5301.332 Forfeiture for failure of lessee, successors or assigns to abide by specifically described covenants.

(A)

(1) Whenever leases of natural gas and oil lands recorded under section 5301.09 of the Revised Code concerning lands upon which there are no producing or drilling oil or gas wells become forfeited for failure of the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns to abide by specifically described covenants provided for in the lease, or because the term of the lease has expired, the lessor or the lessor's successors or assigns may file for record an affidavit of forfeiture with the county recorder after serving notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, at the lessee's or the lessee's successors' or assigns' last known address, or if service is not obtained by certified mail, by giving notice by publication at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the land is located of the lessor's intent to declare the lease forfeited.

(2) The notice or publication shall be addressed to the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, and shall contain the name of the lessee; a general description of the land; the number of acres; the date of the lease; the volume and page of the lease record where the lease is recorded; the cause of the forfeiture; and shall state the intention of the lessor to file for record an affidavit of forfeiture with the county recorder if the lessee does not have the lease released of record within thirty days from the date of receipt of the notice or of publication.

(B) After thirty days and not more than sixty days from the date of proof of mailing or publication of the notice, the lessor or the lessor's successors or assigns may file with the county recorder an affidavit of forfeiture setting forth that such person is the lessor of an oil or gas lease; the file number or volume and page of the lease record where the oil or gas lease is recorded; that the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, have failed and neglected to comply with specifically described covenants provided for in the lease, reciting the facts constituting such failure, or that the term of the lease has expired; that there are no producing or drilling oil or gas wells on the leased premises; that the lease has been forfeited and is void; and that notice was served on the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, or that publication was made, and the manner and time thereof.

(C) If the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns claims that the lease is in full force and effect, the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns shall, within sixty days after the mailing or publication of the notice of the lessor of the lessor's intention to declare the lease forfeited, notify the person who filed the affidavit of forfeiture of the claim, and file for record an affidavit with the office of the county recorder of the county in which the land is situated stating that the lease has not been forfeited and that the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns still claim that the lease is in full force and effect.

(D) If the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns do not give such notice in writing to the lessor at any time prior to the sixtieth day after the mailing or publication of the notice of the lessor of the lessor's intention to declare the lease forfeited, then the lessor shall file for record with the county recorder a notice of failure to file. The notice shall contain all of the following:

(1) A statement that the person filing the notice is the lessor or the lessor's successors or assigns;

(2) The document number or volume and page of the lease record where the oil or gas lease is recorded;

(3) A general description of the land;

(4) The statement: "This lease cancelled pursuant to affidavit of forfeiture recorded as Document Number ....., or Official Record/Lease Vol. ....., Page ....."

Thereafter, the record of the lease shall not be notice to the public of the existence of the lease or of any interest therein or rights thereunder and the record shall not be received in evidence in any court of the state on behalf of the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, or against the lessor or the lessor's successors or assigns.

(E) For recording the affidavit of forfeiture, the affidavit giving notice that the lease has not been forfeited, and the notice of failure to file, the county recorder shall charge the fees provided by section 317.32 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 5301.332

History. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 41, HB 72, §1, eff. 1/30/2014.

Effective Date: 10-31-1979