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Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction in Additional Dormant Mineral Act Case

The Supreme Court of Ohio has agreed to hear a question certified from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, regarding the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (the “ODMA”), in Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Kenneth Buell. The two questions certified to the Supreme Court of Ohio are:
• Is a recorded lease of a severed subsurface mineral estate a title transaction under the ODMA? and,
• Is the expiration of a recorded lease and the reversion of the rights granted under that lease a title transaction that restarts the twenty-year forfeiture clock under ODMA at the time of the reversion?
The district court did not certify the question of whether the 1989 version or 2006 version of the ODMA applied to the parties’ dispute. This question is currently the subject of appeals to the Fifth and Seventh District Courts of Appeal and may also be addressed by the Ohio Supreme Court in Dodd v. Croskey.