So who has been screwed by the Ohio Supreme Court Mineral rights ruling.

Now what  ?  you play by the rules and then they change them ? How is this possible ??  there are lots and lots of unhappy people right now..........

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10 years ago, My parents transferred all minerals except one coal vein(sold in 1910) into an LLC made up of the family. This was done for tax purposes and estate planning. I was the CFO of the LLC and immediately received a  separate property tax bill amounting to about $1.50 per acre for the minerals. This is in addition to the surface property tax bill. I know it is not much of an expense considering what we have gotten for the leases. We receive this bill every 6 months on the minerals. The surface has since been sold. My question is this, have these people who have reserved the mineral rights been paying property taxes? If they have not, wouldn't they owe the local taxing authority some money for property they owned, but did not pay taxes on? BTW our property is in Jefferson County, Ohio.

Your family had an obligation to record the minerals in their name and also to file a preservation. It is not the responsibility of the surface owner to go to the expense of locating 'heirs' only to have these 'heirs' file a preservation without any proof that they actually inherited the minerals. My family came from a long line of Saffells located in Belmont County. Just because I can trace my family history back to an ancestor that owned minerals in 1900 does not entitle me to file a preservation on those minerals without proving I have a right to them. Gas and oil companies are having 'heirs' sign Affidavits ( that the oil and gas company has filled out) affirming that they are in fact heirs without even knowing who the mineral holder was in relation to them. The G and O Companies are having independent contractor companies search for these heirs and sign as many as possible ( since the contractor gets paid according to how many they locate). Whether or not they are legitimate seems to be secondary. The G and O Company then either signs a lease for a fraction of what the lease is worth or buys the mineral rights at a pittance. Since most of these 'heirs' are from out of state - usually out west - they have no idea if it's a good contract or not - they just see free money.

Thanks for posting as I have not heard this spin on these mineral rights issues.  Am I correct that if the person who reserved the minerals willed them or transferred them to one one child then only that line of heirs would be the legal owners?

Belmontlandowner, Our attorney explained to our family that we were never obligated to file a preservation for the minerals unless we were given notice from a surface owner that they were trying to Abandon the rights. In order to abandon the rights, the surface owner is obligated to locate the heirs and provide them with notice. I don't believe that process was put in place for the sole benefit of the surface owners. Luckily for us, we have a family member who saw a post in the newspaper regarding the minerals abanondment my great grand father owned and they contacted the attorney who helped us file the preservation. If they hadn't seen the article in the paper we would have had to take legal action bc they didn't contact anyone in our family, even the local folks were never contacted. I understand both sides of the argument but you can't take someone's property rights away, whether they were aware they owned them or not. I believe when many surface owners bought property where the minerals were sold off or kept by the prior owner they knew of this when they purchased the surface of the property. Its very likely they may not find every person who is an heir, so maybe the surface owners could claim the interest those people would have inherited. Our attorney did a great job explaining everything to us before we signed anything. I think many people like you said see free money and don't look into whether or not they are receiving a fair offer.

Same here for our family and heirs. Our 500 acres of rights have been saved.

My message above was in response to Ryan's message. I'm not sure why my message went to the bottom of the page.
Per the 5301.56 statute, the surface owner is required to serve notice via Certified Letter to the mineral holder. If that holder can't be located, notice is to be served by publication in a local newspaper in the county where the land is located. We did both. We served those we could locate via certified mail and those that we couldn't locate or were unknown via local newspaper publication. None of those people filed a preservation in response to our notice.

It sounds like you did what was necessary. In our situation, the surface owner or their attorney didn't do any research or they would have easily found my family members and myself. Luckily a family member saw the newspaper post or we would have never had the chance to file a claim. I just don't understand how they didn't find us. I think they did the bare minimum in their research and hoped no one would find out


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