Dana R. Hodges Trust v. United States

In Dana R. Hodges Trust v. United States, 111 Fed. Cl. 452 (2013), the judge found that, although state law claims of abandonment of a railroad right-of-way are preempted by operation of the Trails Act, the issuance of the NITU does not preempt all state law property claims of a landowner. See id. In Dana R. Hodges Trust, the court found that plaintiffs lacked case support for their broader pre-emption argument that the Trails Act precludes all state law property law claims. Id. In that case, the court concluded that, while the Trails Act precludes a landowners state law claim as to abandonment of a railroad easement, plaintiffs are not impeded from exercising whatever rights of access they held that pre-existed the conversion of the railroad corridor to recreational usage. Id.