134 S.W.2d 65 (Mo. 1939), 36925, Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann

Docket Nº36925
Citation134 S.W.2d 65, 345 Mo. 449
Opinion JudgeClark, J.
Party NameLaret Investment Company, a Corporation, Appellant, v. Bernard F. Dickmann, Mayor of the City of St. Louis; Louis Nolte, Comptroller of the City of St. Louis; Michael J. Cullinane, City Register of the City of St. Louis; Housing Authority, of the City of St. Louis, a Corporation, and William C. Connett, Joseph J. Hauser, Frank L. Williams, Luella B
AttorneyFrank E. Morris for appellant. Edgar H. Wayman for respondents. Jones, Hocker, Gladney & Grand, Jos. H. Grand and Lon Hocker, Jr., amici curiae, in behalf of St. Louis Real Estate Exchange, O'Fallon Park Protective Association, and Building Owners' & Managers' Association of St. Louis, Inc.
Case DateDecember 05, 1939
CourtSupreme Court of Missouri

Page 65

134 S.W.2d 65 (Mo. 1939)

345 Mo. 449

Laret Investment Company, a Corporation, Appellant,

v.

Bernard F. Dickmann, Mayor of the City of St. Louis; Louis Nolte, Comptroller of the City of St. Louis; Michael J. Cullinane, City Register of the City of St. Louis; Housing Authority, of the City of St. Louis, a Corporation, and William C. Connett, Joseph J. Hauser, Frank L. Williams, Luella B. Sayman and H. H. Handlan, Commissioners of said Housing Authority, of the City of St. Louis

No. 36925

Supreme Court of Missouri

December 5, 1939

Page 66

Appeal from Circuit Court of City of St. Louis; Hon. Ernest F. Oakley, Judge.

Affirmed.

Frank E. Morris for appellant.

(1) A municipal corporation is an instrumentality of the State, formed for a public purpose. Dillon on Municipal Corporations (5 Ed.), sec. 32; State ex rel. Caldwell v. Little River Drain. Dist., 291 Mo. 72, 236 S.W. 15; State ex rel. Kinder v. Little River Drain. Dist., 291 Mo. 267, 236 S.W. 848. (2) The declaration of the Legislature as to what constitutes a public purpose is not conclusive, but the question is open for review by the courts. State ex rel. Douglas County v. Cornell, 53 Neb. 556, 74 N.W. 59; Halbruegger v. St. Louis, 302 Mo. 573, 262 S.W. 379; Wells v. Housing Authority, 213 N.C. 744, 197 S.E. 693. (3) The clearance, replanning and reconstruction of slum areas and the providing of safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons of low income is not a public purpose and does not constitute a proper governmental function. Opinion of Justices, 211 Mass. 624, 98 N.E. 611; United States v. Certain Lands, 78 F.2d 684; State ex rel. Kansas City v. Orear, 277 Mo. 303, 210 S.W. 392; Kennedy v. Nevada, 281 S.W. 56.

Edgar H. Wayman for respondents.

(1) The term "municipal corporation," as used in Section 6 of Article X of the Missouri Constitution, is not to be applied in its strict sense as referring only to incorporated cities, but is used in its broader sense as including any agency of the State performing an essential governmental function. State ex rel. Kinder v. Little River Drain. Dist., 291 Mo. 267, 236 S.W. 848; State ex rel. Caldwell v. Little River Drain. Dist., 291 Mo. 72, 236 S.W. 15; Grand River Drain. Dist. v. Reid, 111 S.W.2d 151; School District of Oakland v. School Dist. of Joplin, 102 S.W.2d 910; Harris v. Bond Co., 244 Mo. 689. (2) While the declaration of the Legislature as to what constitutes a public purpose is not conclusive, nevertheless the courts will not overturn such legislative declaration unless the court is clearly satisfied that error has been committed. Halbruegger v. St. Louis, 262 S.W. 381; Jennings v. St. Louis, 332 Mo. 178. (3) When the Legislature, in a law, makes findings, the courts will presume that such findings are based upon evidence satisfactory to the Legislature. What that evidence was the courts do not feel at liberty to inquire. State v. Tower, 185 Mo. 85; Ex parte Renfrow, 112 Mo. 595; State v. Hedrick, 241 S.W. 421. (4) The Missouri Housing Act creates a municipal corporation, the activities of which constitute a public purpose for public benefit. New York Housing Authority v. Miller, 270 N.Y. 333; Dornan v. Philadelphia Housing Authority 200 A. 834; Marvin v. Housing Authority of Jacksonville, 183 So. 145; Wilson v. Housing Authority, 199 S.E. 43; Krause v. Peoria Housing Authority, 199 N.E.2d 193; Edwards v. Housing Authority of Muncie, 19 N.E.2d 741; Spahn v. Stewart, 268 Ky. 97, 103 S.W.2d 651; Porterie, Atty. Gen. State of Louisiana, v. Housing Authority of New Orleans, 190 La. 710, 182 So. 725; Rutherford v. Great Falls, 86 P.2d 656; Wells v. Housing Authority of Wilmington, 213 N.C. 744, 197 S.E. 693; McNulty v. Owens, 188 S.C. 377, 199 S.E. 425; Knoxville Housing Authority v. Knoxville, 123 S.W.2d 1085. (5) Housing Authorities are municipal corporations within the meaning of the Constitution of Missouri, and therefore entitled to tax exemption. State ex rel. Kinder v. Little River Drain. Dist., 291 Mo. 267, 236 S.W. 848; State ex rel. Caldwell v. Little River Drain. Dist., 291 Mo. 72, 236 S.W. 15; Grand River Drain. Dist. v. Reid, 111 S.W.2d 151; Rutherford v. Great Falls, 86 P.2d 656; In re Opinion of Justices, 179 So. 535; Wells v. Housing Authority of Wilmington, 197 S.E. 692.

Jones, Hocker, Gladney & Grand, Jos. H. Grand and Lon Hocker, Jr., amici curiae, in behalf of St. Louis Real Estate Exchange, O'Fallon Park Protective Association, and Building Owners' & Managers' Association of St. Louis, Inc.

Each case must make its own decision, and the test is: Does the classification bear a reasonable relation to the subject of the legislation? We take this elementary rule to be conceded, and, because of the status of our clients in this litigation, we do not feel we should quote extensively from the authorities. But, in addition to the last two cases above cited, excellent discussion of the rule can be found in the following cases: Woolley v. Mears, 226 Mo. 41, 125 S.W. 1112; State ex rel. v. Miller, 100 Mo. 439, 13 S.W. 677; Murnane v. St. Louis, 123 Mo. 491, 27 S.W. 711; State ex rel. v. Lee, 319 Mo. 976, 5 S.W.2d 83; Dunne v. Kansas City Ry. Co., 131 Mo. 1, 32 S.W. 641; Ex parte Loving, 178 Mo. 194, 77 S.W. 508.

OPINION

Clark, J.

Page 67

[345 Mo. 452] Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Louis City. The suit is to enjoin the execution of a certain agreement, called a "Cooperation Agreement," between the City of St. Louis and the Housing Authority of the City of St. Louis, on the ground that said agreement attempts, in violation of the Missouri Constitution, to exempt the property of the Housing Authority from taxation. Defendants jointly demurred to the petition on the ground that it did not state a cause of action; the chancellor sustained the demurrer and, plaintiff declining to plead further, entered a decree dismissing the petition. Plaintiff has appealed.

The sole...

To continue reading

Request your trial
54 practice notes
  • 153 S.W.2d 31 (Mo. 1941), 36994, State ex rel. City of St. Louis v. Baumann
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 10, 1941
    ...X, Sec. 6, Mo. Const.; Sec. 9743, R. S. 1929; Van Brocklin v. State, 117 U.S. 151, 6 S.Ct. 670, 29 L.Ed. 845; Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann, 134 S.W.2d 65; State v. Snokomish County, 71 Wash. 320, 128 P. 667; Gachet v. New Orleans, 52 La. Ann. 813, 27 So. 348. (4) In acquiring property a munic......
  • 250 S.W.2d 499 (Mo. 1952), 42837, School Dist. of Berkeley v. Evans
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 9, 1952
    ...of St. Louis. (1) The property in question is expressly exempted from taxation. Art. X, Sec. 6, Constitution; Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann, 345 Mo. 449, 134 S.W.2d 65; State ex rel. City of St. Louis v. Baumann, 348 Mo. 164, 153 S.W.2d 31; State ex rel. Cairo Bridge Commission v. Mitchell, 35......
  • 334 S.W.2d 394 (Mo.App. 1960), 30545, Carson v. Oxenhandler
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals of Missouri
    • April 19, 1960
    ...Bader Realty & Investment Co. v. St. Page 401 Louis Housing Authority, 358 Mo. 747, 217 S.W.2d 489; Laret Investment Co. v. Dickmann, 345 Mo. 449, 134 S.W.2d 65. The plaintiffs do not question either the constitutionality of the proposed agreement or the authority of the council to ente......
  • 533 S.W.3d 245 (Mo.App. E.D. 2017), ED 105242, Rail Switching Services, Inc. v. Marquis-Missouri Terminal, LLC
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals of Missouri
    • November 7, 2017
    ...incorporated cities, towns and villages, having subordinate and local powers of legislation." Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann, 345 Mo. 449, 134 S.W.2d 65, 68 (Mo. 1939) Page 256 (quoting State ex rel. Caldwell v. Little River Drainage Dist., 291 Mo. 72, 236 S.W. 15, 16 (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
54 cases
  • 153 S.W.2d 31 (Mo. 1941), 36994, State ex rel. City of St. Louis v. Baumann
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 10, 1941
    ...X, Sec. 6, Mo. Const.; Sec. 9743, R. S. 1929; Van Brocklin v. State, 117 U.S. 151, 6 S.Ct. 670, 29 L.Ed. 845; Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann, 134 S.W.2d 65; State v. Snokomish County, 71 Wash. 320, 128 P. 667; Gachet v. New Orleans, 52 La. Ann. 813, 27 So. 348. (4) In acquiring property a munic......
  • 250 S.W.2d 499 (Mo. 1952), 42837, School Dist. of Berkeley v. Evans
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 9, 1952
    ...of St. Louis. (1) The property in question is expressly exempted from taxation. Art. X, Sec. 6, Constitution; Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann, 345 Mo. 449, 134 S.W.2d 65; State ex rel. City of St. Louis v. Baumann, 348 Mo. 164, 153 S.W.2d 31; State ex rel. Cairo Bridge Commission v. Mitchell, 35......
  • 334 S.W.2d 394 (Mo.App. 1960), 30545, Carson v. Oxenhandler
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals of Missouri
    • April 19, 1960
    ...Bader Realty & Investment Co. v. St. Page 401 Louis Housing Authority, 358 Mo. 747, 217 S.W.2d 489; Laret Investment Co. v. Dickmann, 345 Mo. 449, 134 S.W.2d 65. The plaintiffs do not question either the constitutionality of the proposed agreement or the authority of the council to ente......
  • 533 S.W.3d 245 (Mo.App. E.D. 2017), ED 105242, Rail Switching Services, Inc. v. Marquis-Missouri Terminal, LLC
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals of Missouri
    • November 7, 2017
    ...incorporated cities, towns and villages, having subordinate and local powers of legislation." Laret Inv. Co. v. Dickmann, 345 Mo. 449, 134 S.W.2d 65, 68 (Mo. 1939) Page 256 (quoting State ex rel. Caldwell v. Little River Drainage Dist., 291 Mo. 72, 236 S.W. 15, 16 (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results