Walker v Nau: supreme court case decided in favor of mineral rights owners!!!

Check out the Ohio Supreme Court website to read the decisions. Both Walker v Nau & Corban v Chesapeake have been decided in favor of the mineral rights owners. There is no automatic vesting. Hurray!!!

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They realized from day one that there would be lawsuits and they would be expected to pay what they were suppose to pay anyway according to the leases. Their deal is all the people who don't sue are saving them lots of $$$$.

seeing how the Indiana DMA was ultimately ruled on by the US Supreme Court, ( and confirming the self executing aspect of it) I would expect to see this heading there as well. Lots of people will still be in limbo for quite some time methinks.

Page 33 of 52 in the Corban vs CHK Slip Opinion, addresses the Indiana DMA and explains why it is NOT the same issue addressed in the Ohio SC decision

bet it still ends up in the high court regardless of what this opinion of this court states. Does not a(e)ffect me either way. The way I see it, the states opinion is the states opinion. Not necessarily  what the USSC may or may not render. Bottom line is it is only a states opinion and I am willing to bet it gets there.

The attorneys I am sure, took these on a contingency basis for a percentage of the minerals. They will fight this to the bitter end. No payday for them unless they do.

Now the next question. For all the bonus money & royalties that have been paid to surface owners but should have been paid to mineral rights owners, who has to reimburse the mineral rights owners, the surface owners from what they've been paid wrongly or the oil & gas companies that paid the wrong people?

It probably will depend on the lease.  

That probably did not happen much as the companies leasing the mineral sare usually pretty careful about what they lease and wont touch any cloudy minerals...at least that has been my experience with my cloudy minerals lol

Can't speak for others, only what Garrison put into the Noble County group.

It happened to me. I'm on both sides of the fence. I'm a surface owner on some property where the mineral rights owners have now won the case. I was paid my bonus...twice. I also am included in a lawsuit where our side won the lawsuit but the surface owner was paid the bonus money 5 years ago & has been receiving royalties. It will be interesting to see how this plays out..

One thing is certain....the lawyers are going to get a large share no matter how it comes down.

Ohio Supreme Court Reconciles Application of the 1989 and 2006 Versions of Dormant Mineral Act

On September 15, 2016, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued its much-anticipated decisions in multiple appeals dealing with the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act, Ohio Revised Code § 5301.56 (DMA).  Using Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. (Slip Op. No. 2016-Ohio-5796), as the lead case to determine the pivotal legal issues, the Supreme Court held:

  1. The 1989 version of the DMA is not self-executing, and, therefore, did not cause ownership of mineral rights to automatically transfer to the owner of the surface rights;

  2. Because the 1989 DMA is not self-executing, a surface owner must bring a quiet title action to obtain a judicial decree that a mineral interest has been abandoned and is merged with the surface estate pursuant to the 1989 DMA; and

  3. The 2006 DMA, and not the 1989 DMA, applies to all claims asserted after June 30, 2006, the effective date of the 2006 amendments to the statute.

The Court applied its holding in Corban to all of the pending DMA appeals, but provided specific commentary only in its decisions in Walker v. Shondrick-Nau (Slip Op. No. 2016-Ohio-5793), and Albanese v. Batman and Lipperman v. Batman (combined) (Slip Op. No. 2016-Ohio-5814).  The remaining decisions merely reference the result (affirmance or reversal of the appellate court decision), with a cursory reference to CorbanWalker, or the Court’s previous decision in Dodd v. Croskey (143 Ohio St.3d 293).

Corban v. Chesapeake: The 1989 DMA Is Not Self-Executing, and the 2006 DMA Applies to All Claims Brought to Court After June 30, 2006

In Corban, the Supreme Court was tasked with answering the following certified question of state law from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio: “Does the 2006 version or the 1989 version of the [Dormant Mineral Act] apply to claims asserted after 2006 alleging that the rights to oil, gas, and other minerals automatically vested in the surface land holder prior to the 2006 amendments as a result of abandonment?”

The Court answered the certified question and concluded that the 2006 DMA applies to all claims asserted after June 30, 2006.  In comparing the 1989 DMA to the Ohio Marketable Title Act, the Supreme Court did not equate the former’s use of the word “deemed” with the latter’s use of “extinguish” and “null and void.”  Rather, the Court determined that the 1989 DMA creates a conclusive presumption (i.e., an evidentiary device) as to the abandonment of severed mineral interests.  Therefore, the surface owner must bring a quiet title action in order to terminate abandoned mineral rights pursuant to the 1989 DMA.  The Court believed that the Ohio General Assembly did not intend that mineral rights would automatically transfer to surface owners outside of the record chain of title.

The 2006 DMA contains a specific procedure for serving notice upon mineral interest holders, who must either file a claim to preserve or an affidavit in order to protect their interest from abandonment.  These requirements help to establish the surface owner’s marketable title.  After the 2006 DMA became effective on June 30, 2006, surface owners were required to comply with its notice and recording procedures before the mineral rights could be deemed abandoned and vested to the surface owner.  Importantly, the Court indicated that these procedures apply equally to claims that mineral interests were abandoned prior to, or after, the amendments became effective.  The 2006 DMA further avoids the constitutional perils of retroactivity because it applies prospectively as to all claims asserted after its effective date.  The amended statute implements a procedure for dealing with claims to mineral rights, and does not adversely affect any substantive rights that may have accrued prior to its enactment.



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