Railroad Crossings – The Minnesota Court of Appeals Weighs In

MSBA Office, 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 380, Minneapolis, MN 55402
11.30.2018 | 12:00 p.m.

Railroads and broadband providers have been engaged in a struggle over the terms, conditions, and price for the installation of broadband facilities across and along railroad right of way. This struggle has played out in business negotiations, lawsuits, at the legislature, and before state agencies. In an effort to clarify the rights and responsibilities of the parties, the Minnesota Legislature passed Minn. Stat. 237.045 which sets a fee of $1250 and imposes a variety of requirements on the applicant as well as time limits on the process.

Litigation quickly ensued regarding the statute. On September 24, 2018, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued a decision interpreting Minn. Stat. 237.045 and addressing BNSF's claims that (1) the statute did not apply to facilities installed parallel to the railroad right of way; (2) the statute was preempted by federal law and (3) that the statute imposed an unconstitutional taking of property without just compensation.

This presentation will provide context for the Court's decision, review its reasoning and attempt to interpret the impact it will have in the future.

CLE Credits:

1.0 Standard CLE Credits applied for | Event Code: 265880