The Seventh District Court of Appeals recently issued a decision in Thompson v. Custer, 11th Dist. Trumbull No. 2014-T-0052 (Dec. 29, 2014) concerning the applicability of the 1989 version of R.C. 5301.56 (the “1989 DMA”).
Following the reasoning of the Seventh District in Walker v. Shondrick-Nau (appeal accepted by the Supreme Court of Ohio) and the Fifth District’s recent decision in Wendt v. Dickerson, the Eleventh District held that the 1989 DMA remains applicable to quiet title actions filed after the statute’s amendment in 2006, and operates to abandon and vest a severed mineral interest with a surface owner automatically where no savings event occurred within the twenty years preceding its effective date. The court also ruled that the 1989 DMA is constitutional based on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Texaco v. Short, 454 U.S. 516 (1982), which concerned the constitutionality of Indiana’s Mineral Lapse Act.
Custer is the Eleventh District’s first decision concerning the 1989 DMA. The Eleventh District covers Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage, and Trumbull Counties.
The issue of whether the 1989 or 2006 version of R.C. 5301.56 controls quiet title actions filed after the statute’s amendment in 2006 is also pending before the Supreme Court of Ohio. See Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., Case No. 2014-0804, and Shannon/Swartz v. Householder, Case Nos. 2014-1208 and 2014-1209.
This article was authored by Alex Quay, Jackson Kelly PLLC.