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Dynasty Home, L.C. v. Public Water Supply Dist. No. 3 of Franklin County

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division

February 3, 2015

DYNASTY HOME, L.C., Appellant,
v.
PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY DISTRICT NUMBER 3 OF FRANKLIN COUNTY, MISSOURI, Respondent

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Franklin County. 10AB-CC00219. Honorable Stanley D. Williams.

FOR APPELLANT: Benjamin J. Hotz, Union, MO.

FOR RESPONDENT: Mark C. Piontek, Washington, MO; Jacqueline K. Graves, St. Louis, MO.

ROBERT M. CLAYTON III, Judge. Patricia L. Cohen, P.J., and Roy L. Richter, J., concur.

OPINION

ROBERT M. CLAYTON III, Judge.

Page 877

Dynasty Home, L.C. (" Dynasty" ) appeals the trial court's grant of summary

Page 878

judgment in favor of Public Water Supply District No. 3 of Franklin County, Missouri (" the District" ) on Dynasty's claim for inverse condemnation. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Dynasty, a Missouri limited liability company, is the owner and landlord of residential rental properties in a subdivision in Franklin County, Missouri. The District is a public water supply district[1] that supplies water and sewer service to the premises of the subdivision. While the District will open new accounts for water or sewer service in the name of Dynasty or in the name of the tenant, Dynasty requires its tenants to procure service with the District in their own names.

The District has published rules and regulations governing the terms of its service pursuant to section 247.050(17) RSMo Supp. 2008.[2] In accordance with these rules and regulations, customers are billed on the 24th of each month for that month's service. The monthly billing invoice reads that the balance on the account is due twenty days after the billing date. If the balance is not paid within twenty days, the account is considered delinquent, and a late fee of ten percent is added to the balance. If the customer does not pay the past due amount and the late fee within forty-five days of the original bill, the account becomes subject to discontinuation of service.

On a monthly basis, the District sends correspondence to subdivision tenants who are delinquent in payments for their water and sewer accounts. The correspondence advises that the delinquencies must be paid within a certain time to avoid disconnection of service. Pursuant to section 250.140.2 RSMo Supp. 2006,[3] when a tenant is delinquent in payment for services by thirty days, the District is also required to notify Dynasty of the delinquency. The District only discontinues services when accounts are delinquent by forty-five days or at the request of the tenant. When a tenant's service is discontinued for nonpayment, the District requires the property owner, Dynasty, to pay up to ninety days of charges and late penalties assessed to the account, pursuant to section 250.140.2.

Beginning July 2008, Dynasty has requested the District terminate service to the listed tenants whose accounts are delinquent by thirty days. To date, the District refuses these requests ...


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