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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ohio Appellate Court Rules on Case Related to Dormant Minerals Act

From Vorys:
In Walker v. Noon, the Seventh District Court of Appeals recently addressed two issues concerning the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA).  In Walker, the Court of Appeals held:
(1)  for the purposes of the DMA, a severed mineral interest was not the “subject of” a title transaction that conveyed the surface with a restatement of a prior mineral reservation;
(2) the 1989 version of the DMA automatically vested a surface owner with a severed mineral interest where no savings events occurred within the statute’s look-back period, and that such vesting was not disturbed by the amendment of the DMA in 2006.
The Seventh District Court of Appeals covers Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe and Noble counties.

BACKGROUND

The appellant (Noon) purchased a tract of land in Noble County in 1964. In 1965, Noon sold the surface of the property but reserved the mineral rights. Thereafter, the surface was transferred through conveyances in 1970 and 1977. The 1970 and 1977 conveyances repeated the mineral reservation and provided the volume and page number of the original reserving deed.  The appellee (Walker) purchased the property in 2009. On December 2, 2011, Walker sent a notice of abandonment under the 2006 version of the DMA to Noon. On January 10, 2012, Noon filed a claim to preserve.
To read about the court's decision, click right here.

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