Federal Takings

Arent Fox's Eminent Domain & Property Rights Practice

Federal Takings

Dan and Jean McCarty, et al. v. The United States of America — No.1:14-cv-00316-MCW

alert

Dan and Jean McCarty, et al. v. The United States of America — No.1:14-cv-00316-MCW

More than 20 landowners in Martin and Lawrence Counties, Indiana have filed their inverse condemnation claims against the federal government. These landowners own land abutting a 20.76-mile right-of-way extending from Crane to Bedford, Indiana.

The Evansville and Richmond Railroad originally acquired this rail line between 1897 and 1907. The Railroad acquired the line from several landowners who conveyed a limited easement for railroad purposes. Under Indiana law, once the Railroad abandoned the line, the landowners (and their successors) should have owned their land free and clear of any easements.

The Evansville and Richmond Railroad eventually conveyed the line and it passed through a series of subsequent owners. In 2006, the Indiana Rail Road Company acquired the line. And, in 2009, the Indiana Rail Road Company stopped using the line for railroad purposes.

On March 25, 2010, the federal Surface Transportation Board issued an order (the Notice of Interim Trail Use or Abandonment, or NITU) which authorized the Railroad to negotiate with a trail operator for trail use. This federal order — the NITU — prevented the landowners from regaining their state law rights to the land. And, instead, the federal order allowed two new easements to be imposed on the property — one for recreational trail use and another for future railroad use at anytime in the future. In 2011, the Railroad entered into a trail use agreement with the Indiana Trails Fund, Inc. Trail construction is now underway.

The Indiana landowners filed their claims for compensation on April 18, 2014. The landowners now have a limited period to join any other neighboring landowners who wish to vindicate their constitution rights to just compensation for the government’s taking of their property. Counsel for the landowners continue to meet with all interested Martin and Lawrence County landowners to discuss their claims for compensation in this case.

For more information about this case, please contact Lindsay Brinton.

SUBSCRIBE

Add the Arent Fox Rails to Trails blog to your RSS feed reader.

ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP

Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.