In regards to Wiseman vs. Potts and the dormant mineral statue -5301.56, what must the heirs of an old mineral reservation do at present time to preserve their mineral rights, absent the surface owner filing a quite title suit or affidavit of abandonment?
1) Read ORC 5301.56 and the related sections referenced in it over and over until you understand them fully. You can preserve the severed mineral interest in a few different ways according to the law but you have to understand it and how it can be applied to your specific situation first.
2) Hire a good oil and gas attorney to take care of this for you.
Would the "look back -20 year- saving event" period be 1969 - 1989 OR would it be from time of notification or publication by the surface owner to the mineral owner?
That is a good question for someone like the attorneys from Vorys in Columbus who argued the Wiseman v Potts case. They would have to look at the specifics of an individual case and decide how it fits within the law. I'm not necessarily endorsing them but they have the experience with this issue so...
Vorys shouldn't be your first choice unless price is no object and you like paying more for the same thing. Vorys hasn't distinguished themselves in the area of oil or gas. I wouldn't count their opinion as more valuable than any number of more affordable and equally qualified options in your county or a neighboring one. What county do you live in?
Live in Wayne. Have land in Wayne, Stark, and Belmont. The post about Vorys was over a year ago. At the time, they were the only ones who had stuck their neck out very far on this issue. Things have changed considerably in the past year and we're currently working with the attorney from the Wendt v Dickerson case.
Would you think that it is a large or small percentage of lands in Ohio that are affected by Wiseman vs. Potts; 5301.56 - 1989; as amended 2006?
Tough question, I know, but what is your best guess?
Small percentage-wise when compared to all the acres in Ohio but we're talking about hundreds of thousands of acres affected.
Gee John, I don't want you to be mad at me :(
Another verdict was just handed down that went the same way as Wendt v Dickerson. In Walker v Noon, once again the defendant's claim to the minerals was considered null and void since he didn't have any saving acts 20 years prior to 1992.
I never believed that we lived in a state where judges could arbitrarily steal assets from one person and give them to another. This is maybe the most liberal law Ohio has ever seen and nobody seems to care.
Judges are not arbitrarily stealing anything. It is based on the 1989 Dormant Minerals Act which basically said that if you want to indefinitely preserve a dormant mineral reservation, you need to create a separate deed for it and pay taxes on it like any other real estate. No more free rides by holding onto a mineral interest indefinitely without paying the appropriate RE taxes. Many other states use the same system. This also created a means for there to be a public record of who was saving which mineral interests and also allowed landowners with severed interests to pay RE taxes based on the REAL valuation of their land (less the severed mineral interest). A hundred acre parcel with a severed mineral interest is worth less than 100 acres next door that has the mineral interest intact with the surface. The law has been around since 1989 and if you waited until 2013 (24 years later) to do something to preserve a mineral interest, then you just might lose it. Ignorance of the law is no excuse in court.