Plantiffs challenge judge’s dismissal of suit to stop Lee’s Summit Wal-Mart Supercenter

rpulley@lsjournal.comAugust 2, 2013 

The legal battle over rezoning for a Wal-Mart Supercenter in south Lee’s Summit is continuing at least a little longer.

Douglas Patterson, lawyer for Richard and Paula McMillin, said he filed motions on Wednesday July 31 asking the court to vacate a dismissal granted last week by Judge Michael Manners.

Manners has retired and the case is reassigned to Judge David Byrn.

Patterson’s response to the dismissal also asks the Jackson County Circuit Court to change the defendants’ motion for dismissal to one for summary judgment, which he contends requires presenting at least some evidence before judge. That was a step that hadn’t been reached, according to his filing. Patterson also argued that the dismissal doesn’t follow established court rules because it was premature.

The McMillins are suing the City of Lee’s Summit and Wal-Mart Store’s Inc. through its representative the Mitchell, Kristl & Lieber law firm, saying the rezoning damages their property values and procedures to approve it was incorrectly followed by the city.

The defendants contend the McMillin’s property is not near enough to the Wal-Mart site to be affected and therefore they don’t have any standing to sue. And they contend the city did follow correct procedures.

The McMillin’s response this week said, “A long line of opinions from Missouri courts have made it clear that it is well-established that an adjoining, confronting or nearby property owner has standing, without further proof of special damage, to assert the right for review of an administrative decision affecting the property in question.”

Christine Bushyhead, of Mitchell, Kristl & Lieber, could not be reached for comment.

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