(Decision) Friends of the San Luis, Inc., Plaintiff v. Archdiocese of St. Louis, etc., et al., Defendants

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Missouri Circuit Courth San Luis Demolition Decision

You don’t care to read the entire opinion (it’s only five pages)? Here is the basic legal reasoning employed in the dismissal of the suit:

Plaintiff presents evidence of no direct injury to its own interests, pecuniary or otherwise, as a result of the demolition. Plaintiff’s office is not within the historic district embracing defendants’ building; it owns no property adjacent to defendants’ building, or otherwise so situated as to be exposed to any injury from the demolition process; none of its board members have any different stake in this lawsuit. Nevertheless, plaintiff contends that, as a resident of the City of St. Louis, it has standing to seek enforcement of the City’s preservation ordinance.

In other words, in order to establish standing, the plaintiff (a) must have suffered an “injury in fact,” (b) must show a causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of, and (c) must show that it is likely that the injury may be redressed.

It is patent that plaintiff lacks standing. Plaintiff has not shown any pecuniary or personal interest, other than its generalized interest in preservation of “historic” structures in the City of St. Louis, that is directly in issue or jeopardy and which can be the subject of some consequential relief. Contrary to plaintiff’s assertions, nothing in Ordinance 64689 confers standing on anyone who wants to contest a demolition permit. The ordinance employs the classic administrative law phrase “person aggrieved,” in describing those who may seek review of a demolition permit before the Preservation Board. The ordinance itself recognizes that only a person “aggrieved,” i.e., who has standing, may prosecute an appeal.

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