Monday, April 14, 2014

Ohio Appellate Court Affirms Automatic Vesting of Severed Mineral Interests Under Ohio’s 1989 Dormant Minerals Act

The Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals, in Walker v. Noon, held on April 3, 2014, that severed mineral interests automatically revert back to the surface owner under the 1989 Dormant Mineral Act. The Ohio Appellate Court held that the 1989 version of the Dormant Mineral Act automatically vested a surface owner with a severed mineral interest where no savings events occurred within the statute’s look-back period.  The Appellate Court further held that the notice requirements of the 2006 amendment to the Act do not apply retroactively.  The Appellate Court also reaffirmed that a severed mineral interest was not the subject of a title transaction that only conveyed the surface with a restatement of a prior mineral reservation.   This 7th District Decision adds further clarity to the Dormant Mineral Act issues that continue to arise in Ohio’s trial courts.

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