Iowa church sues company over railroad track on its property
MASON CITY (AP) — An Iowa church has sued a railway company, alleging it built a rail line on its property without permission.
The lawsuit by Christian Fellowship Church in Mason City accuses Iowa Traction Railway of installing the line after negotiations for the railroad to acquire a portion of the church's land were unsuccessful, the Globe Gazette reported.
The church has asked the railroad to remove the line, but the company refused, the lawsuit says.
Iowa Traction Railway denies the church's claims and said in a reply to the lawsuit that it gained ownership of the land through adverse possession. Adverse possession is a legal term akin to squatter's rights that allows someone who openly occupies land for a long period to gain title of it. The railroad also claims the church missed the deadline file a lawsuit in the case.
The railroad owns land adjacent to the church's land along its east property line, according to the lawsuit.
The church is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from the railroad, in addition to a court injunction requiring the company to remove the rail line from the church's property.
Both the Rev. Shane Philpott, pastor at Christian Fellowship Church, and an attorney for the railroad declined to comment to the Globe Gazette on the lawsuit.