Supreme Court Rejects Government’s Efforts to Derail Rails-to-Trails Claims


The U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed that fee owners of western lands burdened by certain now-abandoned railroad easements granted by the government in the nineteenth century also own the land underlying those railroad easements. In Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, the Government claimed that it, and not the current fee owner, owned the reversionary interests for the railroad easements, and that it received title when the railroad abandoned any easement granted under the 1875 Railroad Act. Both the trial court and the Tenth Circuit agreed when this case was before them. The decision potentially affected thousands of miles of now-abandoned railroad easements in the West.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Nancie G. Marzulla, Marzulla Law, LLC | Attorney Advertising

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