OH Attorney Predicts DMA Ruling to Come Soon, Settle Now

David J Wigham

David J Wigham

MDN has been reporting on the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (DMA) for years (see Video: OH Lawyers Explain Dormant Minerals Act & Impact on Utica). In a nutshell, there are two DMAs in Ohio–one passed in 1989 that went into effect in 1992, and another in 2006 which added certain additional procedural requirements to the 1989 version. The DMA in its various versions provides for mineral rights that had previously been separated from surface rights to transfer back to the surface owner under certain conditions. The problem, for drillers and for landowners in Ohio, is in knowing which set of DMA rules to use (1989 or 2006) in determining who owns the mineral rights. A number of DMA cases have gone before the Ohio Supreme Court. Some of the minor cases have been decided (see Ohio Supreme Court Rules in Important Dormant Mineral Act Case). However, most of the big cases remain stalled at the Supreme Court. That is, until now. Ohio attorney David Wigham (Roetzel & Andress law firm) says there are signs that the Supremes are about to release a massive, all-in-one-go ruling on the DMA. He says if landowners (and drillers) were waiting to see which way the wind will blow, they may want to settle now before the Big Decision comes down…

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