Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction in Dormant Mineral Act Case

By Michael T. Altvater

The Ohio Supreme Court has accepted jurisdiction of a discretionary appeal in Dodd v. Croskey, which involves Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). Under the DMA there are several “savings events” which may occur in the previous twenty years that will prevent the abandonment and vesting of a severed mineral interest in the owner of the surface. One of the savings events involves the holder of the severed mineral interest filing a “claim to preserve” the mineral interest after receiving notice of the surface owner’s intent to declare it abandoned.

The Seventh District Court of Appeals previously held that the claim to preserve did not have to occur during the twenty-year period prior to the surface owner providing notice to the holder of the mineral interest. Instead, the present act of filing the claim to preserve after receiving notice was sufficient. The Ohio Supreme Court is poised to decide whether the present act of filing a claim to preserve satisfies the DMA or whether it must have been filed during the previous twenty-year period.

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