United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Ronald Calzone brings this lawsuit against defendants Chris
Koster, in his official capacity as Attorney General for the
State of Missouri, J. Bret Johnson, in his official capacity
as Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and
Jeremiah W. Nixon, in his official capacity as Governor of
the State of Missouri. Plaintiff claims that § 304.230
RSMo is unconstitutional. The parties have filed cross
motions for summary judgment.
facts of this matter are uncontested except where indicated.
Calzone was pulled over by a member of the Missouri State
Highway Patrol and detained for more than an hour because the
officer did not recognize the truck or the markings displayed
on the vehicle Calzone was driving. At the time, plaintiff
was driving a dump truck that he uses to support his cattle
and horse ranch. The truck has Missouri-issued 54, 000 lb.
local commercial vehicle license plates, and plaintiff has a
valid Missouri-issued commercial driver’s license.
Plaintiff’s “local” license plates mean
that his truck’s operations are limited to within fifty
miles of his home, and his truck is subject to biannual
inspections made at inspection stations authorized by the
Missouri State Highway Patrol.
3, 2013, plaintiff took his truck for a successful inspection
and also secured his annual registration for the truck, and
he also took the truck out to gather gravel for use in his
daughter’s chicken coop. At 12:45 p.m. that same day,
Corporal J.L. Keathley of the Missouri State Highway Patrol
saw Calzone driving on U.S. Highway 63 in Phelps County,
Missouri, and pulled him over. The bed of plaintiff’s
truck was empty at that time, and it was well within the
applicable height, length, and width restrictions for the
road on which he was traveling.
Keathley told plaintiff that he pulled him over because he
“did not recognize the truck or the markings displayed
on the vehicle.” Keathley asked to inspect the truck,
as he intended to perform a Level II inspection under the
North American Standard Inspection (“NASI”)
program, but plaintiff refused and told him he believed the
stop was unconstitutional. Keathley then explained that
§ 304.230 RSMo authorizes the Missouri State Highway
Patrol officers to stop commercial vehicles and inspect them
whether or not the officer has probable cause to believe a
law is being violated. Plaintiff still refused to consent to
inspection. Keathley sought and received approval to conduct
a motor fuel tax evasion check to see if plaintiff was using
dyed motor fuel based on plaintiff’s statement to
Keathley that he (plaintiff) was “a hard-headed
constitutionalist.” The test showed that plaintiff was
not using illegal dyed fuel. Plaintiff says he consented to
the test only because Keathley told plaintiff that refusing
the test would have “serious consequences with the
state and the Internal Revenue Service.” Keathley
issued plaintiff a citation for refusal to submit to a
commercial motor vehicle inspection and then allowed
plaintiff to resume driving at 1:56 p.m..
Phelps County prosecutor initially pursued a conviction
against plaintiff for refusing to submit to the commercial
motor vehicle inspection, but the prosecution was terminated
by nolle prosequi on April 4, 2014.
filed this lawsuit against defendants on June 3, 2015,
bringing two counts:
Count I is for a declaratory judgment that
§ 304.230 RSMo is unconstitutional under the Fourth
Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and Mo. Const. Art. I,
Count II is for a declaratory judgment that
Corporal Keathley violated plaintiff’s rights under the
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments by applying § 304.230
RSMo to seize plaintiff on June 3, 2013.
parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment.
Notably, plaintiff now states that he challenges the
constitutionality of only subsections 1, 2, and 7 of §
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), a district court
may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the
information before the court demonstrates that “there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
The Challenged Statute and Related Statutes
304.230 is titled “Enforcement of load
laws---commercial vehicle inspectors, powers.”
Plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of §§
304.230.1, 304.230.2, ...