Hornish v. King County

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for King County in an action to quiet title to a rail corridor that the Surface Transportation Board had railbanked under the Trails Act. As a preliminary matter, the panel held that it had jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1331 because plaintiffs' state law claim necessarily turned on some construction of federal law that was actually disputed, substantial, and capable of resolution in federal court without disrupting any congressionally approved federal-state balance. The panel also held that plaintiffs lacked Article III and statutory standing to challenge King County's interest in the Corridor because they have no property interests in the Corridor; King County owns the portion of the Corridor adjacent to the Hornish Property in fee; the Trails Act preserved the railroad easement and created a new easement for trail use, both of which were conveyed to King County; and the centerline presumption did not apply in this case. The panel also held that the district court properly granted summary judgment to and quieted title in King County where King County possessed the railroad easement and recreational easement, and the easement's width adjacent to the Non-Hornish Plaintiffs' properties was 100 feet. Finally, the panel denied plaintiffs' motion to supplement the record. View "Hornish v. King County" on Justia Law