Spokane &c. Ry. Co. v. Wash. & Gt. Nor. Ry. Co. - 219 U.S. 166 (1911)
U.S. Supreme Court
Spokane &c. Ry. Co. v. Wash. & Gt. Nor. Ry. Co., 219 U.S. 166 (1911)
Spokane and British Columbia Railway Company
v. Washington and Great Northern Railway Company
Submitted November 29, 1910
Decided January 3, 1911
219 U.S. 166
No one can take advantage of the forfeiture provided for nonperformance of a condition subsequent in a land grant in praesenti except the government, Schulenberg v. Harriman, 21 Wall. 44, nor can there be any forfeiture on the part of the United States without appropriate judicial proceeding equivalent to office found or legislative assertion of ownership.
Although the grant of a right of way involved in this action made by the Act of June 4, 1898, c. 377, 30 Stat. 430, provided for grading and completion of a specified number of miles of track, failure to do so did not operate as a forfeiture without action by the government or render the grant null or void leaving the land open for settlement or location by another railroad.
Whether a granted right of way to a railroad under act of Congress has been abandoned by the grantee or whether the grantee is estopped to make claim thereunder are not federal questions, and the decision of the state court is not reviewable here.
49 Wash. 280 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the right of a grantee of lands under the Act of June 4, 1898, 30 Stat. 430, are stated in the opinion.