Rodney Asmussen and Linda Asmussen, For Themselves and As Representatives of a Class of Similarly Situated Persons v. United States, 2013CO54 (July 1, 2013)

“Utilizing the abandoned rail bed of the Great Western Railroad [GWR], the trail will preserve this historic right-of-way through the “rail banking” provisions of the federal Rails to Trails legislation.” – Great Western Trail Authority. This case questions whether a landowner whose property abuts the GWR is presumed to own property to the centerline of the rail bed. If so, creating the right-of-way could be a 5th Amendment taking. The Court held that the centerline presumption applies to railroad rights-of-way in Colorado and that it is a common law rule of conveyance, not a rule of evidence. But, the presumption applies only if a property owner can trace title to a grantor who owned the land underlying the right-of-way. The burden of proving title to land is on the person alleging ownership. Thus, owning adjacent land is not sufficient alone to apply to the centerline presumption.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2012/12SA96.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=9013&courtid=2

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Filed under Constitutional, Evidence, Government, Property

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