body of leases and no money paid is public record.
They printed a followup a few days ago in regards to how many complaints they recieved after writing last week that they would have it in the paper this weekend. They said that whenever possible they won't be including addresses.. Benefit is to know who your neighbors leased with I guess.


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