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SANTA FE PAC. R.R. CO. v. SECRETARY OF THE INTERIO

May 15, 1984

SANTA FE PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

 BARRINGTON D. PARKER, District Judge:

 The sole question presented is whether the BLA was correct in concluding that the plaintiffs' right to a patent of the land was subject to recordation under the Act of August 5, 1955, Pub.L. 84-247, ch. 573, 69 Stat. 534. *fn1" It is undisputed that the plaintiffs did not record their interests under this Act, and the parties agree that other material facts are not in dispute. The matter is presented to the Court on cross motions for summary judgment. For the reasons set out below, the Court concludes that the plaintiffs' rights to the patent were extinguished because the railroad failed to comply with the provisions of the 1955 Act. Accordingly, the defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted, and the plaintiffs' complaint is dismissed with prejudice.

 FACTUAL BACKGROUND

 A.

 1866 Statute

 Three congressional statutes are relevant to the resolution of this case. The first, the Act of July 27, 1866, ch. 278, 14 Stat. 292 ("1866 Act"), was one of numerous railroad land grant statutes enacted by Congress in order to aid the construction of a transcontinental railroad system. This railroad construction was designed to promote the development of the West in the period following the Civil War. In view of this intent, the 1866 Act incorporated the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company ("A & P"), gave the Company a right of way through certain public land, and granted the railroad the right to select every odd-numbered section of public land within forty miles of either side of the projected railroad line. The area within these boundaries was known as the "place" limits of the grant. In addition, the Act granted A & P the right to select sufficient lands to counter any deficiency in the "place" limits which might arise from other dispositions of the property. This property could be selected from an additional ten-mile strip of land on either side of the place limits, known as the "indemnity" limits of the grant. *fn2"

 In 1887, A & P filed an indemnity selection for 1,244,160 acres of land under the 1866 Act. The railroad's claim was rejected at that time because the requested land was not surveyed. A & P later conveyed its interests in the indemnity lands to Lilo and Robert Perrin in October 1896. In 1935, the Perrins subsequently transferred their interests to the plaintiff Perrin Properties, Inc. It is undisputed that plaintiff Santa Fe Pacific Railroad Company ("Santa Fe"), as the successor in interest to A & P, is entitled to assert any rights conveyed to Perrin Properties which arise from the 1866 Act.

 B.

 Transportation Act

 C.

 Recordation ...


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