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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Mr. Mauck,

It seems to me that the DMAs apply strictly to 'severed' mineral rights / 'severed' mineral rights only ?

To me that would mean that a Deed and / or some document that records ownership of the retained Mineral Rights would have to exist.

Are those valid and / or correct understandings ?


Without such why would not such a claim against a surface owner thinking he or she owns their mineral rights (per DMA 1989 for instance especially after making an investment in land including Mineral Rights considering same) be ruled frivolous ?

A title search would determine the deed in the past where the minerals were separated from the surface. My guess is that in many land sales

 or when land was passed from one family member to another a thorough title search wasn't done that would show this. Before 2010 most people didn't care about oil & gas rights anyway. Many titles for land that has been sold or passed down in the family several times may only say something like "subject to all restrictions of record" without mentioning the specific volume and page of the deed where the surface & the oil & gas rights were separated from each other.

My guess is that many surface owners didn't know their oil & gas rights were separated from the surface until there was a title search done when they were about to lease their oil & gas rights. That's when they tried to use the ODMA to get them.

It does not seem to do away with the 20 year usage rule, it just means that the property owners have to apply for a quit claim deed because the 20 period has passed rather than it being automatically. Looks like more money for lawyers.

In light of the new DMA ruling do you think this will open the oil/gas boom up again?

Justice Pfeifer got it right with his dissenting vote. The majority managed to re-write the 89 DMA by adding language to it that does not exist ( judicial determination of "intent to abandon") The majority then chose to ignore language that does exist (shall vest) while focusing only on "shall be deemed" The majority has managed to erase 17 years of history(1989-2006).What's next? Will they try to remove more history by removing the names of our forefathers from school names? Wait a minute,I think there was mention of that out in California. I agree with DESJR. This will probably end up in the US Supreme court. Wonder if this decision by the majority has anything to do with the thousands of acres that were at stake that are owned by the state of Ohio??? 

State of Ohio isn't subject to the same rules that apply to Ohio citizens neither were/are coal owners. 5301.56 B (1) The mineral interest is in coal, or in mining or other rights pertinent to or exercisable in connection with an interest in coal, as described in division (E) of section 5301.53 of the Revised Code. However, if a mineral interest includes both coal and other minerals that are not coal, the mineral interests that are not in coal may be deemed abandoned and vest in the owner of the surface of the lands subject to the interest.

(2) The mineral interest is held by the United States, this state, or any political subdivision, body politic, or agency of the United States or this state, as described in division (G) of section 5301.53 of the Revised Code.

The courts are still arguing over what the savings events actually are, most specifically "being subject of a title transaction".  If no one knows what the savings events actually were, How could something be self executing?  Glad they are stopping the theft.  Surface owners knew what they were purchasing and want something for nothing.

Scott,

So do purchasers of land also know what they purchased when they bought both surface and subsurface and especially considering there was no specification / law that required a purchaser to serve any 'quiet title action' to validate the purchase.
Thinking it probably best for the Lessee to serve any required 'quiet title action' on behalf of the Lessor as part of their 'due diligence' (along with real estate taxes / severance taxes /product enhancement costs / etc. since all are wrought by production).

They're all 'Lawyered Up' and gleen the lion's share of the production compensation anyway.

As soon as Walker v Nau was originally filed, mineral preservations were filed at the county court house on everything my family owned.  Now that the 2006 version applies to any future claims, the mineral ownership should be preserved, unless the SCOTUS gets involved.

What 'type' of 'mineral preservations' we're filed on behalf of your family owned land, Scott ?

They do not own land, they severed and owned the minerals.

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