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Property Keyed to Saxer
Anna F. Nordhus Family Trust v. United States
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
The Anna F. Nordhus Family Trust and several other Kansas real property owners (Plaintiffs) granted an easement to Union Pacific Railroad so that railroad tracks could be laid and trains could run along an 8.13-mile corridor of land. After a period of use, Union Pacific discontinued service along the corridor. Thereafter, the Federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) informed Plaintiffs that it planned to use the abandoned railroad corridor for trail use, permitted by the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1241 et seq. (the Trails Act), a procedure known as “railbanking.” Plaintiffs sued the United States (Defendant) alleging that the Trails Act, which prevented the 8.13-mile corridor from reverting back to Plaintiff property owners once Union Pacific abandoned its use, constituted a taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment on liability. The court heard both parties’ motions.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.