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Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals Weighs in on Dormant Mineral Act Issue

Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently held that the 1989 version of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act applies to current disputes concerning ownership of severed mineral estates. The court in Wendt v. Dickerson followed previous rulings from the Seventh District Court of Appeals to find that the 1989 DMA is self-executing in nature and automatically vests ownership of a severed mineral estate in the surface owner after a 20-year period of non-use. The Ohio Supreme Court is expected to provide the definitive ruling on whether the 1989 or 2006 version of the DMA applies in early 2015.