Trumbull County: Landowners sue North Coast Energy and Enervest over gas leases

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WARREN, Ohio — A lawsuit filed by a Kinsman, Ohio, couple against North Coast Energy and Enervest Operating LLC could be expanded as class action on behalf of at least 40 other landowners.

Unlawfully notarized?

Kenneth and Martha Cole, of Kinsman, filed the lawsuit in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court June 18.

According to the lawsuit, the Coles claim they signed the lease and a pooling unit document in their home July 25, 2006, in front of the North Coast Energy representative, but a notary was not present. The lease was to be for at least three years.

The documents were filed in the courthouse, but each document included a different notary’s stamp and name. The Coles claim they signed the lease, but it was not notarized in front of them, and are also accusing two notary publics of unlawfully notarizing the oil and gas leases.

Then the lease was sold in September 2009 to Enervest Energy Institutional Fund.

Since signing the lease, there has been no drilling for oil or gas on their farm.

Seeking judgment. The Coles are asking the judge for a declaratory judgment and declare the lease unenforceable since it was not notarized in front of them.

They are also asking for other leases signed by these companies and similarly notarized be declared unenforceable. In addition, they are seeking court costs and attorney fees.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

6 Comments

  1. Dean says:

    Good! I hope all these gas companies get dinged for stealing land from good people.

  2. Don says:

    wow..you signed it. took the money and now you want it thrown out…are you giving the money back? what if they would have used your property and given you royalties? again would you have given them back.

    must be nice to take the money and then cry and sue…

    grow up….

    even if it wasn’t completely done properly you took the money

  3. John says:

    I agree Don !! Give back the lease money ! Or do you want to keep the original lease money then try to re-lease it ? Sounds like a landowner trying to scam the gas company !!!!

  4. okiestorm1 says:

    Dean how exactly did they still the land,these people signed the lease and they got paid for it..if anyone is stilling anything it’s the land owners trying to still money from the oil and gas co.

  5. Robert says:

    When a company takes illegal shortcuts for any reason, especially just for their own convenience, they should be stopped. Conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor is a felony! The notaries were probably not from the local drop, box and mail store but company employees, but none the less should have been aware that you can’t witness signatures that did not happen in front of you, with the signatory providing some form of picture ID and a piece of corroborating ID such as a water bill or something. If you support the commission of felonies, you should rush to them and do so publicly. Those notaries should be stripped of their seals at the very least.

    I saw nowhere where it said the people were ever paid in the article, I think you are getting ahead of yourselves to assume so. I myself have had leases recorded for which I was not paid and have had to sue

    If the company needed a notorized document, they could have asked the mineral owners for a signed notarized ratification, instead of committing a felony, unless they did something to make the mineral owners reluctant to sign the ratification, like not pay them.

  6. ben says:

    get real people, you dont have a clue. Something that is illegally notorized cant be enforced. the court will handle it much like columbiana country they ruled infavor of the landmen and they never stamped the signatures infront of the landowners it was done later by people ho had direct intrest in the company. If they did get there pennies per acre the court will make them pay that back im sure. Hell yes the hundreds of landowners that got taken on lowball leases should be able to fight it when something like this comes up.

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