The Florida Supreme Court is trying to determine whether forty Sarasota landowners should be compensated for land seized by the federal government.
A decommissioned railroad sits on the disputed land, which Sarasota County petitioned the federal government to seize and turn into a bike trail. The court is considering the original deed to the land to figure out ownership, but as Supreme Court Justice Barbara J. Pariente tells Attorney Mark Hearne, the document is over a century old.
“When were the deeds entered into?” Pariente asked during the hearing.
“1910,” Hearne replied.
“So you have some evidence of what their intent was?” Pariente asked.
“I think the intent was pretty clear from what was done with the property, and what was written in the deed,” Hearne said.
The landowners claim the deed is worded in such a way that the rail company can’t fully claim the land.