In this case the government attempted to shut down Kansas City Premier Apartments, a company that helps apartment seekers in the Kansas City area find new places to live by providing them with information about rental properties and their surrounding community. Most of the information KCPA provides is distributed through its website, although it also employs a set of "rental advisors" who can answer more detailed questions for apartment seekers. KCPA does not draw up or execute any legal documents, it does not handle any money on behalf of either the apartment seekers or the properties, it does not negotiate deals for either apartment seekers or the properties, and the company does not charge the apartment seekers for the service. KCPA makes money because the rental property owners give KCPA a percentage of the first month's rent from any renter who says they found the property through KCPA's website. KCPA has been operating since 2004 and has never had a complaint about its informational services.
In this case the government stipulated that it had no evidence that KCPA had provided any untruthful information and that it had no evidence that anyone had ever suffered harm as a result of the information that KCPA had provided them. Nevertheless, because one licensed broker filed a complaint that KCPA was engaged in the unlicensed practice of real estate brokerage, the government enjoined the business from accepting any compensation for its services. KCPA has asserted that to the extent that the law permits the suppression of truthful, harmless information, it violates the First Amendment and the speech protections of the Missouri Constitution. KCPA also argues that the law unconstitutionally exempts certain governmentally-approved persons and organizations from the licensure requirements, but (according to the government) those exemptions are not available to KCPA.
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