Appeals court upholds dismissal of St. Louis man's eminent domain case

By Takesha Thomas | Sep 13, 2018

ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently upheld the dismissal of a St. Louis man's eminent domain case after the courts ruled that the city's Redevelopment Authority did not improperly condemn his property nor were they responsible to pay for his relocation costs.  

In the Sept. 6 opinion, the appeals court said the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis did not violate any laws after the condemnation proceedings for James Osher's property were finalized. Additionally, court filings said, the city was not responsible for paying relocation costs for Osher. Osher refused to leave his home within the 60 day required time frame given after eminent domain took place on his home.  

The appeals court panel upheld the decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denying a motion from Osher that he was essentially forced out of his property to make way for the proposed new home of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. 

Osher's property in the northern section of St. Louis was targeted in an eminent domain claim in December 2015. Osher not only sued the city's redevelopment authority but also the agency. However, the court found he had no case against the agency. 

In 2012, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency announced its intention to move its western headquarters in St. Louis to a new location. According to court documents, Osher was properly notified of the city's, "intent to procure his property" and in December 2015 the Redevelopment Authority brought a condemnation action in state court. Osher was paid the fair market rate of $810,000 for his property, plus interest, according to the lawsuit. 

During his hearing motion in state court, attorneys for Osher did not challenge the, "Redevelopment Authority’s right to condemn his property," according to court documents. He did, however, refuse to vacate the property. 

Osher then brought suit in district court requesting a, "temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction against the condemnation proceedings." He alleged, among other things, that the Redevelopment Authority and the agency failed to pay him the relocation benefits provided. 

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