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Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Dormant Mineral Act Issue

In a unanimous decision, the Ohio Supreme Court held that under the 2006 Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”), the filing of a claim to preserve a mineral interest from being deemed abandoned is sufficient to preserve the mineral interest if it was recorded within 60 days following the notice of abandonment. Under this guidance, even if there are no otherwise qualifying savings events during the 20-year period preceding the notice of abandonment, the mineral interest can still be preserved by claim the timely filing of the claim to preserve.

The Ohio Supreme Court specifically noted that the parties to the underlying lawsuit did not dispute whether 1989 or 2006 version of the DMA applied so the court applied the 2006 DMA, as amended. The issue of which version applies will be decided in Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. and Walker v. Shondrick-Nau, which are pending before the Court. Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. was argued to the Court on May 6, 2015 and Walker v. Shondrick-Nau is scheduled for oral argument on June 23, 2015.