Here's the Opinion and Order of the Court of Federal Claims after the damages trial in Childers v. United States, No. 08-1981 (Aug. 5, 2013). It's a very long opinion (145 pages, with a table of contents!), so we're not going to summarize it, but if you want to know how a rails-to-trails case is tried, you can't do better than this. Here's the court's overview:
This Fifth Amendment taking case comes before the Court following a trial on damages. Plaintiffs, landowners of 13 separate properties in Sarasota, Florida, seek just compensation stemming from the imposition of a recreational trail across their properties pursuant to the Rails to Trails Act. Specifically, Plaintiffs seek $8,703,800, representing $4,938,200 for the encumbrance of the trail and $3,765,600 in severance damages. Defendant asserts that compensation should be limited to the encumbrance, which it claims is properly valued at $2,220,900. The Court awards just compensation in the amount of $5,701,579.73 representing $4,706,047.56 for the land encumbered by the corridor plus severance damages of $995,532.17.
Opinion at 6 (footnote omitted).
Congratulations to colleague Thor Hearne on the victory.