Missouri Senate Bill 203 was signed on July 9th by Missouri Governor Michael Parson. In a news release from Thompson Coburn LLP  the various benefits of this new legislation is discussed.

Senate Bill 203 makes significant changes to the existing nuisance statute which grants  individuals and neighborhood organizations in the City of St. Louis and Kansas City legal standing to enforce building codes and municipal ordinances against nuisance properties through private lawsuits.

With this new legislation, “it is now easier for neighborhood organizations to qualify for legal standing to bring a lawsuit under the statute.” In addition;

  • the amended statute “makes clear that injunctive relief is available to enjoin a nuisance without a showing that the plaintiff suffered damage because of the nuisance.”
  • it includes a “new provision that authorizes the court to award attorneys’ fees to a prevailing plaintiff in an action against commercial and industrial properties. The potential for an award of attorneys’ fees will make it possible for underserved neighborhoods to hire counsel to represent them in lawsuits under the statute on a contingent fee basis.”
  • includes a new “provision that authorizes residents of neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis and Kansas City to go onto the grounds of vacant buildings to pick up trash, clear weeds, and secure unsafe conditions for the protection of neighborhood property values.”

To view the text of the bill, please click here.

To view the full release, please click here.