Sunday, February 15, 2015

Missouri Bankers Ass'n, Inc. v. St. Louis County

Opinion issued
November 12, 2014

Link to the Supreme Court of Missouri Opinion

This case arose out of an ordinance adopted by the St. Louis County Council [hereinafter, the County] in 2012.[1]  The ordinance, known as the “Mortgage Foreclosure Intervention Code,” stated its intention was to address “the national residential property foreclosure crisis” and the crisis’s negative impact on the County’s “property values, tax base, budget, assessments, and collection of real property taxes.[2]  The ordinance recognized “unmaintained properties” as public nuisances.[3]  In an attempt to rectify the public nuisance problem, the ordinance “implemented a mediation program requiring lenders to provide residential borrowers an opportunity to mediate prior to foreclosure.”[4]                                                                                                             
Two banks sued the County seeking injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment that the ordinance was invalid after the County enforced the ordinance.  The lower court granted the County’s summary judgment motion, and the Court of Appeals dismissed the banks’ appeal.  The Supreme Court of Missouri granted transfer.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan vs. City of Desloge, MO

Opinion issued
December 24, 2014

Link to Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Opinion

The Ku Klux Klan and KKK Imperial Wizard Frank Ancona (collectively referred to as “The Klan”) sought a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of a Desloge, MO city ordinance.[i]  The district court granted the injunction after determining that the ordinance unconstitutionally prohibited free speech in violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.[ii]  In so ordering, the district court determined that the ordinance was not narrowly tailored to achieve the city’s interests in protecting pedestrians and traffic safety.[iii]  The city appealed the district court’s determination, claiming that their ordinance did not offend the First Amendment, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately reversed and remanded the determination.[iv]