David M. Blackstone et al. v. Susan E. Moore et al., Case No. 2017-1639
Seventh District Court of Appeals (Monroe County)
- Under Ohio's Marketable Title Act, does the definition of "specific identification" regarding a reservation in a title mean the volume and page number of the index must be included in the reference?
- Does actual knowledge of a reservation of a mineral right that is not specifically identified in a title qualify as an exception to the Marketable Title Act, which would preserve that reservation?
The advent of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, opened up large portions of Ohio for oil and gas drilling that were once thought inaccessible, and now are deemed valuable. Several Ohio property owners have disputed who owns the mineral rights under surface properties that have changed ownership over the years. In Ohio, there are two ways to extinguish old claims of mineral rights that were made when the mineral rights were severed from the surface property rights. Property owners can attempt to extinguish the rights through the Dormant Mineral Act or the Ohio Marketable Title Act. The Ohio Supreme Court has clarified in recent years how to apply the Dormant Mineral Act. The parties in this case are seeking the Court's interpretation of the Ohio Marketable Title Act and its potential use to extinguish a severed oil and gas right.