Lawsuit: St. Louis Suburb's Nuisance Ordinance Illegal

Mar 15, 2017

A federal lawsuit claims that a St. Louis suburb is violating federal housing laws by disproportionately revoking occupancy permits of blacks, women and disabled residents.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council's lawsuit filed Monday accuses Maplewood of violating the Fair Housing Act.

The lawsuit claims that at least two police calls can put someone on the list of "chronic nuisances." That's without a conviction or even when that person is the victim of the crime that triggered the police call.

The council says the ordinance defines "nuisance" so broadly it can "potentially include virtually any act that city officials do not like."

Mayor James White and other Maplewood officials declined to comment Tuesday, saying they hadn't yet seen the lawsuit.