The Missouri Supreme Court blocked the Southeast Missouri Regional Port Authority from using eminent domain to expand its operations base on a 2006 Missouri law that prohibits governmental entities from using eminent domain “solely” for economic development purposes.
The port attempted to use eminent domain to acquire 30 acres of land in Scott County that would have been developed for storage and transportation businesses. The court said the new businesses could have helped finance a rail line, which in turn could have attracted even more businesses to the port area. The Court rejected the use of eminent domain because the action violated the 2006 law requiring a broader public purpose than just economic development.
The decision was unanimous.