Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Belmont
NICOLAE VINTILESCU, Trustee of the Vintilescu Family Trust, et al. PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES
DAVID K. SCHAFFNER, et al. DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Belmont County, Ohio
Case No. 13 CV 385
Plaintiffs-Appellees Attorney John Estadt Attorney Kyle
Defendants-Appellants Attorney David Schaffner
Mary DeGenaro Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Carol Ann Robb
Defendants-Appellants, David K. Schaffner, et al., appeal the
trial court's decision to apply the 1989 version of R.C.
5301.56, Ohio's Dormant Mineral Act, and thereby granting
summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs-Appellees, Nicolae
Vintilescu, Trustee of the Vintilescu Family Trust, et al.
It was error for the trial court to resolve this action by
applying the 1989 version of R.C. 5301.56 as the Ohio Supreme
Court recently held the 2006 version controls. Accordingly,
the trial court's judgment is reversed and the case
remanded for the trial court to apply the 2006 version of
R.C. 5301.56, pursuant to the Ohio Supreme Court's recent
rulings regarding the DMA.
Appellees are the surface owners of certain real property in
Belmont County. On October 21, 2013, Appellees filed a
complaint against Appellants for, inter alia, quiet title.
Underlying their claims was Appellees' assertion that
R.C. 5301.56 operated to extinguish Appellants' severed
mineral interests in that real property. Appellants filed an
answer and counterclaim. Appellees filed a Civ.R. 12(C)
motion for judgment on the pleadings. One of the disputed
issues was whether the 1989 or 2006 version of R.C. 5301.56
On December 18, 2014, the trial court granted Appellees'
motion for judgment on the pleadings; in doing so it applied
the 1989 version only and dismissed Appellants'
counterclaim. This appeal had been stayed on February 9, 2015
pending the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in multiple
cases regarding, inter alia, whether the 1989 or the 2006
version of R.C. 5301.56 controls.
In Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, Slip
Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-5796 (Sept. 15, 2016), ¶ 2, the
Court held "the 2006 version of the Dormant Mineral Act,
which is codified at R.C. 5301.56, applies to all claims
asserted after June 30, 2006[.]" On October 11, 2016,
this case was returned to the active docket.
Appellants assert the following assignments of error:
The trial court erred in applying the 1989 version of the
Ohio Dormant Mineral Act to the subject case.
The trial court erred in determining that the 1989 Dormant
Mineral Act "automatically" vested the mineral
interest in the surface owners.
In Corban, the Ohio Supreme Court held the 2006
version of R.C. 5301.56 ...