Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District v. City of Bellefontaine, No. ED101713 (Feb. 24, 2015), is another one of those cases where construction by a city resulted in damage to property. The water district sued for inverse condemnation, among other things. Only twist here was that it wasn't exactly "private" property, but property owned by another municipality, a water district. The City responded by arguing that hey man, the water district's property is already devoted to public use, and the prohibition against takings only applies to private property, so no standing.
Short story: the Missouri Court of Appeals punted the case up "because of the importance of this question, we transfer to the Missouri Supreme Court." Slip op. at 7. The interesting thing, especially for those of us who also practice in jurisdictions where a case before an intermediate appeals court can be moved up to the supreme court by transfer, is that the court of appeals first rendered its opinion about whether the water district had standing to assert the inverse condemnation claim. In our experience, when a case is transferred up, the intermediate court doesn't usually reveal what it is thinking about a case, as the transfer takes place before the court of appeals weighs in. Apparently, Missouri procedure is different, and allows the case to be transferred after argument and opinion.
The court of appeals, by the way, concluded (we will not say "held," because in light of the the transfer, this appears to be just an advisory opinion), that the water district did not have standing because it did not own private property. The court would have allowed the water district's tort claims against the city to go forward, however.
Next stop Missouri Supreme Court, we presume.