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Seventh District Court of Appeals Reaffirms That a Severed Royalty Interest is Subject to Ohio’s Marketable Title Act

01.28.15 written by

In Covert v. Koontz, the Seventh District Court of Appeals reaffirmed its holding in Pollock v. Mooney which found a severed royalty interest was personal property, but nevertheless was subject to Ohio’s Marketable Title Act, as found in O.R.C. §§ 5301.47 – 5301.56 (“MTA”). At issue was a reservation of “the one-half royalty in oil & gas” contained within a deed recorded in 1903. 

Similar to Pollock, subsequent to the root of title, the heirs to the reserved interest alleged numerous title transactions occurred by virtue of interests passing through probate court. The Seventh District found this argument was waived by the failure to raise this issue at the trial court and to present any supporting evidence of such probate records. 

Finally, similar to Pollock, the Seventh District remanded to the trial court to determine which costs defendant was responsible for, noting that if defendant was responsible for a portion of the publication fee it should not exceed his proportional share of the publication (i.e., 1/5th of the total publication cost). 

A more thorough discussion of Pollock v. Mooney may be found here

Covert v. Koontzet al., 7th Dist. Monroe No. 13 MO 8, 2015-Ohio-228 (Jan. 20, 2015)

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.

If you have any questions concerning this client alert, please contact Attorney Gregory W. Watts at 330-497-0700.