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Missouri Supreme Court says Arnold, other cities can use eminent domain

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By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Supreme Court, in a 6-1 ruling, says all cities and towns in the state can use eminent domain for private development.

The town of Arnold, south of St. Louis, had been blocked by a lower court from declaring the office building of local dentist Homer Tourkakis to be blighted.

The lower court ruling stated that non-charter cities, such as Arnold, didn't have the authority to use eminent domain for private development.

But Attorney Gerry Carmody, representing Arnold, says the High Court disagreed.

"All cities in the state have equal opportunities to eradicate blight within their boundaries," Carmody said.

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Richard Teitelman wrote that "neither the state constitution nor the tax-increment financing act expressly authorizes a third-class, non-charter city to use eminent domain" for private development.

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