Senterra Ltd. v. Alan T. Winland et al., Case No. 2020-0197
Seventh District Court of Appeals (Belmont County)
Does Ohio follow the "Duhig Rule," which would declare a deed void because a property owner attempted to grant more rights to the property than the owner possessed?
Under the Ohio Marketable Title Act, can extinguished reservations of oil and gas rights allow for other oil and gas rights to take effect?
Senterra Ltd. owns 141 acres in Belmont County. In the company's chain-of-title to the surface property are five older documents that severed the oil and gas rights from the surface property. The older documents were created between 1925 and 1954.
In 2018, Senterra filed a complaint in Belmont County Common Pleas Court to extinguish all of the old mineral rights. Several individuals claiming to be the descendants of the original oil and gas rights owners objected. The trial court sided with Senterra, and the descendants appealed to the Seventh District Court of Appeals. The Seventh District invalidated four of the five reservations of mineral rights, but ruled that by applying the Ohio Marketable Title Act, the fifth reservation survived.
Senterra appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.