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Land case ruling faulted

The 6th District Court of Appeals, Toledo, has reversed part of an Erie County Common Pleas Court decision regarding the sale of land to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The state agency had claimed that it wasn't responsible to pay interest to previous owners of the land that's now part of Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve in Huron.

A lower court had ordered the ODNR to pay the former landowner $26,974 plus interest of $7.167 per day.

That number was calculated from Oct. 4, 1999, the day the state received the 10 acres, until May 31, 2000, when the previous owners received $400,000 for the property.

The appellate court said the lower court erred in determining the May 31, 2000, date. Judges said it was the clerk of court's responsibility to tell the former owner that the state had deposited the case on April 10, 2000.

That failed to occur until the following month, and judges said the state should not be held accountable.

The case will be returned to the common pleas court to decide a new interest plan.

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