Crum v. Yoder

<p>[Cite as Crum v. Yoder, 2020-Ohio-5046.] IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO SEVENTH APPELLATE DISTRICT MONROE COUNTY BETTY MORRIS CRUM et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. ADEN M. YODER et al., Defendants-Appellees. OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY Case No. 20 MO 0005 Civil Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County, Ohio Case No. 2018-502 BEFORE: Carol Ann Robb, Gene Donofrio, Cheryl L. Waite, Judges. JUDGMENT: Affirmed. [Cite as Crum v. Yoder, 2020-Ohio-5046.] Atty. Aaron Bruggeman, Atty. Craig Sweeney, Bricker &amp; Eckler LLP, 258 Front Street, Marietta, Ohio 45750 for Plaintiffs-Appellants and Atty. Melissa Schumacher, Atty. Richard Yoss, Yoss Law Office, LLC, 122 North Main Street, Woodsfield, Ohio 43793 and Atty. J. Fraifogl, Atty. Timothy Pettorini, Roetzel &amp; Andress, LPA, 222 South Main Street, Suite 400, Akron, Ohio 44308 for Defendants- Appellees Dated: October 26, 2020 Robb, J. {¶1} Plaintiffs-Appellants Betty Morris Crum et al. (“the Morris heirs”) appeal the decision of the Monroe County Common Pleas Court denying their motion for summary judgment. Seeking a declaratory judgment, they asked the trial court to find their mineral interest was not abandoned under the 2006 Dormant Mineral Act. Specifically, the Morris heirs argued the mineral interest was not abandoned because the 2011 notice of abandonment was invalidly served by publication and/or there was a savings event in a 1994 deed. In denying their summary judgment motion, the trial court issued legal holdings rejecting these arguments and essentially issued a declaratory judgment against the Morris heirs and in favor of Defendants-Appellees Aden Yoder, LL&amp;B Headwater I, LP, and Doubledown LLC. We therefore find the trial court issued a final appealable order. {¶2} For the reasons expressed herein, the assignments of error set forth by the Morris heirs are overruled, the trial court’s judgment is affirmed, and judgment is entered in favor of Appellees. STATEMENT OF THE CASE {¶3} Ernie Morris conveyed approximately 60 acres in Monroe County to himself and his wife, Louise I. Morris, “for their joint lives, remainder to the survivor thereof” in a quit-claim deed recorded on January 21, 1987. (Vol. 192, P. 818). On July 25, 1990, Ernie and Louise I. Morris recorded a deed transferring the surface of the property with a clause stating: “Grantors except and reserve for theirselves and their heirs and assigns all oil and gas royalty, all oil and gas, together with all leasing rights.” (Vol. 201, P. 833). –3– {¶4} The six grantees listed in the 1990 surface deed were Robert E. Morris, Sara Lallathin, Betty Crum, Byron Morris, Kenneth Morris, and Rodney Morris; their tax mailing address was a Belmont County address (c/o one of the grantees). The grantees were the children of Ernie and Louise Morris, but this was not specified in the deed. With his wife still living, Ernie Morris died intestate in Monroe County on March 12, 1994. {¶5} In a deed recorded June 13, 1994, the Morris children conveyed the subject property to the Kuhns; this deed contained a word-for-word recitation of the aforequoted mineral reservation from ...</p><br>
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