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We have a dedicated team of experienced attorneys who concentrate in what is commonly referred to as "Rails-to-Trails" litigation. Our Rails-to-Trails practice is national in scope, and we believe it is the largest such practice in the country, measured by the number of cases, landowners, parcels, and amount of compensation at issue.   

Specifically, our attorneys based in Kansas City and St. Louis bring Rails-to-Trails cases against the federal government in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., pursuant to the "Just Compensation" Clause of the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution.  These cases are usually but not always class actions.  The purpose of these lawsuits is to obtain money for landowners from the federal government, as compensation for land that was taken by the federal government.  Specifically, those who own land adjoining a railroad that has been authorized by the federal government to be converted to a trail, often have a claim for just compensation for the taking of their land.  We have been very successful in proving landowners' claims, as the listing of cases below shows.

We monitor Rails-to-Trails conversions in every state, which has led to our being involved in cases involving land across the United States.  We have filed nearly 40 cases, involving land in 15 states.  Our cases often involve oral arguments in Washington, D.C., but trials generally occur in the locale where the land is located.

A partial listing of cases in which we have been involved are as follows:

Macy Elevator v. United States, 97 Fed. Cl. 708, 730 (2011) (Indiana)

Ybanez v. United States, 98 Fed. Cl. 659, 665-68 (2011) (Texas)

Raulerson v. United States, 99 Fed. Cl. 9, 11-12 (2011) (South Carolina)

Capreal v. United States, 99 Fed. Cl. 133, 144-146 (2011) (Massachusetts)

Gregory v. United States, 101 Fed. Cl. 203, 220-222 (2011) (Mississippi)

Ybanez v. United States, 102 Fed. Cl. 82, 85-88 (2011) (Texas)

Jenkins v. United States, 102 Fed. Cl. 598, 606-13 (2011) (Iowa)

Buford v. United States, 103 Fed. Cl. 522, 531-33 (2012) (Mississippi)

Longnecker Property v. United States, 105 Fed. Cl. 393 (2012) (Washington)

Howard v. United States, 964 N.E.2d 779 (Ind. 2012) (Indiana)

Macy Elevator, Inc. v. United States, 105 Fed. Cl. 195 (2012) (Indiana)

Rhutasel v. United States, 105 Fed. Cl. 220 (2012) (Iowa)

Adkins v. United States, No. 09-503 (Fed. Cl. July 10, 2012) (Iowa)

Howard v. United States, 2012 WL 3554451 (Fed. Cl. Aug. 16, 2012) (Indiana)

Thomas v. United States, 2012 WL 3800764 (Fed. Cl. Aug. 29, 2012) (Tennessee)

Sutton v. United States, 2012 WL 5194058 (Fed. Cl. October 18, 2012) (California)

Geneva Rock Products, Inc., 2012 WL 5866135 (Fed. Cl. November 16, 2012) (Utah)

Toscano v. United States, No. 08-910 (Fed. Cl. November 20, 2012) (Utah)

For more information about our Rails-to-Trails practice contact Tom Stewart, Steve Wald, Liz McCulley or Bob Sears.

News & Events

BSCR Sponsors U.S. Court of Claims Annual Judicial Conference

11.19.12 | BSCR was a sponsor of the 25th Annual Judicial Conference held at the National Courts Building in Washington, DC, November 15, 2012. The conference agenda included a panel discussion on Rails-to-Trails Litigation. . .


Trails Group Resolves Numerous Cases Across the Country

The Trails Group has represented thousands of landowners across the country and obtained liability rulings leading to numerous settlements in all cases resolved thus far. . .