Moody v. Allegheny Valley Land Trust

976 A.2d 484 (2009)

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Moody v. Allegheny Valley Land Trust

Pennsylvania Supreme Court
976 A.2d 484 (2009)

LJ

Facts

Conrail was the holder of railroad right-of-way located in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Conrail obtained permission from the Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon rail service and to ultimately convey the right-of-way to the Allegheny Valley Land Trust (the land trust) (defendant). The quitclaim deed included a declaration of railbanking. Sally Moody (plaintiff), an adjacent landowner, filed a complaint seeking to enjoin trespass and obtain a declaratory judgment that Conrail had abandoned the right-of-way and that the property was no longer subject to an easement. Moody also argued that the easement constituted a taking without just compensation. The court found that the railway had been abandoned and that the servient estates were no longer subject to an easement. The superior court reversed and held that evidence of the cessation of rail service in conjunction with the conveyance to a rails-to-trails organization cannot support a finding of abandonment. Moody appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Greenspan, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Saylor, J.)

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