Jones v. City of Ferguson, 25999.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Citation164 S.W.2d 112
Docket NumberNo. 25999.,25999.
PartiesJONES et al. v. CITY OF FERGUSON.
Decision Date07 July 1942
164 S.W.2d 112
JONES et al.
No. 25999.
St. Louis Court of Appeals. Missouri.
July 7, 1942.
Rehearing Denied September 11, 1942.

Appeal from Circuit Court, St. Louis County; Peter T. Barrett, Judge.

"Not to be reported in State Reports."

Suit by Maldwyn E. Jones and another against the City of Ferguson, a corporation, for a declaration that an extension of the city limits of defendant was void and for other relief. From a judgment for plaintiffs, defendant appeals.


Robert B. Snow, Jr., and Herbert E. Bryant, both of St. Louis, for appellant.

John E. Mooney, of Clayton, for respondents.

[164 S.W.2d 113]

McCULLEN, Judge.

This action in equity was brought by respondents, as plaintiffs, against appellant, as defendant, to have the court declare void an extension of the city limits of defendant city and to enjoin said city from exercising any municipal authority over the territory annexed by the extension of said limits or over the residents thereof. A trial before the court resulted in a finding and judgment in favor of plaintiffs and against defendant. Defendant duly appealed.

Defendant City of Ferguson is a municipal corporation organized under the laws of the State of Missouri as a city of the fourth class.

The petition of plaintiffs, who are husband and wife, alleged that they are the owners of a parcel of land in St. Louis County, Missouri, containing about six acres situated about four hundred feet west of Old Florissant Road near Hudson Road in said county, and that they reside thereon. The land was fully described in the petition. Plaintiffs alleged that prior to February 3, 1940, their said land was situated outside the corporate limits of defendant; that on January 15, 1940, defendant passed its ordinance No. 2021 submitting to the qualified voters of said city a proposition to extend the corporate limits thereof, which ordinance was approved on said date by the Mayor of defendant; that on February 3, 1940, said extension of the city limits was duly approved by the voters of said city and by ordinance No. 2022 the result of said election was ordained and declared to have been in favor of said extension, and that the limits of said city were thereby extended in accordance with the terms of said ordinance; that there were thereby annexed to said city approximately 1,200 acres of land, and that the real estate owned by plaintiffs was thereby included within the limits of defendant and plaintiffs became residents thereof; that, by the terms of said ordinance, the corporate limits of defendant were extended northwardly two-thirds of a mile, eastwardly about three-fourths of a mile, and southwardly one half of a mile.

Plaintiffs further alleged that the said ordinance of extension as finally enacted on February 5, 1940, was unconscionable, oppressive, unreasonable and unjust, and that its effect was to work a fraud upon the residents and property owners of the district affected, and imposed upon them the burden of municipal taxation without their deriving any benefits therefrom; that defendant had no growth or increase in population to necessitate such an extension for any proper municipal purpose; that the territory annexed by said ordinance was largely used for dairying, farming and gardening purposes; that no part of said territory was platted or held for sale as town lots or divided into lots for city purposes, or held to be brought on the market and sold as town property when it reached a value corresponding with the views of the owners; that none of said real estate furnished the abode for a densely settled community or represented actual growth of defendant beyond its former legal boundaries; that none of said real estate was needed for any proper city purposes or for the extension of police regulation; that the value of said territory was for dairying, farming and gardening purposes or for those desiring to live in the country, practically all of whom had left St. Louis City to avoid burdensome taxes and to acquire larger territory to grow gardens; that all of said land is within close proximity to the City of St. Louis where practically all the residents of said annexed territory earn their livelihood; that the value of said territory has been diminished by being taken into the corporate limits of defendant; that said territory is sparsely settled; that defendant has no public utilities but that the water, light and gas companies which serve defendant are private companies which are now and have, for a long time, been fully prepared and equipped to supply said territory with their products; that defendant does not operate any sewer system; that the police and fire departments are inadequate and not equipped to give police and fire protection to the annexed territory; that defendant consists of about 1,300 acres of land and is a city of residences, practically all of which are of frame construction; that there is but one factory and a few small business houses; that in 1927 275 acres of land were annexed to defendant, and that at least seventy per cent. of said territory is still undeveloped, having no fire hydrants, streets, sidewalks or street lights; that there are a number of undeveloped tracts of land consisting of 50 to 100 acres in said city that have no made streets, sidewalks, fire hydrants, street lights or other

164 S.W.2d 114

municipal developments; that defendant's zoning laws are inadequate and of no benefit to the annexed territory, which is now being properly zoned by a commission created by law in 1939 by the Missouri State Legislature under the Laws of 1939, Session Acts, page 622, Mo.R.S.A. § 15348 et seq.

Plaintiffs further alleged that the annexed territory was taken into said city for the sole purpose of subjecting the real estate and other property of the residents thereof to city license fees and taxation and said property has become subject to same, but that no possible benefit could inure to plaintiffs and others similarly situated by said annexation; that defendant is about to and will assess and levy taxes against the real estate and personal property of plaintiffs, and will exercise general municipal authority over said territory unless enjoined by the court. Plaintiffs prayed the court to hold void and of no effect Ordinances Nos. 2021 and 2022 aforesaid, and to enjoin defendant from putting said ordinances into effect, from levying, assessing or collecting municipal taxes thereunder, or from exercising any municipal authority thereunder over said annexed territory or the residents thereof.

The answer of defendant admitted that it was a municipal corporation as alleged by plaintiffs; that plaintiffs were the owners of the property described in their petition, and that the corporate limits of defendant were duly extended as alleged in plaintiffs' petition; admitted that defendant did not operate water, light or gas utilities and that they were operated by private companies; admitted that there were but 1,300 acres in the city prior to the extension of the limits, as alleged in plaintiffs' petition, following which admissions defendant denied specifically the other allegations contained in plaintiffs' petition, and averred that the territory annexed has depended upon the services of the police and fire departments of defendant for a number of years; that all of said property is within the school district of defendant; that the shopping and amusement center for said territory is defendant city; that said annexed territory is an integral part of the development of defendant and is a part of the community; that a large number of residences and stores have been constructed in said annexed territory within the last few years; that the development of said territory has a definite relation to the value of the property in defendant and that unless said property is subjected to proper regulation by means of a building code, plumbing code, zoning ordinances, health ordinances, it will have an adverse effect on the property of defendant, including the annexed territory; that defendant has extended to said annexed territory the benefits of its police and fire departments, engineering and street departments; that said territory is receiving said benefits which it would not be able to receive in any other manner; and that said extension of defendant's limits was reasonable and just. Defendant prayed that plaintiffs' petition be dismissed.

The reply of plaintiffs was a general denial of each and every allegation in defendant's answer.

Plaintiff Maldwyn Jones testified that he and his wife owned six acres of land located about three-tenths of a mile north of the old city limits of defendant; that their property was taken into defendant by the extension of the limits; that most of the property surrounding his home consisted of small farms running from three to five acres; that said territory was not densely populated; that he knew of no benefits that he would derive by being taken into defendant; that there were no fire hydrants in his neighborhood; that he had not noticed any change in general conditions since defendant extended its limits. He testified that his house was valued at about eight or nine thousand dollars, including the ground. On cross-examination said plaintiff testified that the Village of Calverton Park was immediately north and west of his property; that he had not offered his property for sale and did not know what effect the extension of the city limits of Ferguson would have; that he was not familiar with the areas that were subdivided around his property.

Leonard M. Board, a public health engineer of St. Louis County and health engineer for the State Health Department, testified, as a witness for plaintiffs, that as health commissioner he had jurisdiction of the unincorporated areas of St. Louis County and he...

To continue reading

Request your trial
15 cases
  • Portland General Elec. Co. v. City of Estacada
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oregon
    • 5 Marzo 1952 agricultural purposes. The attempted annexation met with the condemnation of the court. See, also, Jones v. City of Ferguson, Mo.App., 164 S.W.2d 112. In Clark v. Holt, 218 Ark. 504, 237 S.W.2d 483, 485, a municipality, by resort to a strip of land 50 feet wide and 3060 feet long, sought......
  • Nolting v. City of Overland, 39287
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 11 Febrero 1946
    ...of the State of Missouri. State ex inf. Major, Attorney General, v. Kansas City, 233 Mo. 162, 134 S.W. 1007; Jones v. City of Ferguson, 164 S.W.2d 112; Boals v. Garden City, 50 S.W.2d 179; Stoltman v. City of Clayton, 205 Mo.App. 568, 226 S.W. 315; Jones v. City of Clayton, 7 S.W.2d 1022; P......
  • City of Aurora v. Empire Dist. Elec. Co., 7943
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 14 Febrero 1962
    ...proceedings for annexation (City of Woodson Terrace v. Herklotz, Mo.App., 349 S.W.2d 446, 451; see Jones v. City of Ferguson, Mo.App., 164 S.W.2d 112, 119-120; Ozier v. City of Page 48 Sheldon, Mo.App., 218 S.W.2d 133; Boals v. Garden City, Mo.App., 50 S.W.2d 179; Missouri Zinc Fields Co. v......
  • State ex inf. Taylor ex rel. Kansas City v. North Kansas City, 40216
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • 23 Febrero 1950
    ...reasonable. See also, Central Missouri Oil Co. v. City of St. James, 232 Mo.App. 142, 111 S.W.2d 215; Jones v. City of Ferguson, Mo.App., 164 S.W.2d 112; Ozier v. City of Sheldon, Mo.App., 218 S.W.2d We have above disposed of the contentions made here by both relator and intervenors. Under ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT