The State and Kane County rested their case on February 24th. The Court heard evidence from over 15 witnesses on their historical use of the roads and accepted deposition testimony of more than 50 others. Maps, aerial photographs, and other historic evidence provided additional support for the existence and use of these roads. The parties will provide additional arguments and briefing over the next six months, after which Judge Waddoups will issue a decision on these 15 specific roads which will provide guidance on how to begin resolving R.S. 2477 claims throughout the State.
Previously: On July 31, 2015, and on its own initiative, the Federal District Court for the District of Utah entered an order establishing a process designed to ultimately result in a more efficient way of processing the 12,500 right-of-way claims throughout the state. The order creates a “Bellwether” process by which the parties have now stipulated to, and the Court has approved, fifteen (15) rights-of-way in Kane County that exemplify remaining legal issues regarding the determination of R.S. 2477 rights-of-way. These fifteen (15) rights-of-way will be tried in the District Court at an expedited trial beginning February 4, 2020.
Once all legal issues have been resolved, one or more special masters will be appointed by the court to more expeditiously resolve all R.S. 2477 right-of-way claims throughout the state.