Brandt v. United States, No. 12-5050 (Fed. Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In 1908, the United States granted the railroad right-of-way to Pacific Railroad Company for railroad purposes. In 1976, the government conveyed 83.32 acres of land partially burdened by the right-of-way to Brandt’s parents, in fee simple, subject to the right-of-way. In 1987, WYCO acquired the railroad right-of-way and operated the rail line. In 1996, WYCO filed a Notice of Intent to Abandon Rail Service with the Surface Transportation Board. The STB approved abandonment in 2003, and, in 2004, WYCO notified the STB that it had completed abandonment. In 2006, the government sought declaratory judgment that title to the abandoned right-of-way had vested in the government under the National Trails System Improvements Act of 1988, 16 U.S.C. 1248(c). Brandt sought quiet title and argued that, to the extent the government acquired some interest in land formerly occupied by the easement, that interest would constitute a taking for which just compensation is owed. The Claims Court dismissed the takings claim for lack of jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1500. The Federal Circuit reversed, holding that Brandt did not have claims “pending” for purposes of section 1500 when he filed his takings complaint.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on March 29, 2013.