Expert Says OH DMA Decision “Significantly Changed” Mineral Rights

game-changer.jpgMDN has been reporting on the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (DMA) for years. 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 went before the Ohio Supreme Court. In May, Ohio attorney David Wigham (Roetzel & Andress law firm) said there are signs that the Supremes were about to release a massive, all-in-one-go ruling on the DMA (see OH Attorney Predicts DMA Ruling to Come Soon, Settle Now). He was right. In September they did rule in three cases, saying all of the other cases come under those three (see Important: OH Supreme Court Finally Rules on Dormant Mineral Act). Following that ruling, we brought you insights on what it all means from international law firm Jones Day (see One More Look at Important OH Supreme Court DMA Decision). Since the series of DMA decisions are so important to both drillers and landowners, we thought we would bring you follow up analysis from the lawyer who predicted it was coming–David Wigham. In speaking about the decision, Wigham says, “[T]he landscape regarding title and ownership to mineral interests in Ohio has significantly changed”…

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