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Tag Archives: Missouri Court of Appeals

Never mind, Missouri cities can charge different tap fees in different parts of town


Earlier this year, I wrote that the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals, in  City of Sullivan v. Sites,  had struck down an ordinance of the City of Sullivan that established a higher tap fee for connecting to the city’s sewer main in a particular part of town. The voters of the City of Sullivan had approved a $3.3 million bond issue to extend sewers to a part of  the city without sewer service. The city’s board  of aldermen adopted an ordinance imposing a connection fee in the newly-served area that was higher than the connection fee charged in the remainder of the city.

The Sites trust challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance establishing the higher connection fee, claiming that the ordinance violated Article III, section 40(30), which prohibited the passage of local or special laws where a general law would suffice. A general law relates to persons or things as a class, while a special or local law relates to particular persons or places.

However, Missouri Supreme Court’s opinion in City of Sullivan v. Sites, reversed the Court of Appeals decision and affirmed the trial court’s decision upholding the ordinance. The Supreme Court reviewed court decisions that recognize that prohibitions against special or local laws “should not prevent necessary geographic classifications premised on legitimate distinguish characteristics.” The Supreme Court determined that the Site trust’s property was not singled out, but was a part of a geographic area n area that was defined as a class.

The Supreme Court held that “the city was justified in creating the class of new sewer connections charged higher connection fees,” having demonstrated good financial and practical reasons for requiring property in the newly-served area, noting that the imposition of higher fees in the new area “contributed to the City’s ability to fund the sewer project as a whole.”

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Missouri judge rewrites non-compete agreement, but won’t enforce what’s left


You pay a lawyer to write a bulletproof contract.  Then you have to pay a lawyer to go to court to make it stick. Then the judge rewrites it to the point that it doesn’t do what the parties agreed. Look at Paradise v. Midwest Asphalt Coatings, issued March 16, 2010 by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri.

Bob Paradise signed an employment contract with a “non-compete clause,” promising that Read the rest of this entry

Court reminds city that its powers are limited


Elected officials tend to think that they ought to be able to do whatever seems reasonable under the circumstances. But the Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Missouri took a different view, in Cliff Hindman Real Estate, Inc. v. City of Jennings, handed down March 10, 2009. The Court of Appeals struck down an ordinance requiring landlords to buy licenses from the City, because Read the rest of this entry

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