A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Caquelin v. United States recently ruled unanimously in favor of an Iowa landowner whose property was taken by the federal government under the Trails Act for a public recreational rail-trail. Lawyers for the federal government argued the government was not required to pay Ms. Caquelin the $900 in compensation the trial court had ordered the government to pay Ms. Caquelin because the government only took her land for 18 months and because the rail-trail was never built. The court’s opinion is available here.
Astonishingly, the federal government pursued this appeal after it had already lost its earlier appeal in this same case. And the federal government argued – with a straight face – that the court should overturn precedent that the government had itself argued for and established in the first place. And all of this so that the government wouldn’t have to pay Ms. Caquelin $900.
True North Law filed an amicus brief in both the prior appeal and this most recent appeal in support of Ms. Caquelin on behalf of national property rights organizations and scholars, including the Cato Institute and renowned law professor James W. Ely, Jr. True North Law’s amicus brief is available here.