Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, First Division
REGIONAL CONVENTION AND SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY, Plaintiff/Respondent,
CITY OF ST. LOUIS, Defendant/Respondent, JEANETTE OXFORD, et. al., Proposed Intervenors/Appellants.
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis Honorable
Thomas J. Frawley
Oxford, William White, and Earl Garrett (collectively,
"Appellants") appeal from the trial court's
judgment denying Appellants' right to intervene in the
action below and the invalidation of a St. Louis City
ordinance. The only issue we address in this appeal is
whether or not the trial court erred in denying intervention
to Appellants. Finding no error, we affirm.
action before the trial court in which Appellants attempted
to intervene concerned the validity of City Ordinance 66509
("the Ordinance"), codified as Chapter 3.91 of the
Revised Code of the City of St. Louis. The Regional
Convention and Sports Complex Authority ("the RSA")
brought suit against the City of St. Louis ("the
City") seeking a declaration that the Ordinance was
unconstitutional and void. The Ordinance was enacted in 2002
via initiative petition and was designed to bar the City from
providing financial assistance to the development of a
professional sports facility without first: (1) preparing a
fiscal note and making it available to the public for at
least twenty days prior to action; (2) holding a public
hearing allowing opportunity for proponents and opponents to
be heard; and (3) obtaining voter approval for financial
assistance by a majority vote of City of St Louis voters.
RSA, along with a stadium task force formed by Governor
Nixon, were developing a financing plan for construction and
operation of a sports stadium to present to the St. Louis
Rams Football Club and the National Football League
("NFL"). The financing plan developed by the RSA
included an assumption that the City would provide financial
assistance to the development of a new football stadium. As
the Ordinance prohibited the City from providing any
financial assistance without a public hearing and vote, RSA
brought a declaratory judgment action against the City
seeking a ruling that the Ordinance does not apply to a
financing plan for a new stadium or, alternatively, is
unconstitutional and void.
are all residents, registered voters, and taxpayers in the
City of St. Louis. In addition, one of the Appellants,
Jeanette Mott Oxford, is one of the original signatories of
the petition to place the ordinance on the City ballot in
2002. Appellants filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene in the
case as defendants, seeking a public hearing and public vote
on whether financial assistance would be provided for the
construction of a new professional sports facility pursuant
to their rights as set forth in the Ordinance.
August 3, 2015, the trial court entered two separate Orders
and Judgments, one of which held that Appellants did not meet
the burden to intervene of right, nor did they meet the
requirements for permissive intervention, and therefore denied Appellants'
Motion to Intervene. The Court also entered a judgment in
favor of the RSA invalidating the ordinance. This appeal
raise five points on appeal. Appellants' first two points
on appeal claim the trial court erred in denying
Appellants' Motion for Leave to Intervene because they
had a right to intervene as registered voters and taxpayers
and were not adequately being represented by the City.
Appellants also claim the trial court's denial of their
Motion for Leave to Intervene deprived them of a property and
liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution.
their third point, Appellants allege the trial court erred in
striking portions of their affidavits because the stricken
portions included Appellants' offer of evidence about
their interests in the case. Appellants claim the trial court
abused its discretion and could not have properly denied
their Motion for Leave to Intervene without considering the
evidence stricken from their affidavits.
in Appellants' fourth and fifth points, they challenge
the trial court's judgment in favor of the RSA on the
merits that the Ordinance was invalid and too vague, claiming
that decision was erroneous as a matter of law.
Denial of Motion for Leave to Intervene
first two points on appeal allege the trial court erred in
denying Appellants' Motion for Leave to Intervene,
arguing this ruling was contrary to law as Appellants were
registered voters and taxpayers with an interest in the
litigation, which was not being adequately represented by the
City. Appellants also claim their right to vote as provided
by the Ordinance constituted a property and liberty interest
protected by the Fourteenth ...