Ohio Supreme Court Further Clarifies ‘Reasonable Diligence’ Standard under the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act
On March 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued its decision in Fonzi v. Brown and Fonzi v. Miller, Slip Opinion No. 2022-Ohio-901, discussing the level of due diligence required of a surface owner to provide notice to a severed mineral interest owner in order to abandon said mineral interest under the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA). The court held that a surface owners did not exercise reasonable due diligence when they failed to conduct a public record search in the county where the last known mineral interest holder resided, despite having knowledge of the same, and instead only conducted a search in the county in which the subject land is situated.
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