Hilton Doctrine Law and Legal Definition
Hilton doctrine refers to the principle set in the case Hilton v. Atlantic Refining Co., 327 F.2d 217 (5th Cir. Tex. 1964), where it was held that in a dispute between parties to an oil-and-gas lease, royalty owners who would lose their rights if the defendant's lease were terminated are regarded as indispensable parties to a proceeding challenging the lease. An indispensable party is one whose relationship to the matter in controversy in a suit in equity is such that no effective decree can be entered without affecting his rights.