Amendment to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act

Attorney Michael J. Matasich reports on a new amendment to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act, which takes effect on January 30, 2014.

The 2006 version of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (R.C. § 5301.56) (“DMA”) requires surface owners to engage in a three-step process before severed mineral interests will be deemed abandoned and vested in the surface owner: (1) the surface owner must serve notice on the mineral interest owner; (2) the surface owner must timely record an affidavit of abandonment; and (3) if the mineral interest owner fails to timely record a claim or an affidavit of his/her own, the surface owner must cause the county recorder to “memorialize the record” to reflect that the mineral interest has been abandoned.

Effective January 30, 2014, the DMA no longer requires the surface owner to cause the county recorder to memorialize the record.  Instead, surface owners are now required to record a notice setting forth that the person filing the notice is the surface owner, a description of the surface that is subject to the mineral interest, and expressly stating, “This mineral interest abandoned pursuant to affidavit of abandonment recorded in volume . . ., page . . . .”  Upon the filing of this notice, the mineral interest will vest in the surface owner.

The text of the DMA showing the amendments can be found here.

Contact Michael J. Matasich for more information.