United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINNION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant State of
Missouri's Motion to Strike the “Motion to Enforce
Court Order Approving Settlement, to Enforce Settlement
Agreement, and to Hold the State in Contempt, ” [Doc.
No. 389] and the Joint Motion of Plaintiffs and Special
Administrative Board to Enforce Court Order Approving
Settlement, to Enforce Settlement Agreement, and to Hold the
State in Contempt, [Doc. No. 381]. The parties have submitted
memoranda in support of their positions regarding the pending
motions. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to
Strike will be to the granted to the extent provided herein.
March 12, 1999 Order approving the Settlement Agreement at
issue currently, the Court detailed the facts and background
giving rise to the Settlement Agreement.
suit was filed in District Court in 1972 by a group of black
parents on behalf of their children seeking school
desegregation within the St. Louis public schools. The action
resulted in a settlement plan approved by the District Court
in 1983. Liddell y. Board of Educ., 567 F.Supp. 1037
(E.D. Mo. 1983, aff 'd, Liddell y. Missouri, 731
F.2d 1294 (8th Cir. 1984). The plan, which has been governing
the case since then, provides for quality education programs
in city schools, capital improvements of city schools, magnet
schools in the city, a voluntary interdistrict transfer plan,
and a vocational education plan. This remedy has been funded
by the State and the City Board of Education, and has been
supervised by this Court on an ongoing basis with the
assistance of various Court-appointed advisors and monitors.
February 1996, the Court held a hearing on the State's
motion for a declaration that City Board no longer operated a
segregated, or dual, public school system, but rather that
"unitary status" had been achieved and that the
State's funding obligations were thus over. Following the
hearing, the Court appointed Dr. William Danforth as
Settlement Coordinator in the hope that the parties could
reach a negotiated resolution to the case.
1998, the Missouri General Assembly passed Senate Bill 781 (S
B 781), which provides, inter alia, for approximately $40m
per year in state funds for St. Louis city schools on the
condition that (1) on or before March 15, 1999, the state
attorney general notify the reviser of statutes that a
"final judgment" had been entered in this case as
to the State and its officials, and (2) the voters of the
City of St. Louis pass a sales or property tax which would
generate approximately $20m per year for the public schools.
of this law gave great impetus to the settlement process. On
January 28, 1999, the Settlement Coordinator filed a
statement with the Court that the parties to this action had
reached an agreement for settlement of the case. The
Coordinator filed a copy of the agreement, noting that the
vocational education aspect was still under discussion and
that certain funding numbers awaited final calculation. The
fact that an agreement had been reached was publicized in the
local media, and on February 2, 1999, the voters of the City
of St. Louis approved a sales tax for the city schools, as
called for in SB 781.
and Order, March 12, 1999 p.1-3 (Limbaugh, J. presiding)
Settlement Agreement (“Desegregation Settlement
Agreement” or “DSA”) was incorporated into
Judge Limbaugh's Memorandum and Order. Id., at
certified classes of plaintiffs, the Caldwell-NAACP
plaintiffs and the Liddell plaintiffs
(“Plaintiffs”) and the Special Administrative
Board of the Transitional School District of the City of St.
Louis, (“SAB”) move the Court to enter an Order
enforcing the DSA, seeking
directive that the State and the Missouri Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education (“DESE”) fully
comply with this Court's Settlement Order and the DSA by
discontinuing the practice of reallocating
“Desegregation Sales Tax” proceeds to school
entities other than the District; (2) a finding that by
violating the Settlement Order, the State is in contempt of
court; (3) a directive that the State reimburse the SAB for
any Desegregation Sales Tax proceeds that have been
wrongfully reallocated by the State in violation of the
Settlement Order and the DSA; and (4) an award of
attorneys' fees incurred in pursuing this Motion.
State claims the Court lacks jurisdiction to enter any orders
regarding the Motion ...