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5th District Ct. of Appeals Holds Repetition of Reservation in a Deed Without Name of the Reserving Party Does Not Preserve the Interest Under the MTA

02.06.20 written by

On December 30, 2019, in Erickson v. Morrison, 2019-Ohio-5430, the Fifth District Court of Appeals had to decide whether a reservation repeated in the chain of title was sufficiently specific enough to preserve the interest under the MTA and Ohio Supreme Court’s decision in Blackstone v. Moore.  Blackstone adopted a three-part test to determine whether a reference or repetition is specific: (1) Is there an interest described with the chain of title? (2) If so, is the reference to that interest a “general reference”? (3) If the answers to the first two questions are yes, does the general reference contain a specific identification of a recorded title transaction? 

The repetition at issue did not contain information identifying the owner of the interest.  The Court looked to the definitions of “general” and “specific.”  The Court noted that in Blackstone, the Ohio Supreme Court noted the interest in that case included by whom the interest was originally reserved, and ultimately held that a reference that includes the type of interest created and to whom the interest was granted, is sufficiently specific to preserve the interest.  In this case, the language at issue did not state by whom the interest was originally reserved, nor to whom the interest was granted.  Thus, the Court held that the reference was general and did not preserve the interest.

NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.