City of St. Louis v. City of Bridgeton, No. 58621

Decision Date26 February 1991
Docket NumberNo. 58621
Citation806 S.W.2d 717
PartiesCITY OF ST. LOUIS, Respondent, v. CITY OF BRIDGETON, Appellant.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Application to Transfer Denied May 3, 1991.

William A. Richter, Robert L. Jackstadt, St. Louis, for appellant.

Donald G. Dylewski, James J. Wilson, Edward James Hanlon, St. Louis, for respondent.

CRIST, Judge.

The City of Bridgeton appeals from an order entered in a bench trial. The trial judge determined the City of St. Louis did not have to disclose to Bridgeton its records showing the consideration paid for real estate located in Bridgeton and purchased by St. Louis for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport noise reduction purposes. We affirm.

Bridgeton contends the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Act, §§ 610.010-610.028, RSMo 1986, mandates the release of the sales price of each parcel of real estate in a subdivision immediately upon the closing of the sale of each such parcel.

Pursuant to Title I of the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979, as amended, 49 U.S.C.App. § 2101 et seq., St. Louis undertook to acquire certain residential properties adjacent to Lambert. The residential acquisition area included an area of Bridgeton known as the McNulty Manor Subdivision. The attempted acquisition of this subdivision led to this litigation.

On June 9, 1986, St. Louis adopted an ordinance authorizing a tax appropriation of $2,000,000 for the purchase of 78 identified parcels of real estate comprising the entire subdivision. St. Louis purchased 61 of 78 parcels through voluntary negotiated transactions. St. Louis actively sought to purchase the remaining 17 parcels. Bridgeton has demanded that the price paid for each of the 61 parcels be revealed.

St. Louis filed suit in the circuit court in the City of St. Louis asking it not be required to disclose the subdivision price records. On the same date, Bridgeton filed suit in the same court seeking authority to inspect and copy the records. The two suits were consolidated. Bridgeton complains that venue is improper in the St. Louis suit, although the same issue is involved in both suits.

Missouri's public policy favors open records. Golden Rule Ins. Co. v. Crist, 766 S.W.2d 637, 638 (Mo. banc 1989). The Open Meetings and Records Act provides that all public records shall be open to the public for inspection and copying, unless otherwise provided by law. § 610.011(2), RSMo (Supp.1989). However, the Act also contains exceptions to this rule. The exception pertinent to this case states:

Except to the extent disclosure is otherwise required by law, a public governmental body is authorized to close meetings, records, and votes to the extent they relate to the following:

. . . . .

(2) Leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the legal consideration therefor. However, any vote or public record approving a contract relating to the leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body shall be made public upon completion of the lease, purchase or sale of the real estate....

§ 610.021(2), RSMo (Supp.1989). The Act also provides...

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3 cases
  • Spradlin v. City of Fulton
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1998 expressly stated in the Missouri open meetings law. "Missouri's public policy favors open meetings." City of St. Louis v. City of Bridgeton, 806 S.W.2d 717, 718 (Mo.App.1991); see also, Cohen v. Poelker, 520 S.W.2d 50, 54 (Mo. banc 1975). "It is the public policy of this state that meeti......
  • Fulson v. Kansas City Star Co., WD
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • October 1, 1991
    ...the records in dispute were a complete list of the school's students, with their addresses and telephone numbers. In St. Louis v. Bridgeton, 806 S.W.2d 717 (Mo.App.1991) (declaratory judgment), the documents sought were records of prices paid by St. Louis for parcels of real estate acquired......
  • State v. Foster, WD
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • February 26, 1991
    ... ...         Robert G. Duncan, Kansas City, for appellant ...         William L. Webster, ... ...

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