More than 75 landowners have filed their Fifth Amendment takings claims against the federal government in this case. The government took the Lawrence and Martin County landowners’ property on March 25, 2010 when it issued an order allowing the Indiana Trails Fund to acquire their property for a public recreational trail. Under Indiana law, when the railroad abandoned its railroad operations, the land under its right-of-way should have reverted to the adjacent landowners. But the federal Trails Act prevented this from happening and, instead, allowed the trail group to acquire the land.
The government has now stipulated to its liability for taking the majority of these properties. The parties have selected a joint appraiser to evaluate the damages owed to these landowners. The inspections are scheduled for this June and appraisals should be complete by early autumn.
If you would like to learn more about this case and your potential claim for compensation, please contact Lindsay Brinton.