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Case sent back to lower court

CHESAPEAKE — The Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court decision on whether a Chesapeake entity can use a piece of land on which the state was granted an easement years ago.

The half-acre strip of land was conveyed to the Ohio Department of Transportation in 1953 and at that time was used as an exit into the village from U.S. 52. Since then, the highway has been rerouted and the strip of land is now a grassy area no longer in use. The property owners, New 52 Project, Inc., had asked that the land be returned. The strip of land in question cuts through two lots the business owns.

In November 2006, Ironton attorney David Reid Dillon filed a motion in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on behalf of New 52 Inc., asking that the land be declared abandoned since it was no longer being used.

But state officials argued that

New 52’s lawsuit “is based upon a claim of abandonment, which cannot occur through mere nonuse, but only through adherence to the procedures” specified under state law.

The Franklin County court dismissed the lawsuit but the court of appeals sided with Dillon and New 52, Inc., and sent the case back to the lower court for further review.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has since asked the Ohio Supreme Court to review the matter.