Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that his office has filed a lawsuit against Country Club Homes and Crestwood Homes Association for failure to remove racially restrictive covenants from governing documents.
The Attorney General’s Office worked to identify racially restrictive covenants across the state, and subsequent letters were sent to a number of different homeowners associations in the Kansas City area. Some did comply and remove those covenants, while others did not respond after repeated attempts, including Country Club Homes and Crestwood Homes Association.
“There is absolutely no reason to continue to maintain or include racially restrictive covenants in neighborhood bylaws or guidelines, and refusing to remove those covenants is completely unacceptable - that’s why we filed suit in Jackson County earlier today,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “My office will continue to search for racially restrictive covenants in neighborhoods across the state and will seek to have them removed wherever possible.”
According to the petition, which was filed this morning in Jackson County, both state and federal law, as well as Shelley v. Kramer, a U.S. Supreme Court case from 1948, prohibit or deem racial restrictive covenants unconstitutional and unenforceable.
For example, according to the petition, “Country Club Homes Association Plats 5-6 maintains a racially restrictive provision in its covenant that reads, ‘None of said lots during aforesaid period shall be conveyed to, owned, used nor occupied by negroes as owners or tenants.’”
The petition can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/state-ex-rel-schmitt-v-country-club-homes-et-al---petition-for-declaratory-and-injunctive-relief.pdf?sfvrsn=817fd60a_2