Missouri Municipal League v. MissouriAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs the Missouri Municipal League, the City of Springfield, and Richard Sheets appealed a circuit court's judgment for the State on plaintiffs' challenge to the constitutional validity of two bills passed by the General Assembly. In 2013, the General Assembly passed House Bill 331 and House Bill 345, which repealed and enacted in lieu thereof numerous sections dealing with local government control over telecommunications infrastructure permitting and public right-of-way. Later that year, a circuit court ruled H.B. 331 and H.B. 345 were enacted in violation of procedural requirements of the Missouri Constitution. The State appealed the circuit court's judgment to the Missouri Supreme Court. With the State's appeal still pending, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 649 and Senate Bill 650 in early 2014. S.B. 649 and S.B. 650 repealed and enacted in lieu thereof some of the same sections as had H.B. 331 and H.B. 345 and, in doing so, set forth the text of H.B. 331 and H.B. 345 as the then-existing law for the relevant sections with proposed changes noted. Two days before S.B. 649 and S.B. 650 became effective (and two days before the Supreme Court dismissed the State's appeal in the H.B. 331 and H.B. 345 case), plaintiffs brought suit challenging S.B. 649 and S.B. 650 under the Missouri Constitution. Plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, claiming: (1) the contents of the bills violated article I, section 13's prohibition against retrospective laws; article III, section 40(28)'s prohibition on special laws, and article X, section 21's prohibition on unfunded mandates; and (2) the bills were enacted in violation of article III, section 28. The State moved to dismiss the substantive claims, and both sides moved for a judgment on the pleadings for the enactment claims. The circuit court sustained the State's motions, and plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court. After review, the Supreme Court concluded the State was entitled to judgment on the pleadings on this claim.