Articles Posted in Real Estate & Property Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reversing the decision of the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (BOR) rejecting Plaintiff’s challenge to the Cuyahoga County fiscal officer’s valuation of her property for tax year 2013. The BTA reduced the valuation based on a written appraisal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BOR and the BTA had jurisdiction to consider Plaintiff’s complaint under Ohio Rev. Code 5715.19(A)(1); and (2) the County’s argument that the BTA acted unreasonably and unlawfully in adopting the appraised value because Plaintiff’s husband engaged in the unauthorized practice of law before the BOR was without merit. View "Pavilonis v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) vacating the decision of the Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR), which partially reduced the value of certain property for tax year 2012. The BOR partially reduced the value of the property based on a sheriff’s-sale appraisal. The BTA concluded that this evidence was unreliable and that the record contained no other evidence from which a value could be determined. The BTA vacated the BOR’s decision and remanded the case to the BOR with directions to determine a value based on competent and probative evidence. The Supreme Court reinstated the county auditor’s original valuation, holding that that BTA erred in remanding the case to the BOR. View "South-Western City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) erred in adopting the Franklin County Board of Revision’s (BOR) determination of value of Appellee’s property for tax year 2011. For tax year 2011, the Franklin County auditor valued the property at issue at $328,700. Appellee filed a complaint against the valuation, seeking a reduction to $165,000. The BOR reduced the value to $272,000. The BTA adopted the BOR’s valuation. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the BTA erred in its application of the rule set forth in Bedford Board of Education v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, 875 N.E.2d 913 (Ohio 2007); and (2) the county auditor’s valuation should be reinstated, rather than the case remanded to the BTA for an independent determination of value. View "South-Western City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In this dispute between Appellant, a nonprofit organization, and Appellees, three landowners, over a abandoned rail corridor, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals. Appellant sought to develop the corridor into a bike trail, but Appellees claimed ownership of the sections of the corridor adjacent to their properties. The Supreme Court held (1) an 1882 deed, by which part of the corridor was conveyed to a railroad company, created an interest in fee simple to the railroad company, and thus there was no reversion of the property to the successors-in-interest of the grantors, as alleged by two landowners; and (2) the trial court correctly entered summary judgment in favor of Appellant on one landowner’s adverse possession claim but not on the claims of the remaining two landowners. View "Koprivec v. Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of mandamus filed by a group of landowners (“Landowners”) seeking an order compelling the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (“the Division”) and its chief to commence appropriation proceedings to compensate Landowners for their land that was included in an oil and gas drilling unit. Landowners objected an an order issued by the chief requiring that a reservoir of oil and gas underlying multiple tracts of land be operated as a unit to recover the oil and gas, arguing that the order amounted to a taking of their property for which they must be compensated. The Supreme Court denied Landowners’ petition for a writ of mandamus, holding that Landowners had an adequate remedy by way of appeal to the county court of common pleas. View "State ex rel. Kerns v. Simmers" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of mandamus filed by a group of landowners (“Landowners”) seeking an order compelling the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (“the Division”) and its chief to commence appropriation proceedings to compensate Landowners for their land that was included in an oil and gas drilling unit. Landowners objected an an order issued by the chief requiring that a reservoir of oil and gas underlying multiple tracts of land be operated as a unit to recover the oil and gas, arguing that the order amounted to a taking of their property for which they must be compensated. The Supreme Court denied Landowners’ petition for a writ of mandamus, holding that Landowners had an adequate remedy by way of appeal to the county court of common pleas. View "State ex rel. Kerns v. Simmers" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the decision of the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (BOR) dismissing the complaint filed by Life Path Partners, Ltd. seeking to challenge the valuation of its property for tax year 2012 under the continuing complaint provision in Ohio Rev. Code 5715.19(D), which provides an exception to the requirement that a taxpayer protesting the valuation of property must file a complaint by march 31 of the year succeeding the tax year in question. The BOR dismissed the case because Life Path had not asked it to exercise its continuing-complaint jurisdiction prior to the deadline that would have applied if Life Path had filed a new complaint challenging the 2012 valuation. The Supreme Court reversed the BTA’s decision affirming the BOR’s dismissal, holding that Life Path properly invoked the BOR’s continuing- complaint jurisdiction pursuant to section 5715.19(D). View "Life Path Partners, Ltd. v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the decision of the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (BOR) dismissing the complaint filed by Life Path Partners, Ltd. seeking to challenge the valuation of its property for tax year 2012 under the continuing complaint provision in Ohio Rev. Code 5715.19(D), which provides an exception to the requirement that a taxpayer protesting the valuation of property must file a complaint by march 31 of the year succeeding the tax year in question. The BOR dismissed the case because Life Path had not asked it to exercise its continuing-complaint jurisdiction prior to the deadline that would have applied if Life Path had filed a new complaint challenging the 2012 valuation. The Supreme Court reversed the BTA’s decision affirming the BOR’s dismissal, holding that Life Path properly invoked the BOR’s continuing- complaint jurisdiction pursuant to section 5715.19(D). View "Life Path Partners, Ltd. v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The 74-acre Washington County parcel, near the Ohio River, is subject to a 1980 oil and gas lease between the then-owners and Collins-McGregor, to permit “mining and operating for oil and gas and laying pipe lines, and building tanks, powers, stations, and structures thereon, to produce, save and take care of said products.” Collins-McGregor committed to make royalty payments based on the gas produced and to deliver a portion of the oil produced from the land to the lessors. The lease “shall remain in force for a term of One (1) years from [the effective] date, and as long thereafter as oil or gas, or either of them, is produced from said land by the lessee.” A well was drilled in 1981 and has produced oil and gas in paying quantities since then from the “Gordon Sand” formation. The Landowners contend that production of oil and gas has occurred near their property from below that formation but Collins-McGregor has not explored deep formations for lack of equipment or financial resources. They sought a judgment that the portion of the lease covering depths below the Gordon Sand has terminated because it has expired or been abandoned and that Collins-McGregor has breached implied covenants, including implied covenants of reasonable development and to explore further. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed dismissal. Ohio law does not recognize an implied covenant to explore further separate from the implied covenant of reasonable development. View "Alford v. Collins-McGregor Operating Co." on Justia Law

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The 36-unit North Canton apartment complex went into foreclosure.The lender obtained a judgment of $1,700,000. There were no bids at a sheriff’s sale with a minimum bid of $1,400,000. The receiver marketed the property through a national brojkerage firm, which, in a mass-mailing flyer showed a price of $1,325,000. The marketing materials did not mention the sheriff’s sale. There were 17 inquiries and at least six offers to purchase, ranging from $820,000 to $1,200,000, from LFG. There was no relationship between LFG and the receiver or the former owner. The court approved a sale as “commercially reasonable.” Title transferred to LFG in 2011. LFG sought to reduce the property’s tax-year-2012 valuation from $1,841,300 to $1,200,000. The Board of Education filed a counter-complaint. The board relied on “strong testimony” by LFG and “good evidence” that the property was marketed over time and that the price represented fair market value. The Board of Tax Appeals reinstated the auditor’s valuation. The Supreme Court of Ohio reversed, with the instruction that the $1,200,000 sale price be used as the property’s true value for tax purposes. Under the “forced sale” provision of R.C. 5713.04, a forced sale gives rise to a rebuttable presumption that the sale price is not the true value. In this case, the presumption was rebutted by ncontradicted evidence that the transaction at issue was at arms length. View "North Canton City School District Board of Education v. Stark County Board of Revision" on Justia Law