On December 12, the Seventh District Court of Appeals issued two companion decisions regarding the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (“1989 DMA”): Lipperman v. Batman (Case No. 14 BE 2) and Albanese v. Batman (Case No. 14 BE 22). The decisions concerned mineral rights that were severed sometime prior to 1969 and came to be vested in Frances Batman. In 1981, Frances Batman recorded a claim to preserve the mineral interest under the Ohio Marketable Title Act. Later in 1981 Frances Batman died (while residing in another state). Her will, which bequeathed all her property to Nile Batman, was recorded in the Belmont County recorder’s office in April 1989. No certificate of transfer was ever issued.
The Court of Appeals found that Frances Batman’s claim to preserve, filed in 1981, qualified as a savings event that preserved the severed mineral interest under the 1989 DMA. The court premised its holding on the 1989 DMA operating through a fixed look-back period. The court further found that it did not need to reach the issue of whether the will of Frances Batman, filed in 1989, qualified as a savings event because under a fixed look-back period, the claim to preserve filed in 1981 was sufficient by itself to preserve the severed mineral interest.
Read the decisions below: