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Municipal: Waste Collection-Breach of Settlement

In the 1970s, Kansas City began providing free waste collection to single-family residences. Owners of other residences excluded from free collection sued to challenge the constitutionality of the ordinance. They ultimately settled with the city, which agreed to either provide trash collection or a rebate in lieu of collection. In 2010, the city eliminated the rebate program. Plaintiffs, who were not parties to the original settlement, sued for breach of contract. The trial court entered judgment for plaintiffs, ruling that they fell within the definition of “owners” in the settlement agreement.

Where the original settlement agreement had been merged into a judgment of the court, there was no longer a viable contract to bring a breach claim and instead the proper relief would be a contempt proceeding, which plaintiffs lacked standing to bring because they were not parties to that judgment.

Judgment is reversed.

Sophian Plaza Association v. City of Kansas City (MLW No. 74040/Case No. SC97626 – 9 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Fischer, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Platte County, Van Amburg, J. (Tara M. Kelley, Cecilia Abbot, and M. Margaret Sheahan Moran, Kansas City, for appellant) (Edward D. Robertson, Jr., Mary D. Winter, and Anthony L. DeWitt, Jefferson City, Edward D. Robertson III, Leawood, KS, Richard F. Lombardo and Leland M. Shurin, Kansas City, Gregory A. Leyh, Gladstone, and Kenneth E. Barnes, Kansas City, for appellees)