United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the City of Maplewood
Missouri's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
for Failure to State a Claim, filed June 19, 2017. (ECF No.
21). The motion is fully briefed and ready for disposition.
in this case are the City of Maplewood
(“Maplewood” or “the City”),
Maplewood City Manager Martin Corcoran
(“Corcoran”), Maplewood Chief of Police Stephen
Kruse (“Kruse”), and Maplewood Director of Public
Works and Assistant City Manager Anthony Traxler
(“Traxler”). (Compl., ¶ 2). Defendants
enacted laws including Chapter 12, Article II of the
Maplewood Code of Ordinances, § 12-25, which requires
every resident to obtain and maintain an occupancy permit
from the City, and Chapter 34, Article VIII of the Maplewood
Code of Ordinances, §§ 34-240 et seq.,
which defines nuisances and authorizes officials to revoke a
resident's occupancy permit if the nuisance is not
abated. (Id., ¶¶ 2, 3). Hereinafter, these
two sections collectively will be referred to as the
relevant here, the Nuisance Policy defines
“nuisance” as follows:
In addition to any other act declared to be a nuisance by
this Code or other ordinances of the city, nuisances are
hereby defined and declared to be as follows:….
(17) Any premises upon which any of the following acts or
conditions have occurred or continue to occur, whether by the
owner, occupants or persons frequenting or congregating about
Commission of acts which are prohibited by federal law or
state statute committed within the premises, or on the
property thereof, or within the immediate vicinity of the
property, and which have resulted in arrests that are
classified as felonies occurring two or more times within a
period of 90 days which acts affect the safety, convenience
and tranquility of persons residing, making use or conducting
business within the adjacent area;….
More than two instances within a 180-day period of commission
of acts which are prohibited by state statute or city
ordinance committed within the premises, or on the property
thereof, or within the immediate vicinity of the property and
which have resulted in arrests which acts affect the safety,
convenience and tranquility of persons residing, making use
or conducting business within the adjacent area;….
More than two instances within a 180-day period of incidents
of peace disturbance or domestic violence resulting in calls
to  the police.
(ECF No. 1-1, PP. 9-11). The Nuisance Policy further provides
the following with respect to abatement:
In all other cases [other than those in which an immediate
threat to the public health, welfare or safety is apparent],
the city manager or his designee shall hold a hearing [to]
determine whether a nuisance exists and whether and how it
should be abated.
(a) At least five days' notice shall be given of such
hearing to the owner and occupant of the premises upon which
the alleged nuisance exists, or to such person's agent,
and to the person causing or maintaining the alleged nuisance
if other than the owner or occupant and if such person can be
found. Such notices shall be given in writing and delivered
in person to the party's residence or place of business.
(b) All interested parties may appear at the hearing and
testify and present evidence concerning the alleged nuisance.
(c) In determining whether the activity or conditions
constitute a nuisance, the city manager or his designee shall
consider the following factors:
1. The magnitude of the harm caused by the alleged
detrimental activity or conditions;
2. The length of time that the alleged detrimental activity
or conditions have existed;
3. The effect of the activity or conditions at the property
on the value of adjacent properties and those in the
4. The number of times that public safety officers have been
dispatched to the property; and
5. The extent of efforts by the owner or person having charge
of the property to remedy the alleged detrimental activity or
(d) If, after the hearing, it is found that a nuisance exists
and that it must be abated, the city manager or his designee
may order the owner or occupant of the premises on which the
nuisance exists or the person other than the owner or
occupant who caused or maintains the nuisance, to abate the
nuisance within a prescribed period of time, or abate it by
(e) The city manager or his designee shall effect the
abatement of the nuisance by any measures necessary to cause
its cessation and the prevention of its recurrence, including
the ordering of revocation of occupancy permits for the
persons residing at the dwelling or place of business where
the nuisance has occurred and the denial of occupancy permits
within the city to those persons for a period not to exceed
six months, or the closure of the premise where the nuisance
has occurred for a period not to exceed six months.
(Id., P. 12).
June, 2010, until approximately June, 2012, Plaintiff Rosetta
Watson (“Watson”) lived at 2507 Bellevue Avenue,
Apt. 9, Maplewood, Missouri (hereinafter “the
Property”). (Compl., ¶ 16). Watson's rent at
the Property was subsidized by a Section 8 voucher issued by
the Housing Authority of St. Louis County. (Id.,
the relevant time period, Watson was the victim of repeated
domestic violence attacks perpetrated by her former
boyfriend, Robert Hennings (“Hennings”). (Compl.,
¶ 42). Watson describes the incidents as follows:
45. On September 24, 2011, Hennings visited Ms. Watson at the
Property, where he began drinking and verbally abusing her.
After she asked him to leave, she closed the front door of
the Property and latched the chain. Later, Hennings returned
to the Property and began knocking on the front door. Ms.
Watson, who was in bed asleep at the time, told Hennings that
he was not allowed inside. Hennings kicked open the front
door and entered Ms. Watson's bedroom. Hennings told Ms.
Watson that he was “no longer on papers” and was
going to “kick [her] ass.” He struck her in her
face with a closed fist.
46. Fearing more physical abuse, Ms. Watson fled the Property
and called the police. Police arrived and arrested Hennings
for assault in the third degree. They also photographed
lacerations on Ms. Watson's lip and the damage to her
47. On November 8, 2011, Ms. Watson again sought police
assistance when Hennings shoved her in her home. When police
arrived, Hennings admitted he had shoved her. Police arrested
Hennings for domestic assault in the third degree.
48. On January 7, 2012, Ms. Watson contacted the police
because she became fearful during an argument with Hennings
and wanted him to leave her home. When police arrived,
Hennings agreed to return to his residence.
49. On February 22, 2012, Ms. Watson returned after a trip
and found Hennings at the Property. She wanted him to leave,
but he refused. Hennings struck Ms. Watson's breast and
began to choke her, and Ms. Watson physically defended
herself. She called the police, and Hennings fled the
50. The police apprehended Hennings away from the Property
and arrested him for domestic assault in the third degree.
Ms. Watson was issued a summons for domestic assault in the
third degree based on injury to ...