Missouri Supreme Court Issues Property Right Decision

On August 30, 2011, the Missouri Supreme Court handed down an opinion in the Case of St. Charles County v. Laclede Gas Company (Case No. SC91539).  BSE shareholder, Paul A. Boudreau, filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of the Missouri Energy Development Association (MEDA).

The St. Charles County case concerned whether the reservation of a utilities corridor in a subdivision plat in an unincorporated area, conveyed an easement interest to a natural gas distribution company, thus conferring a property interest.  The Supreme Court found that the utility in question did receive an easement and, thus, had a property right that could not be taken by the County without compensation.  In reaching this conclusion, the Court rejected all four of the county’s primary arguments, including that its police power over roadways superceded any contrary consideration and, also, that the utility acquired a right no greater than a revocable franchise to use the public roadway.  MEDA’s brief supported the prevailing positions. 

Paul Boudreau has a business and administrative law practice involving regulated industries including utilities. He advises clients in the area of environmental permitting and enforcement. He also has experience in income, motrin online. He is a co-author of the chapter on the Missouri Public Service Commission in the Missouri Bar’s Administrative Law desk book.  Paul has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Energy Law.