Justia Colorado Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Real Estate Law
The Colorado Supreme Court answered a question of Colorado law certified from the United States Court of Federal Claims. Plaintiffs were landowners who owned property abutting a former railroad right-of-way. The United States authorized the right-of-way to be used as a recreational trail pursuant to the National Trails System Act ("Rails-to-Trails" Act). The issue before the federal court was whether the United States took property for which Plaintiffs should have received compensation. The Colorado Court determined that the centerline presumption was a common law rule of conveyance that presumed a grantor who conveyed land abutting a right-of-way intended to convey land to the center of the right-of-way and absent a contrary intent on the face of the conveyance. Therefore, while the Court held that the centerline presumption applied to railroad rights-of-way, it also held that, to claim presumptive ownership to the centerline of a railroad right-of-way, an adjacent landowner must produce evidence that his or her title derives from the owner of the land underlying the right-of-way. View "Asmussen v. United States" on Justia Law