BY THE COURT
district court's grant of summary judgment on fewer than
all claims or against fewer than all parties is not a final
judgment for appeal purposes under K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 60-2102
absent certification under K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 60-254(b).
certification of "no just reason for delay" under
K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 60-254(b) may be made after summary
judgment is granted to fewer than all parties or on fewer
than all claims.
notice of appeal of a district court's grant of summary
judgment on fewer than all claims or against fewer than all
parties filed before that order is certified under K.S.A.
2016 Supp. 60-254(b) is premature but will be deemed
effective if the K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 60-254(b) certification by
the district court occurs before the appeal is dismissed.
a railroad company acquires a strip of land for a right of
way it generally takes only an easement. This is the rule
whether the strip is acquired by condemnation or deed. When
the railroad abandons that right of way, the estate reverts
to the original landowners.
of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished
opinion filed February 5, 2016. Appeal from Jackson District
Court; Micheal A. Ireland, judge. Opinion filed October 27,
2017. Judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the district
court is affirmed. Judgment of the district court is
Nicholas David, of The David Law Office LLC, of Topeka,
argued the cause and was on the briefs for appellant.
Michael S. Heptig, of Sloan, Eisenbarth, Glassman, McEntire
& Jarboe, L.L.C., of Topeka, argued the cause and
Danielle N. Davey, of the same firm, was on the brief for
appellee Eben Crosby.
Alexandria S. Morrissey, of Holton, was on the brief for
appellee Jackson County.
Richard Lake, of Holton, was on the brief for appellee Willis
Jenkins sues to quiet title to real property located in
Holton through which a now-abandoned railway once ran. She
traces her ownership claim to a deed conveying those lots to
a railroad company in 1886. The contested property was
described in that deed as part of a strip of land running
through the grantors' property along the planned
railroad's centerline. After the railroad abandoned the
railway, it quitclaimed its interest in the strip to a
company that subsequently quitclaimed its interest to
Jenkins. The dispute is whether the 1886 deed expressly or
impliedly conveyed the property for use as a right of way.
district court entered summary judgment against Jenkins. It
held the 1886 deed conveyed the strip for use as a right of
way and therefore granted only an easement that reverted to
the original landowners when the railroad abandoned the
railway. Accordingly, the district court ruled when the
railroad quitclaimed its interest in the strip to the company
from which Jenkins acquired her interest, "the railroad
deeded land it was not legally capable of deeding." The
Court of Appeals affirmed. Jenkins v. Chicago Pacific
Corp., No. 113, 104, 2016 WL 463789 (Kan. App. 2016)
(unpublished opinion). We agree.
that the language in the 1886 deed demonstrates the land was
conveyed to the railroad for use as a right of way.
Therefore, under our longstanding caselaw, the railroad
acquired only an easement, which reverted to the landowners
when the railroad abandoned the right of way. As the district
court correctly held, the entity that deeded the lots to
Jenkins based on a conveyance from the railroad had no estate
to transfer to her. See Abercrombie v. Simmons, 71
Kan. 538, 546, 81 P. 208 (1905) ("Whatever its name, the
interest was taken for use as a right of way, it was limited
to that use, and must revert when the use is
and Procedural Background
material facts are uncontroverted. In 1886, five individuals
executed a single deed "grant[ing], bargain[ing]
sell[ing] and convey[ing] [real estate] . . . to the Chicago,
Kansas and Nebraska Railway Company." Thereafter, a
railway was operated on the property. At some point, the
railway was abandoned. In 1985, the Chicago, Kansas and
Nebraska Railway Company's successor in interest
quitclaimed its interests in the property to Dirt &
Gravel, Inc. Jenkins acquired her claimed interest through a
1994 quitclaim deed from Dirt & Gravel. The legal
description of the property as stated in her 1994 deed was
"[a]ll that portion of the abandoned Chicago, Rock
Island and Pacific Railroad right of way" in the lots
located in Holton.
2010, Jenkins sued to quiet adverse claims against her title,
seeking a determination that she was legally vested with fee
simple ownership. She advanced two legal theories: the
quitclaim deed conveyed fee title to her, or that she
acquired title through adverse possession. Four defendants