When I was first introduced to Trails Act takings cases more than a decade ago, my first question was, wouldn't you rather have a trail in your backyard than a train? But after doing these cases for more than 10 years, I can tell you, that's not what these cases are about.
I have shaken hands with hundreds of landowners across the country and walked miles of right-of-way in dozens of states. These cases are about the fact that no one asked these landowners this question. The government simply takes property to build these trails without the landowners having any input whatsoever.
Part of making our case is researching old railroad deeds. Oftentimes it involves looking at 100-year-old railroad maps, 150-year-old railroad deeds, and subdivision plats from the mid-century—and I couldn't be happier. I love doing the necessary research to prove up these cases and make the case for these landowners to get paid their just compensation the Constitution requires.
I pride myself on being accessible, and I love talking about the Trails Act and takings cases. So whether you think your property has been subjected to a taking, might be subjected to a taking in the future, or you just have a question about the condition of the railroad right-of-way on your property, feel free to contact me at any time.