Jenkins v. Chicago Pacific Corp.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling that when a railroad quitclaimed its interest in a strip of land to the company from which Sharron Jenkins acquired her interest, the railroad deeded land it was not legally capable of deeding.
Jenkins sued to quiet title to real property through which a now-abandoned railway previously ran. The property at dispute was described in an 1886 deed conveying those lots to a railroad company as part of a strip of land running through the grantors’ property along the planned railroad’s centerline. When the railroad abandoned the railway, it quitclaimed its interest in the strip to a company that later quitclaimed its own interest to Jenkins. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment judgment, holding that the language in the 1886 deed demonstrated that the land was conveyed to the railroad for use as a right of way, and therefore, the railroad acquired only an easement, which reverted to the landowners when the railroad abandoned the right of way. Thus, the entity that deeded the lots to Jenkins based on a conveyance from the railroad had no estate to transfer to her.