The two cases before the court are battles over mineral rights – who owns the potentially valuable stuff below the surface, in these cases, oil and gas.
Most landowners have both surface and mineral rights, but sometimes the two have been severed, meaning one owner controls the surface, while the other controls what’s beneath. Ohio law says if you own mineral rights but don’t exercise them for 20 years, the surface landowner can claim them back.
But then what does it mean to exercise your right to a property’s minerals?
That’s what the two Supreme Court cases are about. They both involve mineral rights owners from long ago, trying to reassert their ownership over the objection of surface landowners. The land in question is in Harrison County, part of the Utica shale gas boom, so the question of who owns what has big financial implications.Read the whole article here.
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