City of Lake Saint Louis v. City of O'Fallon, ED 102003

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtSherri B. Sullivan, P.J.
Citation462 S.W.3d 810
PartiesCity of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, Plaintiff/Respondent, v. City of O'Fallon, Missouri, Defendant/Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. ED 102003,ED 102003
Decision Date28 April 2015

462 S.W.3d 810

City of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, Plaintiff/Respondent
City of O'Fallon, Missouri, Defendant/Appellant.

No. ED 102003

Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, DIVISION TWO .

Filed: April 28, 2015
Motion for Rehearing and/or Transfer to Supreme Court Denied June 3, 2015

Jeffrey T. McPherson, Matthew Reh, Jeffrey L. Schultz, 7700 Forsyth, Suite 1800, St. Louis, MO 63105, For Plaintiff/Respondent.

Kevin M. O'Keefe, Stephanie E. Karr, Edward J. Sluys, 130 S. Bemiston, Suite

462 S.W.3d 812

200, St. Louis, MO 63105, For Defendant/Appellant.

Sherri B. Sullivan, P.J.


City of O'Fallon, Missouri (O'Fallon) appeals from the circuit court's entry of summary judgment in favor of City of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri (Lake St. Louis) on Lake St. Louis's petition seeking a declaratory judgment establishing Lake St. Louis's northern boundary. We affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background

This case involves a dispute over the annexation of land. The area in dispute is approximately depicted in the map below by the cross-hatched area:

O'Fallon lies to the north of disputed property and Lake St. Louis to the south; the municipalities have asserted competing claims to the disputed territory.

In 1978, Lake St. Louis filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment, Cause No. 20041 (Annexation Case), wherein it sought to annex certain real property in St. Charles County. The legal description of the northern boundary of the property seeking to be annexed provided as follows:

... thence westwardly along the northern right-of-way line of Interstate Highway 70 to a point which is a perpendicular distance northwardly to the centerline of said Interstate Highway 70 from the intersection of the east right-of-way line of Lake Saint Louis Boulevard and the southern right-of-way line of Interstate Highway 70....

On September 29, 1981, the court entered a Decree of Declaratory Judgment in the Annexation Case approving the annexation of the property described therein (Annexation Judgment). On February 2, 1982, an election was held in Lake St. Louis approving the annexation. On May 17, 1982, the Annexation Judgment was recorded with the St. Charles County Recorder of Deeds.

Between 1982 and 2004, the disputed area was owned by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). Negotiations between property owners,

462 S.W.3d 813

O'Fallon, MoDOT, and St. Charles County resulted in the annexation of several properties, as well as the improvement and redevelopment of the roadway and properties in the disputed area beginning in 2004. Beginning in 2005, O'Fallon purported to annex some of the parcels of property in the disputed area.

On March 26, 2009, Lake St. Louis filed a petition for declaratory judgment seeking a judgment declaring that Lake St. Louis's northern boundary was the northern line of the disputed area and that O'Fallon had not annexed the disputed territory.

On April 30, 2009, O'Fallon filed a motion to dismiss asserting the exclusive remedy to test a city's right to territory in an annexation dispute is by quo warranto action. On June 15, 2009, the circuit court sustained the motion to dismiss. On appeal, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed the judgment of dismissal and remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings in the declaratory judgment action. On remand, O'Fallon filed a two-count counterclaim for a declaratory judgment declaring O'Fallon annexed the properties in dispute and, alternatively, for unjust enrichment.

On May 28, 2013, O'Fallon moved for summary judgment. On June 7, 2013, Lake St. Louis moved for summary judgment. Lake St. Louis attached a survey completed by David Skornia (Skornia) of Pickett, Ray & Silver (2013 survey) providing a metes and bounds description and a survey based upon the legal description in the Annexation Judgment that depicted Lake St. Louis's northern boundary coinciding with the northern boundary of the disputed area, thus supporting Lake St. Louis's position that the disputed property had been annexed by it in 1982.

On June 18, 2013, O'Fallon filed a motion for an extension of time to file a reply in support of its motion for summary judgment to obtain its own survey and to respond to Lake St. Louis's alleged uncontroverted material facts. The circuit court granted an extension. O'Fallon's subsequent filings did not include a survey.

On March 28, 2014, the circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Lake St. Louis and against O'Fallon on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. The circuit court found the disputed area was annexed by Lake St. Louis in 1982 and the exhibits filed by O'Fallon failed to create a genuine dispute with regard to this fact. The circuit court found the 2013 survey was the only survey of Lake Saint Louis's northern boundary presented to the court and O'Fallon did not produce a survey placing the boundary in any other location. The court found, as a matter of law, O'Fallon could not annex any portion of the incorporated area of Lake St. Louis and O'Fallon's attempts to annex property south of the boundary line depicted in the 2013 survey were invalid, improper, and failed as a matter of law.

On August 7, 2014, Lake St. Louis filed a motion to dismiss Count II of O'Fallon's counterclaim for unjust enrichment for failure to state a claim. On August 28, 2014, O'Fallon sought leave to file an amended counterclaim by interlineation. On September 5, 2014, the circuit court entered its Order and Final Judgment granting Lake St. Louis's motion to dismiss and denying O'Fallon's leave to amend. The court found the dismissal without prejudice of O'Fallon's outstanding claim disposed of all available remedies and the judgment was a final judgment as to all issues. This appeal follows.

Point on Appeal

On appeal, O'Fallon argues the circuit court erred in granting Lake St.

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Louis's motion for summary judgment and denying O'Fallon's cross-motion for summary judgment, because O'Fallon lawfully annexed the disputed area, in that: (1) Lake St. Louis never annexed the disputed territory and (2) alternatively, if it did, it surrendered sovereignty over the disputed area by acquiescence, waiver, or estoppel prior to O'Fallon commencing annexation proceedings.1

Standard of Review

We review the circuit court's grant of summary judgment de novo . ITT Comm. Fin. Corp. v. Mid–Am. Marine Supply Corp., 854 S.W.2d 371, 376 (Mo. banc 1993). Whether to grant summary judgment is purely an issue of law. Ashford Condo., Inc. v. Horner & Shifrin, Inc., 328 S.W.3d 714, 717 (Mo.App.E.D.2010). We will uphold summary judgment on appeal only where there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. ITT Comm. Fin. Corp., 854 S.W.2d at 376 ; Rule 74.04(c). The record is viewed in the light most favorable to the party against whom judgment was entered. Citibrook II, L.L.C. v. Morgan's Foods of Missouri, Inc., 239 S.W.3d 631, 634 (Mo.App.E.D.2007).

Once the movant has established a right to judgment as a matter of law, the non-movant must demonstrate that one or more of the material facts asserted by the movant as not in dispute is, in fact, genuinely disputed. Crow v. Crawford & Co., 259 S.W.3d 104, 113 (Mo.App.E.D.2008). The non-movant may not rest upon mere allegations and denials of the pleadings, but must use affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories, or admissions on file to show the existence of a genuine issue for trial. Id. “Facts contained in affidavits or otherwise in support of a party's motion are accepted as true unless contradicted by the non-moving party's response to the summary judgment motion.”Premier Golf Missouri, LLC v. Staley Land Co., LLC, 282 S.W.3d 866, 871 (Mo.App.W.D.2009). We will affirm the trial court's judgment if it is sustainable on any theory. Citibrook, 239 S.W.3d at 634.


Whether the Disputed Area Was Annexed by Lake St. Louis in 1982

The central issue in this case is whether Lake St. Louis annexed the disputed area in 1982. This is resolved by determining whether the disputed area was included in the...

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