Rio Grande Western Ry. Co. v. Stringham
239 U.S. 44 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rio Grande Western Ry. Co. v. Stringham, 239 U.S. 44 (1915)

Rio Grande Western Railway Company v. Stringham

Nos. 4, 5

Submitted October 19, 1915

Decided November 1, 1915

239 U.S. 44

Syllabus

A railway company brought suit to establish its title under the Right-of-Way Act of 1875 to certain lands in fee, and the trial court found for defendant; on appeal, the appellate court reversed with directions to enter judgment awarding the railway company a right of way; on the trial court's entering such a judgment, the railway company again appealed, contending that, according to the true effect of the Right-of-Way Act, it had title in fee, but the appellate court affirmed the judgment as entered. On writs of error taken to both judgments, on separate writs, held that:

As the first judgment of the appellate court disposed of the case on the merits and left nothing to the discretion of the trial court, it was final in the sense of § 37 Judicial Code, and the writ of error was rightly taken to that judgment, but not to the second judgment.

Page 239 U. S. 45

The right of way granted by the Act of 1875 is neither a mere easement nor a fee simple absolute, but a limited fee made on implied condition of reverter in the event of nonuser.

The judgment awarding to the railway company a right of way in the term of the Right-of-Way Act used those terms with the same meaning they have in the act, and accorded to the company all that it was entitled to.

38 Utah 11, affirmed.

Writ of error to review 39 Utah 236 dismissed.

The facts, which involve the construction of the Railroad Right-of-Way Act of March 3, 1875, are stated in the opinion.

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