United States v. Chicago, M. & St.P. & P. R. Co.
312 U.S. 592 (1941)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Chicago, M. & St.P. & P. R. Co., 312 U.S. 592 (1941)

United States v. Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Co.

No. 535

Argued March 10, 11, 1941

Decided March 31, 1941

312 U.S. 592

Syllabus

1. A railroad company whose road traverses an embankment built up from low water mark in the bed of a navigable stream to a level above that of ordinary high water is not entitled, under the Fifth Amendment, to claim compensation from the United States for additional cost of protecting the embankment necessitated by the action of the Government in raising the water level above natural high water mark, by means of a dam for the purpose of improving navigation. So held although the embankment was remote from the natural channel and from the course of navigation through the pool formed by the dam, and did not obstruct navigation. Pp. 312 U. S. 593, 312 U. S. 596.

2. United States v. Lynah,188 U. S. 445, in part overruled. P. 312 U. S. 597.

3. The power of the Government over navigation covers the entire bed of a navigable stream, including all lands below ordinary high water mark. Whether title to the bed is retained by the State or is in the riparian owner, the rights of the title-holder are subservient to this dominant easement. P. 596.

113 F.2d 919 reversed.

Certiorari, 311 U.S. 642, to review the affirmance of a judgment on a verdict awarding compensation to the railroad company and to the telegraph company against the United States in a condemnation proceeding.

Page 312 U. S. 593

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