The plaintiffs are appealing the denial of their injunction to stop the demolition of a house in St. Louis, which the property owner directed in her will to be razed and the land sold. The court has granted the injunction, finding that the plaintiffs have standing to protect their interests and those of the general community against a capricious condition of a will directing the defendant-executor to destroy estate property. The Missouri Court of Appeals recognizes the state's power to grant the right to inherit or receive property through a will upon conditions precedent, but finds no reason for the eccentric condition in the will that mandates the destruction of a house, as it would harm the neighbors, detrimentally affect the community, and cause monetary loss to the estate. The court notes that the executor should not be allowed to exercise such power stemming from the apparent whim and caprice of the testatrix, as it contravenes public policy.
The dissenting judge in this case found the plaintiff's brief inadequate and failing to present relevant facts as required by Rule 84.04(c). The issue at hand is whether the trial court erred in refusing to enjoin a trustee from razing a home. The majority opinion assumes the testatrix's motives for the directive, but the record is silent on her motives. The plaintiffs seek to enjoin the removal of the testatrix's home based on language in the trust indenture, the claim that the razing would constitute a nuisance, and the argument that it violates public policy. However, they have not demonstrated that the indenture prohibits the razing or that it would create a nuisance, and there are no grounds to support the claim that it violates public policy. The court's use of public policy to invalidate Mrs. Johnston's valid testamentary direction is not appropriate in this case. The plaintiffs in this case argued that only they, not the public, were injured by the imminent demolition of the Johnston home. Therefore, this is not a proper case for court-defined public policy.
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