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Glickert v. Loop Trolley Transp. Dev. Dist.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 1, 2015

Elsie Beck Glickert, an individual; Jen Rivenes Jensen, an individual; Irene Franklin, an individual; Peter Sarandos, an individual, Plaintiffs - Appellants
v.
The Loop Trolley Transportation Development District, a purported political subdivion of the State of Missouri; the Loop Trolley Company, a Missouri non-profit corporation, Defendants - Appellees, Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District, doing business as Metro; CB 5421-5975 Transportation Development District, a political subdivision of the State of Missouri, Defendants, City of St. Louis, Missouri, a political subdivision of the State of Missouri; City of University City, Missouri, Defendants - Appellees, St. Louis County, Missouri; Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission; Charlie A. Dooley, in his official capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the purported loop Trolley Transportation Development District; Joe Edwards, in his official capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the purported loop Trolley Transportation Development District; John M. Nations, in his official capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the purported Loop Trolley Transportation Development District; Francis G. Slay, in his official capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the purported Loop Trolley Transportation Development District; Shelley Welsch, in her official capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the purported loop Trolley Transportation Development District, Defendants, Anne S. Carlson, in her capacity as a purported Trustee of the Catlin Tract Subdivision of the City of St. Louis; John Daniel, in his capacity as a Trustee of the Catlin Tract Subdivision of the City of St. Louis; Sean Gannon, in his capacity as a Trustee of the Catlin Tract Subdivision of the City of St. Louis; Catlin Tract Board of Trustees, a Missouri nonprofit corporation, Defendants - Appellees

Submitted March 11, 2015.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis.

For Elsie Beck Glickert, an individual, Jen Rivenes Jensen, an individual, Irene Franklin, an individual, Peter Sarandos, an individual, Plaintiffs - Appellants: Canice Timothy Rice, Jr., Saint Louis, MO.

For The Loop Trolley Transportation Development District, a purported political subdivion of the State of Missouri, The Loop Trolley Company, a Missouri non-profit corporation, Defendants - Appellees: Thomas McKee Dee, Denyse L. Jones, JoAnn T. Sandifer, HUSCH & BLACKWELL, Saint Louis, MO.

For City of St. Louis, Missouri, a political subdivision of the State of Missouri, Defendants - Appellees: Nancy Ellen Emmel, Nancy R. Kistler, CITY COUNSELOR'S OFFICE, Saint Louis, MO.

For City of University City, Missouri, Defendant - Appellee: Kathryn Forster, CROTZER & ORMSBY, Saint Louis, MO.

For Anne S. Carlson, in her capacity as a purported Trustee of the Catlin Tract Subdivision of the City of St. Louis, John Daniel, in his capacity as a Trustee of the Catlin Tract Subdivision of the City of St. Louis, Sean Gannon, in his capacity as a Trustee of the Catlin Tract Subdivision of the City of St. Louis, Catlin Tract Board of Trustees, a Missouri nonprofit corporation, Defendants - Appellees: Gregory C. Mollett, Michael A. T. Schwalbert, Joshua Stevens, GREENSFELDER & HEMKER, Saint Louis, MO.

Before MURPHY and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges, and BROOKS,[1] District Judge.

OPINION

SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge.

In 2013, four individuals--Elsie Beck Glickert, Jen Rivenes Jensen, Irene Franklin, and Peter Sarandos--filed a five-count complaint (" the Complaint" ) against a number of defendants seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from the organization and operation of the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District (" the District" ) in University City, Missouri. Count 1 alleged federal and state constitutional claims, while Counts 2 to 5 raised state law challenges. The district court[2] granted the defendant-appellees' (hereinafter also referred to collectively as the " District" ) motion to dismiss Count 1 as to Glickert, Jensen, and Franklin for lack of standing; granted the District's motion for summary judgment on Count 1 as to Sarandos because his claims were precluded by a state judgment; and declined to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims. On appeal, Glickert, Jensen, and Franklin argue the district court erred in finding they lack standing and in failing to allow them to amend their complaint to include more particularized allegations to establish their standing. Sarandos argues the district court erred in applying claim preclusion because he did not receive constitutionally adequate notice of the state lawsuit, denying him due process of law. We affirm.

I. Background

The Missouri Transportation Development District Act (" TDD Act" ), Mo. Rev. Stat. § § 238.200-.275,[3] authorizes the creation of transportation development districts to fund and execute transportation and infrastructure projects. Mo. Rev. Stat. § § 238.202, .205. A transportation development district is a political subdivision of the state. Id. § 238.205. In 2007, the governing bodies of St. Louis City and University City, both local transportation authorities within the meaning of the TDD Act, passed resolutions calling for the joint establishment of the proposed District. See id. § 238.202.1(4). Pursuant to the TDD Act's requirements, University City then filed a petition in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County (the " Formation Lawsuit" ) seeking to create the proposed District to fund and build a trolley-car rail system. See id. § 238.207.5. The petition proposed to fund the trolley-car project by imposing up to a one percent sales tax on retail sales in the proposed District. See id. § 238.235. Notice of the proposal was published in two newspapers, The St. Louis Daily Record and The Countian, for four weeks, inviting persons who resided or owned property within the proposed District to join the Formation Lawsuit. See id. § 238.212. No one opposed the proposal or sought to join the suit. In December 2007, the circuit court entered an order declaring the proposed District and sales tax were neither illegal nor unconstitutional and certifying a single ballot question for voter approval regarding creation of the proposed District, approval of the proposed trolley-car project, and authorization of a one percent sales tax on retail sales within the proposed District to fund the project. See id. § 238.215-.216. At the time, qualified voters included registered voters who resided within the boundaries of the proposed District and persons who owned real property within those boundaries. Id. § 238.202.2(2) (2007).[4] Voters approved the ballot question and, in July 2008, the circuit court entered a final judgment creating the District, approving the trolley-car project, and authorizing the District to levy and collect a sales tax to fund the project (" the TDD Judgment" ). See id. § 238.215. The sales tax was imposed in the District in August 2008 and has been paid and collected since that time.

In 2013, Glickert, Jensen, Franklin, and Sarandos filed a five-count Complaint in federal district court, seeking a declaratory judgment stating the District was not lawfully created and a permanent injunction barring the District from building and operating the trolley-car system. Count 1 alleged that certain voting provisions of the TDD Act violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States and Missouri Constitutions. Counts 2 to 5 raised state law challenges. The Complaint noted that Glickert, Jensen, and Franklin do not reside in or own property within the District, but are residents and taxpayers of University City and the City of St. Louis and regular business patrons, pedestrians, and motorists in the District. It also stated that Sarandos is a resident of St. Charles County, Missouri, and owns real property in the District.

The District filed a motion to dismiss and for summary judgment with respect to all counts of the Complaint. The district court dismissed Count 1 as to Glickert, Jensen, and Franklin for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, finding these three plaintiffs lacked standing to bring their federal claims. The district court granted the District's motion for summary judgment on Count 1 as to Sarandos on preclusion grounds, finding that his failure to intervene and object in the Formation Lawsuit precluded him from bringing his claims in Count 1. The district court declined to exercise ...


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