One Pays the Price of Hobo Choice

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One Pays the Price of Hobo Choice
Posted by Limitedclear on Thursday, November 2, 2006 4:36 PM

The Dangerous Lives of Train-Hoppin’ Hobos

For some people, seeing the country from a boxcar is the ultimate freedom. But as an October fatality indicates, it can come with a price

By Nina Shapiro

 

At 4:40 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, a freight train making its way south through Chehalis suddenly stopped. A sensor had gone off, indicating that the train was dragging something. It was still dark when Chehalis Detective Jeff Elder got there at 5 in the morning. Firefighters, also at the scene, set up lights so Elder could see. In the glare, Elder was able to make out a body lying between the tracks, now dead, a young man wearing blond dreadlocks, a nose ring, and tattered jeans. The deceased was Jason Litzner, age 25.

While he took measurements at the scene, Elder asked another officer to talk to the conductor. The officer found not only the conductor but two women - one of whom was Litzner’s wife. They had all been riding on what is known by those who frequent the rails as a “suicide car,” whose only floor is a row of crossbars with gaping holes between them.

The trio had spent a lot of time hopping trains over the last year or two, as the women told Elder back at the police station. The detective asked them if they were hobos.

“They said, ‘Yeah, you can call us that,’” recalls Elder.

Railways have been cracking down on hobos of late, says Gus Melonas, Seattle spokesperson for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. But when Melonas was growing up near a major Eastern Washington way station in the ’60s, he remembers watching trains go by that were full of hobos. Later, as a train inspector in the late ’70s, he once came across a professor from a small New York college hanging around a Vancouver , Wash. , train station, looking to hop a ride. As they got to talking, Melonas discovered that the professor spent his summers hoboing.

Nowadays, BNSF regularly sweeps out hobo camps, or “jungles,” which were tucked into pockets of greenery that lined the tracks. In 1995, the company declared a “zero tolerance trespassing policy.” As a result, Melonas says hobo sightings are now “extremely rare.”

But they do happen with enough regularity that Marmie Edwards, spokesperson for the Virginia-based train safety group Operation Lifesaver, says that while she doesn’t know how many of the 872 railroad injuries and deaths nationwide last year were hobo related, there seems to be a new surge in hobo popularity as young people seek out train riding for the sheer thrill of it.

“It’s almost like an extreme sport,” she says.

Litzner, however, was simply in love with trains, says his widow, Rose. As a child, Jason would dress up as a train conductor for Halloween. He immersed himself in the history, culture, and politics of hobos - stressing freedom and self-sufficiency - and started a Web site where he posted his own rap songs about railroad life. Taking on the moniker “Hobocore,” he hit the tracks while still a teenager, traveling for years before he met Rose, two years ago, in Michigan .

He took her on many trains. Together, they crisscrossed the country, stopping to work or panhandle along the way. When they got to New Orleans , they stayed for a number of months to help the post-Katrina anarchist community rebuild. Later, in Kansas City , they hitched a ride to Seattle aboard a moving truck, helping unload furniture en route.

They had a full schedule in Seattle . One night, they went swing dancing at the Century Ballroom. The next day, they joined an anti-Bush march to the Federal Building downtown. That’s where they ran into Whitney McCall, a 20-year-old from Tacoma who sported dreadlocks and Carhartt overalls. “She looked like a traveler girl,” Rose says.

Striking up a conversation, the Litzners realized they had met McCall before - at a punk-rock music festival in Philadelphia - and decided to travel to San Francisco with her. The trio spent the night at Rose’s mother’s place in Tacoma and headed for a railway yard near the Amtrak station there the next afternoon. At 1:30 in the morning, a train pulled in that they thought was headed for San Francisco . As Jason hopped on to scout it out, the train started slowly moving. “Come on,” he shouted to the others. Rose lagged behind to hand up their backpacks, guitar, and water jug. When she finally hopped on, she landed on the opposite side of a container from Jason and McCall, which explains why Rose didn’t witness the fall that caused her husband’s death.

From the accounts that McCall later gave Rose and Detective Elder, it seems that Jason had been cold and asked McCall to get a sleeping bag out of her backpack. He then got up to get a drink of water from his jug. As she was fishing out the bag, McCall felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around, but Jason had already fallen.

A train is rolling along the tracks by the docks in West Seattle . A few yards away, “Tommy from the Railroad,” as he is universally known, is sipping a Coke at the Chelan Cafe. This is Tommy’s element: an old-school diner with vinyl booths, big breakfasts, and a waitress who knows the names of the railroad workers and longshoremen who fill the place.

Tommy is a hobo, or at least he used to be, and is well-known among a tight-knit community of hobos across the country who keep in touch these days via e-mail and Internet sites. And what he wants you to know about hobos is that they are working men.

Holding forth before a couple of aging longshoremen, Tommy recites what he says are quotes from James Eads How, a turn-of-the-century railroad scion who became a hobo advocate and founder of “hobo colleges,” part lecture halls, part social centers. “A bum is a drinker and a wanderer,” Tommy says. “A tramp is a dreamer and a wanderer. But a hobo, he has the same spirit of a pioneer. He works and wanders.”

Tommy points to the blue bandanna around his forehead that he always wears to signify his working-man status. Forty-eight years old, with dark hair and intense eyes that allow him to pass for a relative of Robert De Niro, he also wears a red-and-black checkered lumberman’s jacket, hiking boots, and numerous tattoos, including one of a clown peeking out of his sleeve.

Hobo ethics are dear to Tommy’s heart. A guy once came up to Tommy and told him he was going to grab a meal at a restaurant and skip out on the tab. “Don’t ever do that,” Tommy told him. A true hobo, Tommy says, talks to the manager and asks if he can earn a meal by, say, washing dishes.

Tommy also reveres hobo history. He can tell you that hobos did not first crop up during the Depression, as commonly thought, but in the days after the Civil War, when soldiers returned home to find themselves out of work and took to the trains in search of opportunity.

The hobo life is largely history for Tommy now, though. A Chicago native, he spent a good deal of his younger years hopping trains, but in recent years has found steady employment as a welder and mechanic at a West Seattle rail yard.

“You got a different group of people out there now,” he says. “You got these road kids - wanna-be hobos - all drugged out.” Of the era of the true hobo, he says: “It’s gone. It’s over.”

“See that car? That’s a really good one in the rain,” says Devlen Dykeman, as he watches a freight train go by on tracks that skirt Commencement Bay in Tacoma . The car in question is loaded with two rectangular containers, the one on top slightly larger than the other, so that it creates an overhang that a hobo could conceivably seek shelter beneath.

The 24-year-old Dykeman thinks about such things as he watches trains because he, too, has a fascination with hobos. He was only 11 or 12 when he first found out about them. Already burnt out on school, soon to leave structured education for a looser home-schooling lifestyle, he was attracted to the independent life that hobos seemed to embody.

At 18, he bused and hitchhiked his way to a “National Hobo Convention” held every year in the small town of Britt, Iowa - a civic event that brings hobos together from across the country in what is surely one of the oddest bids for tourism ever. Dykeman was enthralled. At a big campsite, he slept on the ground by the fire, listening to hobo musicians who brought their guitars and fiddles, and met a guy named Joe with whom he decided to ride the rails to Chicago .

The pair hitchhiked to a Mason City train depot and hid in the bushes. They waited until a northbound train looked like it was getting ready to leave. “There’ll be a rush of activity near the engine, and then people will start backing away,” Dykeman explains. “You have a minute or two to rush in.”

In they rushed, to an open platform connecting two cars. They held on as best they could, somehow surviving the hours-long journey.

Though he has not repeated the experience, Dykeman speaks of it in the fondest of terms. “It’s just a real adrenaline rush,” he says. “It’s almost like flying.”

But like many hobos, Dykeman concedes that “riding a train anywhere is always dangerous.”

“It’s probably not worth it,” he says. “But it’s real exciting.”

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Posted by Limitedclear on Thursday, November 2, 2006 4:44 PM

RAILWAY AGE.COM

 

Trespasser Deaths up 15.2% in Eight Months

 

Preliminary statistics released Oct. 31 show that 368 trespassers were killed on railroad property in the first eight months of this year, a 15.2% increase over the 309 trespasser deaths reported in the same period of 2005. There were also 241 fatalities at rail-highway crossings in this year’s January-August period, one more than the 240 who died at crossings in 2005. Total rail fatalities increased 2% to 610 this year. There were only nine employee fatalities, compared with 20 last year. The Federal Railroad Administration also reported that train accidents declined 12.8% to 1,890 in the first eight months of this year, collisions dropped 28.4% to 126, and yard accidents were down 18.2% to 979.

 

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Posted by Poppa_Zit on Thursday, November 2, 2006 5:29 PM

"A bum is a drinker and a wanderer,” Tommy says. “A tramp is a dreamer and a wanderer. But a hobo, he has the same spirit of a pioneer. He works and wanders.”

A guy once came up to Tommy and told him he was going to grab a meal at a restaurant and skip out on the tab. “Don’t ever do that,” Tommy told him. A true hobo, Tommy says, talks to the manager and asks if he can earn a meal by, say, washing dishes.

Interesting how this piece, well-written and graphic, presents this person's view that somehow trespassing is romantic and that law breakers are noble rogues.

I gather that the difference, then, between a tramp and a hobo is a good pair of running shoes. 

PZ

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, November 3, 2006 10:27 AM
The real risks in hoboing involve a lot more than the trains themselves.  As with any unlawful activity (consider drug dealing and moonshine), there is also a violent human element involved that others can't be protected from.  Unless you have no qualms or scruples yourself, you can find yourself in a situation where you could be assaulted, sexually molested or even killed and nobody else will be in a position to do much about it.
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Posted by tree68 on Friday, November 3, 2006 11:57 AM
 Poppa_Zit wrote:

Interesting how this piece, well-written and graphic, presents this person's view that somehow trespassing is romantic and that law breakers are noble rogues.

I suspect the phrase "honor among thieves" probably has a place in the discussion. 

The basic illegality of the practice aside, for those for whom being a hobo was a lifestyle, there probably was a certain amount of honesty and honor.  They weren't necessarily out to do wrong, they only wanted to enjoy the freedom that came with it.  One can perhaps gather from Tommy's comments that a "true hobo" wasn't afraid of work - he just didn't do it any more than he had to, and certainly not in one place for too long.

Some folks who rode the rails lacked the resources to travel "honestly."

On the other hand, a tramp or bum was out to get what he could from life, regardless of how he got it.  Honesty and honor weren't part of his code of ethics.

Many of today's riders are thrill seekers - only instead of a surfboard on a 20' wave, they're riding a railcar.  Some of them get a bit of a tumble, a la Houston Ed, some meet their maker.

Don't think that I'm defending them.  Just pointing out that "hobo" does not necessarily automatically equal "hardened criminal...."

I gather that the difference, then, between a tramp and a hobo is a good pair of running shoes. 

Nowadays, those could get you killed.

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Posted by MikeSanta on Friday, November 3, 2006 9:01 PM
Keep in mind, too, that  someone riding on a boxcar is NOT doing any harm. He's only trying to get from one place to another for free and acting like he's a real criminal is overkill. BNSF is wasting resources on something they don't need to. Besides, most of the time if you put a hobo in jail it only means you have to feed and house him. They just need to change the law so if they get hurt they can't sue the railroad(see the posts on the railroads getting sued for $24 million.
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Posted by Limitedclear on Friday, November 3, 2006 9:11 PM

 MikeSanta wrote:
Keep in mind, too, that  someone riding on a boxcar is NOT doing any harm. He's only trying to get from one place to another for free and acting like he's a real criminal is overkill. BNSF is wasting resources on something they don't need to. Besides, most of the time if you put a hobo in jail it only means you have to feed and house him. They just need to change the law so if they get hurt they can't sue the railroad(see the posts on the railroads getting sued for $24 million.

Simplistic answer. Spoken like someone who hasn't had to be at the scene of one of these guys losing limbs or being a fatality from exposure. Contaminating or stealing from cargo. Have one of these lovely drunk or drugged out folks approach you one night when you are alone walking your 150 car train. Or find one of your locomotive consist has been occupied by a "traveller" and they have defecated all over it and anywhere they haven't has rotting food and foul smelling garbage.

They are doing real harm and should be charged with a crime if the facts merit.

The laws will never change in the way you suggest, because they would no longer protect the majority of us and besides, most people view suing the railroad as a kind of lottery.

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Posted by MikeSanta on Friday, November 3, 2006 9:35 PM

You have some good points, Limitedclear, about the slobs. But the laws not changing in the way I suggest VIOLATES the majority of us because we all pay the costs of those looney tune lawsuits. Also if the law changed like I suggest the lottery STOPS.                                                             

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Posted by Limitedclear on Saturday, November 4, 2006 12:01 AM
 MikeSanta wrote:

You have some good points, Limitedclear, about the slobs. But the laws not changing in the way I suggest VIOLATES the majority of us because we all pay the costs of those looney tune lawsuits. Also if the law changed like I suggest the lottery STOPS.                                                             

A change in  the law in the way you suggest would dramatically alter the laws concerning not only trespassing but also the way we handle others being on private property for any reason as a large measure of that law is based upon trespassing or being on the property in various degrees. You can't change only the railroad part of this particular part of the law without causing massive change in the law.

LC

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Posted by Poppa_Zit on Saturday, November 4, 2006 12:21 AM

 tree68 wrote:
Don't think that I'm defending them.  Just pointing out that "hobo" does not necessarily automatically equal "hardened criminal...."

I didn't think that at all. But what you're saying is like using the phrase "slightly pregnant..."Big Smile [:D]

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Posted by Datafever on Saturday, November 4, 2006 12:32 AM
Property rights (as regards to trespassing) are a lot like copyright permissions.  If you don't defend your copyright, your property becomes public domain.  Similarly, if you allow the public to freely use your property, your property basically becomes public property.  And at that point, you can no longer claim that the offender was trespassing.  Therefore, any law that denied the ability of trespassers to sue for injuries would not be taken into account, and the lawsuits would continue.
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Posted by Poppa_Zit on Saturday, November 4, 2006 12:43 AM

 Datafever wrote:
Property rights (as regards to trespassing) are a lot like copyright permissions.  If you don't defend your copyright, your property becomes public domain.  Similarly, if you allow the public to freely use your property, your property basically becomes public property.  And at that point, you can no longer claim that the offender was trespassing.  Therefore, any law that denied the ability of trespassers to sue for injuries would not be taken into account, and the lawsuits would continue.

What's your source on this? Because what you say is dead wrong.

I'm in a business that requires I know copyright law, and as I understand it the only way a copyright becomes public domain is if it expires and is not renewed. The absence of defending any or every violation does NOT open up a registered mark to "public domain." The law is broken when someone uses a copyright without obtaining proper license -- and I would say it follows that as long as private property is posted, trespassers can be prosecuted. To say otherwise is untrue.

Go here and read No. 5 -- http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html  

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Posted by Datafever on Saturday, November 4, 2006 12:52 AM
 Poppa_Zit wrote:

 Datafever wrote:
Property rights (as regards to trespassing) are a lot like copyright permissions.  If you don't defend your copyright, your property becomes public domain.  Similarly, if you allow the public to freely use your property, your property basically becomes public property.  And at that point, you can no longer claim that the offender was trespassing.  Therefore, any law that denied the ability of trespassers to sue for injuries would not be taken into account, and the lawsuits would continue.

What's your source on this? Because what you say is dead wrong.

I'm in a business that requires I know copyright law, and as I understand it the only way a copyright becomes public domain is if it expires and is not renewed. The absence of defending any or every violation does NOT open up a registered mark to "public domain." The law is broken when someone uses a copyright without obtaining proper license -- and I would say it follows that as long as private property is posted, trespassers can be prosecuted. To say otherwise is untrue.

Go here and read No. 5 -- http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html  



I really should have stayed with just property rights and not tried to go with the copyright analogy.  Every state has laws that cover public use of private property.  You can search for information regarding "prescriptive easement" or "implied dedication".  Here is an example from California:

• A right of access acquired through use is, essentially, an easement over real property that comes into being without the explicit consent of the owner. The acquisition of such an easement is referred to as an “implied dedication”, the right acquired is also referred to as a “public prescriptive easement”. This term recognizes that the use must continue for the length of the “prescriptive period” before a public easement comes into being. In California the prescriptive period is five (5) years.

It is easy to find pages and pages of debates and court decisions regarding such access, but what it boils down to is that if you don't take steps to prevent trespassing, then you can lose the right to claim that your property is being trespassed.
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Posted by Chris30 on Saturday, November 4, 2006 10:21 AM

The romantic part of being a hobo died a long time ago. As mentioned in a post above, todays world is just too violent for anybody to call the hobo lifestyle romantic. Hopping a ride on freight train was a practice that generally was accepted in times long since past. I'm sure that going back to the years of the Great Depression, hopping a freight train was the only way for some people to get from one place to another while looking for work. Were there people who died, lost limbs or suffered other various injuries while doing so? I'm sure that there was. In todays world you have lawyers who will sue for anything, asking for everything and our court system seems more than willing to listen. That has a lot of people and companies running scared.

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Posted by Limitedclear on Saturday, November 4, 2006 11:20 AM
 Datafever wrote:
 Poppa_Zit wrote:

 Datafever wrote:
Property rights (as regards to trespassing) are a lot like copyright permissions.  If you don't defend your copyright, your property becomes public domain.  Similarly, if you allow the public to freely use your property, your property basically becomes public property.  And at that point, you can no longer claim that the offender was trespassing.  Therefore, any law that denied the ability of trespassers to sue for injuries would not be taken into account, and the lawsuits would continue.

What's your source on this? Because what you say is dead wrong.

I'm in a business that requires I know copyright law, and as I understand it the only way a copyright becomes public domain is if it expires and is not renewed. The absence of defending any or every violation does NOT open up a registered mark to "public domain." The law is broken when someone uses a copyright without obtaining proper license -- and I would say it follows that as long as private property is posted, trespassers can be prosecuted. To say otherwise is untrue.

Go here and read No. 5 -- http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html  



I really should have stayed with just property rights and not tried to go with the copyright analogy.  Every state has laws that cover public use of private property.  You can search for information regarding "prescriptive easement" or "implied dedication".  Here is an example from California:

• A right of access acquired through use is, essentially, an easement over real property that comes into being without the explicit consent of the owner. The acquisition of such an easement is referred to as an “implied dedication”, the right acquired is also referred to as a “public prescriptive easement”. This term recognizes that the use must continue for the length of the “prescriptive period” before a public easement comes into being. In California the prescriptive period is five (5) years.

It is easy to find pages and pages of debates and court decisions regarding such access, but what it boils down to is that if you don't take steps to prevent trespassing, then you can lose the right to claim that your property is being trespassed.

You are misreading the law.

While in certain limited circumstances prescriptive easements may be implied, the uses are very restrictive and require a showing of the five elements of adverse possession in most jurisdictions. This includes the

1. Open possession of the easement

2. Notorious possession of the easement

3. Under a Claim of Right (deed or other documentation)

4. Continuous

5. For the Statutory Period

These conditions are read strictly by the courts and if you are missing one, your easement fails.

Further, railroads are not subject to adverse possession or prescriptive easement in most states as to their properties involved in Interstate Commerce. You cannot possess a railroad right of way any more than you can adversely possess a public highway. Accordingly, none of this discussion has any application to railroads. For purposes of California Law Railroads are considered pulic utilities.

California Civil Code Section 1007 provides:

1007.  Occupancy for the period prescribed by the Code of Civil
Procedure as sufficient to bar any action for the recovery of the
property confers a title thereto, denominated a title by
prescription, which is sufficient against all, but no possession by
any person, firm or corporation no matter how long continued of any
land, water, water right, easement, or other property whatsoever
dedicated to a public use by a public utility, or dedicated to or
owned by the state or any public entity, shall ever ripen into any
title, interest or right against the owner thereof.

LC

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Posted by Datafever on Saturday, November 4, 2006 12:01 PM
 Limitedclear wrote:

You are misreading the law.

While in certain limited circumstances prescriptive easements may be implied, the uses are very restrictive and require a showing of the five elements of adverse possession in most jurisdictions. This includes the

1. Open possession of the easement

2. Notorious possession of the easement

3. Under a Claim of Right (deed or other documentation)

4. Continuous

5. For the Statutory Period

These conditions are read strictly by the courts and if you are missing one, your easement fails.

Further, railroads are not subject to adverse possession or prescriptive easement in most states as to their properties involved in Interstate Commerce. You cannot possess a railroad right of way any more than you can adversely possess a public highway. Accordingly, none of this discussion has any application to railroads. For purposes of California Law Railroads are considered pulic utilities.

California Civil Code Section 1007 provides:

1007.  Occupancy for the period prescribed by the Code of Civil
Procedure as sufficient to bar any action for the recovery of the
property confers a title thereto, denominated a title by
prescription, which is sufficient against all, but no possession by
any person, firm or corporation no matter how long continued of any
land, water, water right, easement, or other property whatsoever
dedicated to a public use by a public utility, or dedicated to or
owned by the state or any public entity, shall ever ripen into any
title, interest or right against the owner thereof.

LC



First of all, let me state that you may very well be correct and that implied dedication does not apply to railroads, in which case this entire segment of discussion is completely moot.

The Civil Code section that you quote applies to the conversion of an easement to a title; it does not address the creation of an easement.

Adverse possession is also quite different from implied dedication.  Adverse possession deals with the right of an occupying intruder to gain title of property.  Implied dedication deals with the right of the public to use (as in legally trespass on) private property.  Some courts have found that simply using a strip of land regularly for a shortcut is enough for a prescriptive easement.

Nevertheless, I will repeat my first statement - I have no knowledge as to whether implied dedication would apply to property owned by railroads.  But I have never read anything to suspect that they would be excluded either.
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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, November 4, 2006 1:14 PM
 Poppa_Zit wrote:

 tree68 wrote:
Don't think that I'm defending them.  Just pointing out that "hobo" does not necessarily automatically equal "hardened criminal...."

I didn't think that at all. But what you're saying is like using the phrase "slightly pregnant..."Big Smile [:D]

I was drawing the line somewhere above (or below, your choice) law-abiding.  That is to say that a shop lifter and a serial killer are both criminals, but there is a substantial difference in the seriousness of their crimes. 

Kinda like being "slightly pregnant" with one baby, or quintuplets. 

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Posted by Limitedclear on Saturday, November 4, 2006 1:47 PM
 Datafever wrote:
 Limitedclear wrote:

You are misreading the law.

While in certain limited circumstances prescriptive easements may be implied, the uses are very restrictive and require a showing of the five elements of adverse possession in most jurisdictions. This includes the

1. Open possession of the easement

2. Notorious possession of the easement

3. Under a Claim of Right (deed or other documentation)

4. Continuous

5. For the Statutory Period

These conditions are read strictly by the courts and if you are missing one, your easement fails.

Further, railroads are not subject to adverse possession or prescriptive easement in most states as to their properties involved in Interstate Commerce. You cannot possess a railroad right of way any more than you can adversely possess a public highway. Accordingly, none of this discussion has any application to railroads. For purposes of California Law Railroads are considered pulic utilities.

California Civil Code Section 1007 provides:

1007.  Occupancy for the period prescribed by the Code of Civil
Procedure as sufficient to bar any action for the recovery of the
property confers a title thereto, denominated a title by
prescription, which is sufficient against all, but no possession by
any person, firm or corporation no matter how long continued of any
land, water, water right, easement, or other property whatsoever
dedicated to a public use by a public utility, or dedicated to or
owned by the state or any public entity, shall ever ripen into any
title, interest or right against the owner thereof.

LC



First of all, let me state that you may very well be correct and that implied dedication does not apply to railroads, in which case this entire segment of discussion is completely moot.

The Civil Code section that you quote applies to the conversion of an easement to a title; it does not address the creation of an easement.

Adverse possession is also quite different from implied dedication.  Adverse possession deals with the right of an occupying intruder to gain title of property.  Implied dedication deals with the right of the public to use (as in legally trespass on) private property.  Some courts have found that simply using a strip of land regularly for a shortcut is enough for a prescriptive easement.

Nevertheless, I will repeat my first statement - I have no knowledge as to whether implied dedication would apply to property owned by railroads.  But I have never read anything to suspect that they would be excluded either.

A title is the right to use the easement by prescription. The whole inquiry of whether you have an easement by prescription or not requires that title be matured. Your argument makes no legal sense. If you (including the public in the case of an implied public easement) have no title in the easement, you have no easement, public or otherwise. 

As to cases on prescriptive easements, there are many good and bad. Hopefully, the bad have been reversed upon appeal.

As I said above, a railroad is a public utility and is protected by Federal Law by virtue of the railroads federal charter and in some cases by federal land grants. State property laws are pre-empted in most occasions and even, if not, most states have reached the same conclusion. I'm not going to spend my day off conducting legal research on the point, although I'm certain we could argue it endlessly.

LC

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 2,434 posts
Posted by gabe on Saturday, November 4, 2006 8:08 PM
 I agree with LC's assessment.  However, about a year ago the Indiana Supreme Court just ruled the opposite in a case involving an easement claimed by a gas line utility over the Louisville and Indiana railroad.  I thought it was a crazy opinion that basically concluded that commerce requires various forms of transportation to have easements ergo the gas company should not have to pay for it.

I should probably shut up before I say something that angers the powers that be.

Gabe

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