Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Federal Court Looking at St. L County Trash Fiasco

Three waste haulers suing St. Louis County say they had a constitutional right to receive a state-mandated two years' notice that the county was planning to establish trash districts — a claim that turns what was a state case into a federal affair.

In response to the haulers' first amended petition, which was filed on April 27 and approved on May 21 by St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Scott Bernstein, the county on May 27 filed a notice of removal to take the case out of Circuit Court and have it reviewed at the federal level, County Counselor Patricia Redington said.

The case would proceed at the U.S. District Court in St. Louis unless the plaintiffs raised any ob-jections, Redington said. The suit seeks $25,000 in damages. At press time, no hearings on the case were scheduled.

American Eagle Waste Industries, Meridian Waste Services and Waste Management of Missouri filed suit against the county in May 2008. They allege it violated a state statute by failing to give two years' notice to waste haulers before it established trash districts.

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