McConnell v. City of Kansas City, No. 44683

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation282 S.W.2d 518
PartiesJames W. McCONNELL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CITY OF KANSAS CITY, Missouri, et al., Defendants-Respondents, Citizens League for Better Government and James F. Neese, Intervenors-Appellants
Decision Date12 September 1955
Docket NumberNo. 44683,No. 1

Page 518

282 S.W.2d 518
James W. McCONNELL, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CITY OF KANSAS CITY, Missouri, et al., Defendants-Respondents,
Citizens League for Better Government and James F. Neese,
Intervenors-Appellants.
No. 44683.
Supreme Court of Missouri, Division No. 1.
Sept. 12, 1955.
Motion for Rehearing or to Transfer to Court En Banc Denied
Oct. 10, 1955.

Page 519

George Edward Leonard, Kansas City, Quintin Johnstone, Chicago, Ill., of counsel, for appellant James W. McConnell.

Jack G. Beamer, Don G. Stubbs, Stubbs, McKenzie, Williams & Merrick, Kansas City, Garrett, Terry, Jones, Blumer & Welton, Kansas City, for appellants Citizens League for Better Government and James F. Neese.

David M. Proctor, City Counselor, John J. Cosgrove, Associate City Counselor, Kansas City, for respondents.

Randolph & Randolph, Ronald S. Reed, St. Joseph, for amicus curiae Suburban Progressive Club, Inc.

COIL, Commissioner.

The question presented is the constitutionality of RSMo 1949, V.A.M.S., Section 71.015 (enacted by the 67th General Assembly and known as the Sawyer Act) as it applies to the City of Kansas City.

That law is: 'Whenever the governing body of any city has adopted a resolution to annex any unincorporated area of land, such city shall, before proceeding as otherwise authorized by law or charter for annexation of unincorporated areas, file an action in the circuit court of the county in which such unincorporated area is situated, under the provisions of chapter 527 RSMo, praying for a declaratory judgment authorizing such annexation. The petition in such action shall state facts showing: 1. The area to be annexed; 2. That such annexation is reasonable and necessary to the proper development of said city; and 3. The ability of said city to furnish normal municipal services of said city to said unincorporated area within a reasonable time after said annexation is to become effective. Such action shall be a class action against the inhabitants of such unincorporated area under the provisions of section 507.070, RSMo.'

On August 7, 1954, Kansas City passed an ordinance (Committee Substitute for Ordinance 15951) which provided for the submission to the electors at the next general election on November 2, 1954, a proposition to amend the city's charter by extending the corporate limits to include territory to the south of the present corporate limits.

Appellant McConnell brought an action against Kansas City, the members of its City Council, the Board of Election Commissioners, the Mayor, City Manager and the City Clerk, in which he averred that he owned real property within the area proposed for annexation by the above-noted ordinance, and that Kansas City had failed to comply with the Sawyer Act in that it had not proceeded as therein required for a declaratory judgment. He prayed for a declaratory judgment declaring the validity of the Sawyer Act and for an injunction enjoining the submission of the annexation proposition to the voters until Kansas City had first complied with the Act.

The Citizens League for Better Government, a corporation, and James F. Neese, a citizen and property owner in Jackson County, with leave, filed an intervening petition containing generally the same averments as in McConnell's petition.

Kansas City's motions to dismiss both petitions were sustained on the ground that the Sawyer Act was unconstitutional because

Page 520

it limited the power of Kansas City to amend its charter as provided in Mo.Const.1945, Art. VI, Sec. 20, V.A.M.S., and because the Act was too indefinite and uncertain to permit a construction thereof which would give effect to any sufficiently clearly expressed intention of the legislature.

McConnell and intervenors have appealed from the final judgment of dismissal. Suburban Progressive Club, Inc. of Buchanan County, with leave, has filed here an amicus curiae brief.

We note, as pointed out by respondent, that although the City is required to bring an action for a declaratory judgment, there is no specific requirement in the Act that the city must obtain such a judgment and, if so, whether before or after the time of acceptance or rejection by the voters. The Act provides that 'whenever the governing body of any city has adopted a resolution to annex any unincorporated area of land, such city shall, before proceeding as otherwise authorized by law or charter * * * file an action in the circuit court * * *.'...

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15 practice notes
  • City of Hannibal v. Winchester, No. 50068
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • June 14, 1965
    ...with prejudice for lack of jurisdiction of the subject matter; it relied upon the cases of McConnell v. City of Kansas City, Mo., 282 S.W.2d 518, and State ex inf. Taylor ex rel. Kansas City v. North Kansas Page 282 City, 360 Mo. 374, 228 S.W.2d 762. This appeal followed immediately. In eff......
  • Emerson Elec. Mfg. Co. v. City of Ferguson, No. 48630
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1962
    ...of Olivette v. Graeler, Mo., 338 S.W.2d 827; City of St. Joseph v. Hankinson, Mo., 312 S.W.2d 4; McConnell v. City of Kansas City, Mo., 282 S.W.2d 518; Hislop v. Joplin, 250 Mo. 588, 157 S.W. 625; State ex rel. Musser v. Birch, 186 Mo. 205, 85 S.W. 361; Copeland v. City of St. Joseph, 126 M......
  • City of St. Joseph v. Hankinson, No. 45803
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • March 10, 1958
    ...v. Lee, 319 Mo. 976, 5 S.W.2d 83). It is not a constitutional charter city. Thus, the case of McConnell v. City of Kansas City, Mo., 282 S.W.2d 518, holding Sec. 71.015 unconstitutional as to Kansas City, is inapplicable. The rights and powers of plaintiff to annex territory were granted by......
  • City of Kirkwood v. Allen, No. 49920
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • January 10, 1966
    ...areas * * *' the city was required to obtain the declaratory judgment required by Sec. 71.015. McConnell v. City of Kansas City, Mo.Sup., 282 S.W.2d 518; City of St Joseph v. Hankinson, Mo.Sup., 312 S.W.2d 4; Anderson v. Moline Acres, Mo.Sup., 386 S.W.2d 38. The procedure required to be fol......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
15 cases
  • City of Hannibal v. Winchester, No. 50068
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • June 14, 1965
    ...with prejudice for lack of jurisdiction of the subject matter; it relied upon the cases of McConnell v. City of Kansas City, Mo., 282 S.W.2d 518, and State ex inf. Taylor ex rel. Kansas City v. North Kansas Page 282 City, 360 Mo. 374, 228 S.W.2d 762. This appeal followed immediately. In eff......
  • Emerson Elec. Mfg. Co. v. City of Ferguson, No. 48630
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • July 30, 1962
    ...of Olivette v. Graeler, Mo., 338 S.W.2d 827; City of St. Joseph v. Hankinson, Mo., 312 S.W.2d 4; McConnell v. City of Kansas City, Mo., 282 S.W.2d 518; Hislop v. Joplin, 250 Mo. 588, 157 S.W. 625; State ex rel. Musser v. Birch, 186 Mo. 205, 85 S.W. 361; Copeland v. City of St. Joseph, 126 M......
  • City of St. Joseph v. Hankinson, No. 45803
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • March 10, 1958
    ...v. Lee, 319 Mo. 976, 5 S.W.2d 83). It is not a constitutional charter city. Thus, the case of McConnell v. City of Kansas City, Mo., 282 S.W.2d 518, holding Sec. 71.015 unconstitutional as to Kansas City, is inapplicable. The rights and powers of plaintiff to annex territory were granted by......
  • City of Kirkwood v. Allen, No. 49920
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • January 10, 1966
    ...areas * * *' the city was required to obtain the declaratory judgment required by Sec. 71.015. McConnell v. City of Kansas City, Mo.Sup., 282 S.W.2d 518; City of St Joseph v. Hankinson, Mo.Sup., 312 S.W.2d 4; Anderson v. Moline Acres, Mo.Sup., 386 S.W.2d 38. The procedure required to be fol......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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