Monday, February 15, 2010

What To Do If St. Louis County Prosecutes You For " Trash Violation"

Of late, Subdivision Trustees in St. Louis County Area (, Citizens in Opposition to Monopoly Trash Districts (C.O.M.T.D.), and the North St. Louis County Problem Solving Committee, have been receiving numerous inquiries from residents in unincorporated St. Louis County seeking advice about court summonses that they have received from St. Louis County. The citations are for violation of its waste management code, as a result of not having the required trash service or for not paying for and using the authorized county haulers. (Click photo to enlarge)

Last month, St. Louis County inadvertently dismissed the trash case against a South County resident (Allan Fexer), but has since filed newcharges against him for not having the mandated trash service. Since that time, many other residents in St. Louis County have also begun receiving summonses to appear in municipal court and have received conflicting information when they contacted St. Louis County officials to inquire about their summonses. In one case, a South County resident was told by an inspector that she “would take care of it,” but the inspector failed to realize that she could not “take care of it” because the subject resident does not reside in a subdivision that had “opted-out” of the county trash districting program, thus no alternative option is available.

That same resident was also told by another county official to disregard the summons because a second notice would be forthcoming, but that official failed to realize that the judge would issue a bench warrant for not appearing in court. So, with regard to trusting the advice of St. Louis County officials, the advice is “caveat emptor.” This is unfortunate, but true.

The plaintiff attorneys in the three trash cases against St. Louis County advise that anyone who receives a summons should appear in court and ask for a continuance and a trial by jury, as opposed to just pleading guilty and paying the fine. So, if you receive a summons from St. Louis County to appear in court for violation of its trash ordinance and you have any questions, please contact either of the following two plaintiff attorneys, as they will be able to provide you with the proper legal advice:

 Lester Stuckmeyer, (314) 729 - 0272

 Rob Schultz, (636) 537- 4645

You may also contact Cathy Armbruster of Citizens in Opposition to Monopoly Trash Districts (C.O.M.T.D.) at (314) 544-0298, who is working in collaboration with the plaintiff attorneys, or Greg Porter of the Problem Solving Committee at (314) 651-9213.

Please feel free to pass this communication on to others who may be interested, especially those whom you know who have received a summons to appear in court, as well as to those who do not have internet access. Also, anyone interested in joining the protected e-mail distribution list should send his/her name, e-mail address and subdivision/area of residence to

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