Monday, April 29, 2013

Eyerman v. Mercantile Trust Co. case brief

Eyerman v. Mercantile Trust Co. case brief
524 S.W.2d 210

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff neighbors filed an action to enjoin the demolition by defendant executor of a house, and alleged issues of private nuisance, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and public policy. The Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis (Missouri) denied the injunction. The neighbors appealed.

FACTS: The owner of the home died and directed her executor to raze the home, sell the lot, and transfer the proceeds to the residuary of the estate. The neighbors asserted that razing the home would adversely affect their property rights, violate the terms of the subdivision trust indenture, produce an actionable private nuisance, and was contrary to public policy.

The court reversed the denial of the injunction.

The neighbors pleaded and proved facts sufficient to show a personal, legally protectible interest. The purposes of the testatrix's trust would not be defeated by injunction because the proceeds from the sale of the property would pass into the residual estate and thence to the trust estate as intended, and only the capricious destructive condition would be enjoined. The value of the property was significantly higher with the house intact. The neighbors, the community as a whole, and the beneficiaries of testatrix's estate would be severely injured should the provisions of the will be followed. No benefits were present to balance against the injury. The court held that to allow the condition in the will would be in violation of the public policy of Missouri.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed the denial of the injunction and remanded.

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