Terminating Dormant Mineral Rights

Every so often, a condemning agency may come across an exception to title indicating the existence of mineral rights 500 feet or more below the surface, with no surface right of entry.

If during the last 20 years there has been no production of the minerals and no exploration, drilling, mining or development that affected the minerals, there is a simple process by which these rights can be terminated.

Section 883.220 of the Civil Code allows a party to obtain a declaration that the unused mineral rights are dormant and may be terminated.  This is accomplished by filing a quiet title action citing to Section 883.220.  The only other showings to be made are that [i] no separate property tax assessment has been made of the mineral rights, and [ii] no new instrument evidencing the mineral rights, or a notice of intent to preserve the mineral rights, has been recorded.

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