Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
CITY OF ST. LOUIS, Respondent,
BANK OF WASHINGTON, et al., Appellant.
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis 1822-CC11276
Honorable Michael F. Stelzer
P. Page, Judge
Washington appeals the judgment condemning property acquired
for the construction and relocation of the National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency ("NGA") in favor of
the City of St. Louis ("City"). We dismiss the
City began acquiring property within 97-acres of North St.
Louis City ("Property") after it was identified as
one of the potential sites for the relocation of the National
Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency facility
("Property"). LCRA Holding Corporation
("LCRAH") was formed to assume ownership of the
Property. Several parcels were owned by Northside
Regeneration, LLC ("Northside"), upon which Bank of
Washington held deeds of trust. In 2016, LCRAH, Bank of
Washington, and Northside entered into several agreements to
transfer said property, including a purchase and sale
agreement under which Bank of Washington agreed to release
its liens for consideration. However, in July 2018, Bank of
Washington filed suit in Franklin County Circuit Court,
seeking rescission of the purchase and sale agreement and the
restoration of its deeds of trust against the Property. LCRAH
then filed an action in the Circuit Court of the City of St.
Louis to quiet title in the Property against Bank of
Washington and Northside.
these actions were pending,  the City filed a petition in
condemnation against LCRAH, Bank of Washington, Northside,
and Gregory F.X. Daly, Collector of Revenue, seeking to have
the Property condemned in fee simple. On October 9, 2018, the
court entered an order in favor of the City and appointed
commissioners who issued their report assessing damages on
October 22, 2018. Subsequently, Bank of Washington filed
exceptions to the commissioners' award, requesting a jury
trial on damages, and LCRAH filed a motion for distribution
of the award. The court entered judgment apportioning the
award on December 17, 2018, finding in relevant part, that
Bank of Washington did not have a "compensable
interest" in the Property and was not entitled to any
distribution of the commissioners' award. Bank of
Washington did not appeal this judgment. Bank of
Washington's exceptions were dismissed upon joint motion
of the City and LCRAH on February 15, 2019. This appeal
Washington asserts five substantive points on appeal,
challenging the judgment condemning the Property in favor of
the City. However, the City filed a motion to dismiss the
appeal as untimely.
order to properly determine whether Bank of Washington timely
filed its appeal, it is important to first understand certain
substantive and procedural aspects of a condemnation
proceeding, which is a bifurcated process. City of
Wentzville v. Dodson, 133 S.W.3d 543, 548 (Mo. App. E.D.
2004). First, the court must determine whether the
condemnation is authorized by law. Id. Once the
court makes such a finding, commissioners are appointed to
assess the damages as a result of the taking. Id.
Pursuant to Section 523.050 RSMo (2016),  either party may
file written exceptions seeking review of the
commissioners' award by the court or a jury in which the
sole issue is the value of the award. This procedure does not
review the underlying order of condemnation or determine the
amount awarded to a specific party. Instead, once the
commissioners' award is issued, any defendant claiming an
interest may file a motion for determination and distribution
of their respective percentage pursuant to Section 523.053.
This is an ancillary, separately appealable proceeding. It is
final, regardless of any future developments that may result
from the filing of exceptions, such as a new appraisement of
the damages awarded by the commissioners. Bi-State Devel.
Agency v. Ames Realty Co., 258 S.W.3d 99, 104 (Mo. App.
E.D. 2008); see Section 523.050.
City claims the December 17, 2018 apportionment judgment,
awarding Bank of Washington zero interest in the
commissioners' award was final for appellate purposes
because Bank of Washington had no longer had any interest in
the award pursuant to State ex rel. Highway
Comm. v. Carlie, 487 S.W.2d 873 (Mo. App. St.L. 1972).
Thus, the City asserts that Carlie effectively
forecloses the right to appeal a substantive condemnation
order when there is no appeal of the judgment apportioning an
Washington acknowledges the apportionment is separately
appealable but elected not to appeal this judgment. See
Bi-State Devel. Agency, 258 S.W.3d at 104. However, Bank
of Washington claims that until the exceptions were
dismissed, the interlocutory order of condemnation was not a
final and appealable judgment. Thus, Bank of Washington
asserts it timely appealed from the court's dismissal of
the exceptions, citing City of Wentzville to support
the conclusion it did not have to appeal until the exceptions
were final. 133 S.W.3d at 547.
neither Bank of Washington nor the City are entirely correct
because they do not effectively reconcile the case law with
these specific facts because in this case the fundamental
issue is when the right to substantively appeal the
condemnation vests after a defendant is found to have zero
compensable interest in an award. However, we find the
decision in Carlie is ultimately dispositive.
Carlie, the court considered the rights of both a
landowner and a licensee allowed to remove gravel from the
land in a condemnation award. Upon motions by each defendant
to determine their respective shares of the award, the court
concluded the landowners were entitled to the entire award.
487 S.W.2d at 875. The licensee did not timely appeal his
zero apportionment, and the court concluded once it was
determined he had no interest in the award, his pending
exceptions "had become lifeless." Id. at
876. The court stated the dismissal of the licensee's
exceptions was "merely an act of judicial housecleaning.
. . ." Id.
upon LCRAH's motion in the underlying condemnation, the
court determined Bank of Washington had no interest in the
damages award. Bank of Washington did not appeal this
determination, and it became final thirty days after its
entry. See Rule 81.05(a) (absent authorized
post-trial motion judgment becomes final thirty days after
entry). As in Carlie, the final judgment determining
Bank of Washington did not have any interest in the award in
the condemnation case had ...