Rock Island Trail Landowners Bring Suit in Federal Court

Stewart, Wald & McCulley

UNION, MISSOURI, UNITED STATES, December 6, 2022 / — Stewart Wald & McCulley (“SWM”), the nation’s leading and only fully dedicated Rails-to-Trails litigation law firm, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of landowners in Franklin County, Missouri against the federal government. The suit was filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims as a result of the rail-trail conversion. The firm will be adding more landowners to the lawsuit in the following weeks. SWM currently represents landowners near Union and Beaufort, and their federal lawsuit is captioned: Ethel A. Abbitt, et al., v. United States, Case No. 1:22-cv-1716L.

The Abbitt landowners own land adjacent to a 9.71-mile stretch of abandoned railway between the City of Beaufort and the City of Union, Missouri. The St. Louis, Kansas City, and Colorado Railroad Company constructed the original rail line in the early 1900’s. The United States Surface Transportation Board has given its approval to convert the abandoned rail line to a recreational trail.

SWM has long dedicated itself to landowners in Missouri, as it has regular property owner meetings in the area to discuss this case and answer landowners’ questions.

SWM thoroughly investigates the railroad corridor and identifies the original conveyance deeds to the original founding railroad. Those conveyances are paramount to the basis of the lawsuit. The key component to any rails-to-trails takings claim focuses on how landowners originally conveyed land to the railroad company at the time of the railroad’s construction.

Over the past several years, SWM has established many meaningful and strong relationships with Missouri landowners who possess takings claims against the government for the conversion of prior segments of the Rock Island Trail. Most notably, SWM represented landowners in Pettis, Benton, Morgan, Miller, Cole, Osage and Maries counties.

If you have received correspondence from Stewart, Wald & McCulley, yet have not engaged with a law firm, please contact the firm. If you have not received any correspondence from Stewart, Wald & McCulley and would like to engage the firm, they would be happy to investigate your claim.

Michael J. Smith
Stewart, Wald & McCulley
+1 314-720-0220
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Article originally published on as Rock Island Trail Landowners Bring Suit in Federal Court