City of Jersey City v. Consolidated Rail Corp. (D.C. Circuit)
Our client, Consolidated Rail Corporation, sold property in Jersey City to developers after attempts to sell the property to Jersey City failed. Alleging that the sale effected a de facto abandonment of regulated rail property, the city and other interested parties filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the property could be abandoned only with the approval of the Surface Transportation Board. The district court dismissed the complaint, concluding that plaintiffs lacked standing because they had not established that judicial intervention would benefit Jersey City’s efforts to acquire the property through condemnation or other means. The D.C. Circuit reversed, holding that the city had standing because Conrail’s failure to obtain Surface Transportation Board abandonment authority deprived the city of the opportunity to acquire and protect the property through remedies available in abandonment proceedings or under a New Jersey condemnation statute that applied to duly abandoned rail properties.