Kansas City’s downtown streetcar transportation district wants opponents to post a $20 million bond before they can proceed with an appeal designed to stop the streetcar before it starts.
By DAVE HELLING
In papers filed today, district lawyers said the appeal sought by two downtown property owners would mean costly delays for the $100 million project. A district court recently dismissed the owners’ lawsuit against the project.
“It cannot be the law in Missouri that one or two unhappy taxpayers, whose legal
claims were previously rejected by the circuit court on both substantive and procedural grounds, can threaten the viability of a voter-approved $100 million-plus project by simply continuing to press what are by now surely frivolous claims through the courts without at a minimum posting a bond to satisfy the damages their (likely unsuccessful) appeal will cause,” the filing says.
The request was filed with the Missouri Court of Appeals.
Attorney Mark Bredemeier, who represents the two property owners, says he will “vigorously” oppose the bond requirement. Missouri law, he points out, doesn’t require the security deposit.
“It is our firm belief that relevant Missouri law does not require the posting of an appeal bond in these circumstances,” he said.
It isn’t clear when the appeals court will rule on the bond request.
The streetcar district lawyers concede in court papers that the request for a bond is rare. But:
“If Plaintiffs are permitted to pursue their appeal without posting security, and
thereby ultimately block the Project from proceeding (despite later losing on appeal), what is to stop future opponents of voter-approved projects from filing cases asserting legal theories that have already been procedurally and substantively rejected by the courts, so that the cases’ mere pendency can prevent government projects from moving forward? A bond sufficient to secure and repay all out-of-pocket losses that the District incurs as the result of Plaintiffs’ appeal will prevent this result.”