Abandoned Mineral Interest

I have received a Summons from Monroe County Common Pleas Court to appear as (one of many, many) defendants by Plaintiffs RG & CS, LLC and the Trustees of R and C Winkler Living Trust who, apparently are using Ohio’s Abandoned Property laws to steal mineral rights that have been in my family since 1897. I am at a total loss as to what I can do at this point. I live in Connecticut and I’m assuming based on the numbers of defendants that my portion of mineral rights is quite small and maybe not worth fighting for, ( or paying an attorney to defend.) I just feel it is wrong and somehow, oh, I don’t know, un-American. I am wondering if anyone else is or has been in the same boat, so to speak, and could offer some advice.

The Ohio Dormant Mineral Act is quite a frustration for many Ohio mineral owners. Every state has different laws on how minerals are treated when they have been “unused” for a specified period of time. If you want to try to keep your minerals, I would suggest gathering your family members and retaining a lawyer or trying to represent yourself. It would benefit you to gather information about your mineral rights as well. Monroe is a pretty active county so it is likely that this has been going on for quite a while and the people are fighting for royalties that are being held in suspense. Let me know if you have any specific questions that I can help with.

~Rachel

We had minerals that belonged to my dad in Monroe County Ohio put in his name in 2014. He died in 2016. Do they automatically go to my mother or are there steps we have to take to put in her name so they are not considered “abandoned”?

Not giving legal advice, but you would most likely have to probate his estate, get the minerals into your mother’s name (if she inherits) and claim them in her name (if she inherits). Consult an attorney licensed in OH.