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Ladd v. United States

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20082
Nos. 2012-5086, (Fed. Cir., 04/09/2013)

The Federal Circuit reversed the dismissal of landowners "rails to trails" takings claims against the government. The landowners alleged that the government's issuance of a Notice of Interim Trail Use or Abandonment (NITU) in 2006 constituted a compensable Fifth Amendment taking because it operated to convert the limited right-of-way into a public trail. But the lower court dismissed the case as time barred because the government issued an earlier NITU in 1998, and the landowners did not file suit until 2007. Although a cause of action in accrues when the government issues the first NITU that concerns the landowner's property, a claim's accrual is suspended if the plaintiff shows (1) that the government concealed its acts such that the plaintiff was unaware of their existence; or (2) that the injury was “inherently unknowable.” Here, the evidence shows that the issuance of the 1998 NITU was inherently unknowable. And there is no evidence that the 1998 NITU was made public in any way.