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Monday, January 30, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Won't Consider Ohio Dormant Mineral Act Case

From Vorys Energy & Environmental Law Blog:
Today, in its Order List, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Jon D. Walker, Jr. v. Patricia J. Shondrick-Nau, Executrix of the Estate of John R. Noon and Successor Trustee of the John R. Noon Trust. Walker involved interpretation and application of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (R.C. § 5301.56) (the “DMA“), and was most recently decided by the Supreme Court of Ohio. 
The Supreme Court of Ohio Decision 
In 2012, Walker filed a complaint to have a dormant mineral interest declared abandoned pursuant to the 1989 version of the DMA (the “1989 DMA“). Prior to the filing of his complaint, certain lower courts in Ohio had held that the 1989 DMA automatically abandoned dormant mineral interests when the record revealed that none of the six “savings events” occurred from March 22, 1969 to March 22, 1992. In concluding that the dormant mineral interest was not abandoned, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that the 1989 DMA was not self-executing; instead, the 1989 DMA created only a conclusive presumption as to abandonment. The Court further held that the abandonment procedure set forth in the 2006 version of the DMA (the “2006 DMA“) applies to all claims to abandon dormant mineral interests asserted after June 30, 2006.
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