Lawyers can help people mine their land

I have become aware that founding father Gouverneur Morris was active in this area at one time. He built a summer home near the village of Gouverneur and became interested in the land and minerals in this area.

He bought up a large tract of land called the Morris Tract, which still to this day stretches from Gouverneur to Morristown. He became so convinced that this tract contained valuable minerals that he kept title to these mineral rights when he divided up and sold the land from the Morris Tract.

I bought my mineral rights two and a half years ago from a family who had published (three times) their desire to know whether or not the Gouverneur Morris descendants had paid their “mineral rights taxes” since Gouverneur Morris had purchased this tract of land or still had any interest in these rights. Receiving no response to this family’s publication, they went to the Canton Courthhouse steps in 1942 and purchased the mineral rights for $3.25. They mined graphite here for several years before they sold the form and moved away.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s office advised me that anyone owning land on this Morris Tract can locate a lawyer who would know how they could gain ownership of their own mineral rights by using the Lawyer’s Referral Service at 518-463-3200. Apparently, there is a procedure known as a “quiet title” procedure, which involved repeated attempts to locate the former mineral rights owner by publishing the request for contact three times in the local newspaper.

These lawyers would expect a large payment for their services, no doubt. It would, however, give the landowner the right to mine on his/her land.

There are complicated legal paperwork issues to be dealt with under the control of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. There are also annual “mineral rights taxes” to be paid as well. Just thought you should know.

Jane Oradat


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(1) comment


Are these hard to find owners of mineral rights getting their mineral rights taken if they fail to pay taxes, the way owners of surface rights lose their property if they don't pay taxes?

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