Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Arizona

I have been offered a job of clearing some land near Ajo, Az. The landowner wants to remove the ore rails that go through his property. The tracks have been abandone for 25 years. And the last time he has received a lease payment for the railway was 1985.� These are not public railways, rather a smaller version that are used for ming and are privately owned. They are said to be owned by Freeport inc. We can not get them to return a call. When we started to clear these tracks sheriffs deputies arrived and told us to stop. The landowner was not with us. So, now the landowner wants to continue and he will be with us, if they comeback. But I wanted to know if he is legal in saying he has the right to remove this track on his land since it is abandone.

is this true?

Asked on 10/16/11, 3:08 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Riley Snow The Law Office of Riley S. Snow PLC

Based on the facts you presented, it is likely the tracks have been abandoned. However, I would recommend additional measures for contacting Freeport to insure the easement is no longer in use. Having represented numerous easement holders and property owners, it is always easier to work with the easement holder BEFORE damage is done to the easement facilities than after the fact. You may have a good faith basis for getting rid of the rails, but if Freeport comes back and disputes the abandonment, you may have to pay to replace the railway. In any event, the rails remain the property of Freeport and it may want to collect them. I am acquainted with certain representatives of this company and would be happy to represent the landowner in dealing with this matter prior to your clearing the land. I don't not recommend clearing the rails prior to sending them proper notice and offering them a chance to respond for the reasons mentioned above. If you want to be sure your notice gets into the right hands, please let me know.

Thank you,

-Riley Snow

(480) 477-6311

[email protected]

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Answered on 10/17/11, 2:37 pm

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