Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's action seeking a writ of prohibition to prevent the enforcement of a foreclosure judgment against her, holding that the court of appeals did not err.Appellant filed this prohibition action asserting that Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which filed the foreclosure action against Appellant, had failed to obtain service within one year of filing the complaint. The court of appeals sua sponte dismissed the cause, concluding that this action was moot and that Appellant's appeal in the foreclosure action constituted an adequate remedy precluding extraordinary relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant's cause of action was not moot; but (2) Appellant's opportunity to assert service and personal jurisdiction defenses in the foreclosure case and on appeal was an adequate remedy at law. View "Lundeen v. Turner" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed in part the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that upheld three use-tax assessments based on Appellant's purchase of three trucks, holding that the BTA erred by failing to correlate its findings with the distinct primary uses of the trucks.The trucks at issue were two Peterbilt trucks and one Lodal truck. Appellant argued that because it purchased the three trucks for use in its business as a for-hire motor carrier, the purchase were exempt from sales and use tax under Ohio Rev. Code 5739.02(B)(32)'s "highway transportation for hire" exemption. The tax commissioner and the BTA determined that the exemption did not apply to the purchases because Appellant's use of the trucks to transport waste material to landfills did not qualify as the transportation of "personal property belonging to others." The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) for purposes of section 5739.02(B)(32), waste is "personal property belonging to" the person or entity that generated it when the person or entity has an agreement with the hauler that specifies where the waste is to be taken for disposal; and (2) because the generators of the waste hauled by the Peterbilt trucks designated the destination of the waste, the Peterbilt trucks were entitled to the exemption. View "N.A.T. Transportation, Inc. v. McClain" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's complaint for a writ of mandamus and a writ of prohibition against Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel R. Hawkins, holding that the court of appeals correctly dismissed the cause for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.CitiMortgage Inc. brought a foreclosure action against Appellant, and the trial court granted summary judgment to CitiMortgage. After a trial on damages, the trial court entered a judgment on directed verdict in the full amount owed as claimed by CitiMortgage. Appellant later brought this action alleging, among other things, that alleged defects in the foreclosure case stripped the trial court of jurisdiction. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant had an adequate remedy by defending the foreclosure action and appealing the trial court's adverse judgment. View "State ex rel. Nyamusevya v. Hawkins" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of prohibition sought by Relators, who owned property over which Ohio Power Company sought to take easements by eminent domain, holding that Relators were entitled to a writ of prohibition to prevent Washington County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Halliday from proceeding with a compensation trial during the pendency of Relators' appeal.After Judge Halliday ruled that Ohio Power's takings were necessary for a public use Relators appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Notwithstanding the appeal, Judge Halliday scheduled a trial on the issue of compensation. Relators commenced this action seeking a writ of prohibition to prevent Judge Halliday from holding the compensation trial while their appeal was pending. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding (1) the appropriations in this case did not fall under any of the exceptions to the owner's right to immediate appeal under Ohio Rev. Code 163.09(B)(3); and (2) a compensation trial during the pendency of a section 163.09(B)(3) appeal is inconsistent with the court of appeals' jurisdiction. View "State ex rel. Bohlen v. Halliday" on Justia Law

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In this dispute between a coal mining company and the owner of a natural gas pipeline over whether the pipeline owner may recover for damage caused to the pipeline as a result of mining the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and reinstated the judgment of the trial court in favor of the mining company, holding that surface damage liability waivers in the relevant property deeds were valid and enforceable.The mining company held its interest in the coal underneath the lands through property deeds that severed the surface estate from the mineral interest. The deeds included provisions waiving liability for damage to the land's surface caused by mining activities. The trial court entered judgment for the mining company. On appeal, the pipeline owner asserted that the surface damage liability waivers were rendered invalid by an administrative agency's regulation requiring mining operators to pay for damage to surface structures from mining activities. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the administrative agency lacked authority to enact a regulation requiring mining operators to pay damages irrespective of common law property rights to the extent those rights have not been limited by federal law; and (2) the surface damage liability waivers at issue remained valid and enforceable. View "Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC v. Ohio Valley Coal Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's decision granting summary judgment for John Chervenak, trustee of the Chervenak Family Trust, and declaring the trust the owner of the disputed mineral rights in this case, holding that the Chervenaks satisfied the notice requirements of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act.Timothy Gerrity filed this action to quiet title and for a declaratory judgment, claiming that he was the rightful owner of severed mineral rights under the Chervenak property. At issue was whether the Chervenaks satisfied the notice requirements that the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act, Ohio Rev. Code 5301.56(E)(1), imposes as prerequisites to deeming a severed mineral interest abandoned and vested in the owner of the land subject to the mineral interest. The lower courts rendered judgment for Chervenak. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) application of the Dormant Mineral Act is not limited to circumstances in which every holder of a severed mineral interest has been identified; and (2) a surface owner must use reasonable diligence to identify and locate holders of a severed mineral interest, but what constitutes reasonable diligence will vary based on the facts of each case. View "Gerrity v. Chervenak" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus sought by Omni Energy Group, LLC as to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management chief Eric Vendel ordering him to rule upon the validity of objections that were submitted concerning Omni's two saltwater injection well permit applications, holding that Omni was entitled to the writ.When the division chief did not render a decision on Omni's applications Omni filed a complaint against the division, Vendel, and department director Mary Mertz, sought a writ of mandamus compelling them to either issue or deny the permits. The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus, but instead of ordering Vendel immediately to render a decision on the applications, the Court ordered him to rule upon the validity of objections as required under Ohio Adm.Code 1501:9-3-06(H)(2)(c), holding (1) Omni had a clear legal right to, and Vendel had a clear legal duty to provide, a ruling on the validity of objections submitted against the applications; and (2) Omni did not suggest a basis for granting a writ of mandamus as to the division or to Mertz. View "State ex rel. Omni Energy Group, LLC v. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant's request for a writ of mandamus ordering the City of Cincinnati to repair and maintain two streets located within the City's boundaries, holding that the court of appeals' analysis eschewed a comprehensive mandamus discussion.Appellant sought a writ of mandamus to compel the City to repair and maintain the streets at issue, alleging that the City's neglect of the streets had resulted in unsafe conditions caused by inadequate water drainage. The court of appeals denied the writ, concluding that the streets had never become public through either a statutory or a common-law dedication. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Platting Commission Act furnishes a means of achieving a statutory dedication; (2) the two streets at issue were the subject of a statutory dedication as of 1876; and (3) because the parties did not adequately brief the clear-legal-right and clear-legal-duty requirements of the mandamus standard, the cause is remanded for full application of the mandamus standard. View "State ex rel. Delta Lookout, LLC v. City of Cincinnati" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals granting summary judgment for the State and denying Appellant's petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the State to initiate property-appropriation proceedings in this regulatory-takings case, holding that genuine issues of material fact remained regarding whether Appellant had suffered a total or partial taking.Appellant alleged that it had suffered a taking of its property when the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management suspended Appellant's operation of one of its two saltwater-injection wells. The Division suspended the well's operation due to concerns that the well had induced two earthquakes in its vicinity. The court of appeals granted summary judgment for the State, determining that Appellant had suffered neither a total nor a partial governmental taking. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment. View "State ex rel. AWMS Water Solutions, LLC v. Mertz" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Relator's application for an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs in this mandamus action, holding that attorney fees were not available.The Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus to compel the Ohio Department of Transportation and its director (ODOT) to conduct appropriation proceedings to determine the appropriate amount of compensation it should pay to New Wen, Inc., whose Wendy's restaurant was located at an intersection that ODOT closed. Thereafter, New Wen filed an application for attorney fees and other costs. ODOT opposed the application. The Supreme Court denied the application, holding that attorney fees were not available in this type of action. View "State ex rel. New Wen, Inc. v. Marchbanks" on Justia Law