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SFPP, Ltd. Partnership v. Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co.

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20066
Nos. No. F043498, (Cal. Ct. App., 08/05/2004)

A California appellate court affirmed a referee's decision that a proposed pipeline easement unreasonably interfered with a railroad right-of-way and proposed second track and that condemnation was not warranted. A railroad sought to move a pipeline existing in the railroad’s right-of-way in order to build a second track. The pipeline company refused to move the pipeline and filed a lawsuit to condemn a five-foot easement around the existing location of the pipeline. The parties agreed to use a referee to decide the case, and the referee found in favor of the railroad. The referee properly applied the doctrine of implied findings to the case. The state condemnation statute was also applied correctly. The referee properly analyzed possible alternate locations for the pipeline, and the record contains substantial evidence to support the referee's finding that the proposed easement was not located in the manner most compatible with the greatest public good.