Press

Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services

St. Louis County Jailed a Pregnant Woman For 39 Days Because She Refused a Paternity Test

A St. Louis County woman was wrongfully arrested on a civil paternity matter. Her story received national attention after she filed her suit, alleging that she was incarcerated for 39 days after the jail staff & St. Louis County circuit court allowed her to  ‘slip through the cracks.'

Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services

Civil Rights Claims Against the City of Ferguson Following the 2015 Protests over the Shooting of Michael Brown

A St. Louis woman filed suit against the city of Ferguson and Police  Sergeant Harry Dilworth after she was arrested for  attempting to record a traffic stop on her cellphone. Our suit - in partnership with renowned civil rights attorney Steve Ryals - resulted in a settlement with the City of Ferguson.

Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services

Learn more about Attorney Chelsea Merta & Lotus Law's high profile cases.

Following the passage of Senate Bill 5 in Missouri, municipalities across the state were prevented from using their small courts to generate millions of dollars in revenue from minor citations & over-inflated fines. But some cities didn't want to comply with this shift in individuals' civil rights.

Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services

She Was Left Bruised — Yet Sheriff's Deputies Arrested Her. Now She's Suing

In 2016, a domestic violence victim was arrested by Jefferson County Sheriff's Department after her husband claimed that she was the abusive one. The victim is now seeking damages for what she contends was an unlawful arrest, as well as suing over the officers' failure to provide medical attention for the injuries she received from her husband.

Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services

St. Louis Police Drop Legal Action to Bar Rape Victim From Her Own Report

Attorneys for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department have dropped their suit seeking to bar a woman from accessing the police report she filed ten years ago


After the woman hired Merta, the attorney filed a Sunshine request with the department to get the 2008 police report. The department cashed her check, but instead of turning over the report, SLMPD instead filed suit to block the victim from obtaining a copy of her own report.

Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services

Chaos At Hearing On Civilian Oversight Bill Highlights Ongoing Divisions Between Police, Community

A packed hearing on a proposed civilian review board for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department erupted into a scuffle between supporters of the bill and its police opponents, leading to increased tensions between law enforcement & community advocates dedicated to transparency & accountability among the department.

Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services

Woman who refused to let black neighbor into building fired

A white woman who refused to allow a black neighbor into their downtown St. Louis apartment building because he wouldn't show her proof that he lived there has been fired.


On Toles' behalf, attorney Chelsea Merta stated that he was "accosted, harassed and stalked" by the woman, who "got in my face, demanded to see my key fob, and proceeded to berate me and harass me for merely trying to go home after a long day of work."

Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services

What's the deal with all those look-alike police cars driving around St. Louis?

Drive around the City of St. Louis long enough and you're bound to see them. They're privately owned security vehicles that look an awful lot like real police vehicles that belong to the SLMPD. They have red and blue running lights, a badge on the door, and they even say the word "POLICE" in large letters.


"We already have a distrust with the police department as is, so having officers where you don't know what role they're in, just adds fuel to that fire of distrust," attorney Chelsea Merta said.