Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Monroe
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County, Ohio
Case No. 2017-002.
Stubbins, Atty. Kyle Witucky, Atty. Grant Stubbins, Stubbins,
Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., for Plaintiff-Appellant, and
Michael Shaheen, Atty. Kristina Herman, Shaheen Law Group,
BEFORE: Gene Donofrio, Carol Ann Robb, David A.
OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
Plaintiff-appellant, Stephen Kilburn, appeals the judgment of
the Monroe County Common Pleas court granting summary
judgment in favor of defendants-appellees, Steven Wells,
Marcia Wells, Carl Wells, Patricia Wells, Julie Myers, and
Thomas J. Myers, on his quiet title action concerning an oil
and gas royalty.
In 1919, Frieda and Chancy Ankrom were the owners of the
surface rights of 120 acres of real property, more or less,
in Malaga Township in Monroe County, Ohio (the property). In
addition to the surface rights, Frieda and Chancy also owned
an undivided 1/2 interest of the oil and gas royalty in the
In a deed dated May 27, 1919, the Ankroms conveyed "unto
F.F Burkhart, A.C. and E.L. Peters and H.J. Cooper the
one-half part or share of their royalty of all [the oil] and
gas in and under [the property]." Appellees are heirs of
F.F. Burkhart died intestate on September 21, 1935. A
certificate of transfer from the probate court filed February
12, 1937 conveyed from F.F. Burkhart to Hazel May Wells
"the undivided one-sixth part of the oil and gas
royalty" in the property.
On November 18, 1980, Hazel filed a notice of preservation of
her oil and gas royalty pursuant to R.C. 5301.52. This notice
indicated that Hazel was the owner of "an undivided
one-sixth part of the oil and gas royalty" of the
On May 29, 1996, Hazel conveyed her entire one-sixth interest
in the oil and gas royalty of the property to appellees Carl
Wells and Patricia Wells.
On June 2, 2005, appellant became the owner of the surface
rights to the property via a warranty deed.
On July 9, 2014, appellees Carl Wells and Patricia Wells
conveyed "an undivided one-half interest in all of our
ownership interest in the oil, gas and other minerals"
to appellees Steven Wells and Julie Myers. Appellee Marcia
Wells is the wife of appellee Steven Wells and appellee
Thomas Myers is the husband of appellee Julie Myers.
Appellant filed this action seeking, among other things,
quiet title to the oil and gas interest and declaratory
judgment. Appellant's quiet title claim was premised on
the Marketable Title Act. Appellant's declaratory
judgment claim sought a declaration that: appellees Carl and
Patricia Wells only owned an undivided 1/32 interest in the
oil and gas royalty of the property, appellee Steven Wells
only owned an undivided 1/64 interest in the oil and gas
royalty of the property, and appellee Julie Myers only owned
an undivided 1/64 interest in the oil and gas royalty of the
property. Appellant served all interest ...