Criminal Law

SCS HCS HB 38 – Work-off rate for certain county criminal defendants and notification of jail escapes (See Local Government)

SS#2 SCS HCS HB 111 – Judicial procedures (See Judicial Administration)

HB 199 – Community service for intoxication-related traffic offenses - Currently, as an alternative to imprisonment, a prior offender of an intoxication-related traffic offense can perform at least 30 days of community service as one condition of being eligible for parole or probation and a persistent offender can perform at least 60 days of community service.  Specifies that a prior offender must perform at least 30 days involving at least 240 hours of community service and a persistent offender must perform at least 60 days involving at least 480 hours of community service before he or she is eligible for probation or parole. (Signed 6/16/11)

SCS HCS HB 214 – Human trafficking Changes the laws regarding human trafficking.  In its main provisions, the bill:

(1) Expands the crime of abusing an individual through forced labor to include by causing or threatening to cause serious physical injury to any person, by physically restraining or threatening to physically restrain another person, by blackmail, or by causing a person to believe that he or she will suffer serious physical injury or financial harm if he or she does not perform the labor services.  The crime will be punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.  If death results from a violation of this crime or if the violation includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, sexual abuse or an attempt to commit sexual abuse when punishable as a class B felony, or an attempt to kill, the crime will be punishable for a term of not less than five years or life and a fine of up to $250,000 (Section 566.203, RSMo);

(2) Revises the crime of trafficking for the purpose of slavery, involuntary servitude, peonage, or forced labor. The crime will be punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.  If death results from a violation of this crime or if the violation includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, sexual abuse or an attempt to commit sexual abuse when punishable as a class B felony, or an attempt to kill, the crime will be punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than five years or life and a fine of up to $250,000 (Section 566.206);

(3) Revises the crime of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The crime will be punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.  If a violation of this crime was effected by force, abduction, or coercion, the punishment will be imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years or life and a fine of up to $250,000 (Section 566.209);

(4) Expands the crime of sexual trafficking of a child to include if a person knowingly uses force, abduction, coercion, fraud, deception, or blackmail or causes or threatens to cause financial harm to a person younger than 18 years of age to participate in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of specified explicit sexual material or causes a person younger than 18 years of age to engage in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of specified explicit sexual material.  It will not be a defense that the defendant believed the person was 18 years of age or older.  The crime will be punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years or life and a fine of up to $250,000 if the child is younger than 18 years of age.  If a violation of this crime was effected by force, abduction, or coercion, the crime will be a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment is life without eligibility for probation or parole until the defendant serves at least 25 years of his or her sentence (Section 566.212);

(5)  Expands the crime of sexual trafficking of a child younger than 12 years of age to include if a person knowingly uses force, abduction, coercion, fraud, deception, or blackmail or causes or threatens to cause financial harm to a person younger than 12 years of age to participate in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of specified explicit sexual material or causes a person younger than 12 years of age to engage in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of specified explicit sexual material.  It will not be a defense that the defendant believed the person was 12 years of age or older (Section 566.213);

(6)  Specifies that a court must order a defendant convicted of trafficking or contributing to human trafficking to pay restitution to the victim regardless of whether the defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment or probation;

(7) Specifies that it will be an affirmative defense for the offense of prostitution that the defendant engaged in the conduct charged because he or she was coerced to do so by the use of, or threatened use of, unlawful physical force upon himself or herself or a third person in which a person of reasonable firmness in his or her situation would have been unable to resist (Section 566.223.2);

(8)  Authorizes the Department of Public Safety to establish procedures for identifying victims of trafficking and to develop training programs and standard protocols for appropriate agencies to educate officials and employees on state and federal laws regulating human trafficking and with the identification and assistance of human trafficking victims.  Upon a first encounter with a person who reasonably appears to be a victim of trafficking, a law enforcement agency must notify the Department of Social Services and, where applicable, juvenile justice authorities in order for the agencies to determine whether the victim may be eligible for state or federal services, programs, or assistance (Sections 566.223.3 and 566.223.4);

(9) Allows the Department of Social Services to coordinate with relevant state, federal, and local agencies to evaluate appropriate services for victims of trafficking and allows state agencies to implement programs and enter into contracts with nonprofit agencies, domestic and sexual violence shelters, and other nongovernment organizations to provide services to confirmed victims of trafficking if funds are available (Section 566.223.5);

(10) Allows a victim of trafficking to bring a civil action within 10 years after the later of the final order in the criminal case, the victim’s emancipation from the defendant, or the victim’s eighteenth birthday against any person who pled guilty to or was found guilty of trafficking to recover the actual damages sustained, court costs, reasonable attorney fees, and punitive damages when determined appropriate by the court (Section 566.223.6); and

(11) Allows the Attorney General to file a civil action to recover from any person or entity that benefits from trafficking a civil penalty of up to $50,000 for each violation and injunctive and other equitable relief as may be ordered by the court.  Any money or property collected by a civil action must first be used to pay restitution to the victim (Section 566.223.7). (Signed 7/12/11)

SS#2 SCS HCS HB 294, 123, 125, 113, 271 & 215 – Firearms (See Licensing Law)

HB 340 – County facilities (See Judicial Administration)

CCS SS SCS HCS HB 430 – Transportation (See Transportation Law)

SCS HCS HB 641 – Controlled substances Changes the laws regarding the designation of controlled substances, including synthetic cannabinoids.
Specifies that any person who possesses any controlled substance except 35 grams or less of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid will be guilty of a class C felony.  Any person who possesses not more than 35 grams of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.  Currently, these provisions apply to a person possessing marijuana or certain specified substances (Section 195.202).

Also adds cocaine base to the list of controlled substances for which a person commits the offense of distribution of a controlled substance near a park, a class A felony (Section 195.217). (Signed 7/14/11)

SCS HB 661 – Debt adjusters (See Commercial Law)

HB 675 – County coroner training (See Health & Hospital Law)

HJR 2 – Religious freedom in public places (See Education & School Law – Includes provisions relating to rights of prisoners)

SCS/SB 54 – Protecting children from sexual offenders Changes the laws regarding the protection of children from sexual offenders.  In its main provisions, the bill:

(1)  Authorizes the Office of Child Advocate within the Office of Administration to file any findings or reports regarding the parent or child with the court, issue recommendations regarding the disposition of an investigation which may be provided to the court and the investigating agency, and mediate between an alleged victim of sexual misconduct and a school district(Section 37.710, RSMo);

(2) Specifies that certain provisions regarding the protection of children from sexual offenders will be known as the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act (Section 160.085);

(3) Requires a school employee who is a mandated reporter and the superintendent of the school district to forward any allegation by a student of sexual misconduct by a teacher or other school employee to the Children’s Division within the Department of Social Services within 24 hours of receiving the information in order for the division to investigate the report.
The district must not conduct an investigation for the purpose of determining whether the allegation should be substantiated, but it may investigate the allegation for the purpose of making a decision regarding the accused employee’s employment.  The investigating officer must review the report using a preponderance of evidence standard (Section 160.261);

(4) Authorizes the Office of Child Advocate to coordinate mediation efforts between a school district and a student when requested by both parties for a child abuse allegation arising in a school setting.  The mediator cannot be a mandated reporter of child abuse.  No student, parent, school employee, or district can be required to participate in mediation.  The requirements of the mediation procedure are specified in the bill (Section 160.262);

(5) Prohibits a registered sexual offender or a person required to be registered as a sexual offender from being a candidate for any school board (Section 162.014);

(6) Requires, by July 1, 2012, every school district to adopt a written policy on information that the district provides about a former employee to another public school.  A district must immediately suspend an employee who has been investigated by the division and for whom there has been a substantiated finding of sexual misconduct with a student.  The district may return the person to employment if the review board’s finding that the allegation is substantiated is reversed by a court on appeal and becomes final.  Nothing will preclude a district from otherwise lawfully terminating the employment of an employee about whom there has been an unsubstantiated finding from an investigation. A district employee who is permitted to respond to a request for information regarding a former employee, communicates only the information that the policy directs, and acts in good faith without malice will be immune from any civil action for damages brought by the former employee arising from the communication of the information.  If an action is brought against the employee, he or she may request the Attorney General to defend him or her in the suit, except as specified in the bill.  If a district received an allegation of an employee’s sexual misconduct or the substantiation of an allegation by the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board and the district dismissed or allowed the employee to resign in lieu of being fired and failed to disclose the allegation when furnishing a reference for the former employee or when responding to a potential employer’s request for information, the district will be liable for damages to any student of a subsequently employing district who is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a victim of the former employee’s sexual misconduct.  The district will bear third-party liability for any legal liability and expenses incurred by the employing district caused by the failure to disclose the information.  A district that has employed a person for whom there was a substantiated finding from a division investigation must disclose the results of the division’s investigation to any other public school that contacts it for a reference.  A district is prohibited from discharging or discriminating against an employee who, when acting in good faith, reports alleged sexual misconduct of a teacher or other school employee (Section 162.068);

(7) Requires every school district to develop a written policy by January 1, 2012, concerning teacher-student communication and employee-student communication.  Each policy must include appropriate oral and nonverbal personal communication and appropriate use of electronic media.  A teacher cannot establish or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child’s legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian and cannot establish or use a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.  By July 1, 2012, each district must include in its teacher and employee training a component on identifying signs of sexual abuse in children and danger signals of potentially abusive relationships between children and adults with an emphasis on the importance of mandatory reporting of abuse;

(8) Clarifies that an applicant must complete a background check as provided in Section 168.133 in order to obtain a teaching certificate (Section 168.021);

(9) Adds the crimes of sexual contact with a student while on public school property as well as sexual misconduct in the second or third degree to the offenses for which a teacher’s license or certificate may be revoked (Section 168.071);

(10) Specifies requirements for criminal background checks of school bus drivers;

(11) Changes the number of sets of fingerprints an applicant must submit for a criminal history background check from two to one.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must facilitate an annual check of employed individuals with current active teaching certificates against criminal history records in the central repository, sexual offender registry, and child abuse central registry.  The department must also facilitate procedures for school districts to submit personnel information annually for persons employed by districts who do not hold a certificate but are required to undergo the background checks.  The patrol must provide ongoing electronic updates to criminal history background checks of those persons previously submitted by the department. A district may, in its discretion, conduct a new criminal background check and fingerprint collection for a newly hired employee at its expense (Sections 168.133.2 and 168.133.4);

(12) Grants immunity from any civil and criminal liability under certain circumstances to any person who is not a school district employee and reports an alleged incident of child abuse to any employee of a district unless he or she makes a false report knowing that it is false or acts in bad faith or with ill intent in making the report (Section 210.135);

(13) Requires the Children’s Division to provide information about the Office of Child Advocate and its services to anyone who is not satisfied with the results of an investigation (Section 210.145);

(14) Allows the division to reopen a case for review at the request of an alleged victim, an alleged perpetrator, or the Office of Child Advocate under certain specified circumstances. An investigation cannot be reopened while a case is pending before a court or when a court has entered a final judgment after a de novo judicial review.  Any person who makes a request to reopen an investigation based on facts which the person knows to be false will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor (Section 210.152);

(15) Changes the statute of limitations for a prosecution of an unlawful sexual offense involving a person 18 years of age or younger so that the prosecution must be commenced within 30 years, rather than 20 years, after the victim reaches the age of 18 with the exception of certain specified crimes (Section 556.037).
The provisions of the bill regarding Erin’s Law will expire January 1, 2013.  In scope. Oppose, share comments. (Signed 7/14/11)

CCS#2 HCS SB 250 – Sexual offenders Currently, any person who, since July 1, 1979, has pled guilty or nolo contendere to, been convicted of, or been found guilty of certain specified sexual offenses is prohibited from residing within 1,000 feet of certain public schools, private schools, or child care facilities.  Specifies that a child care facility includes any licensed child care facility or any facility which is exempt from licensure but subject to state fire, safety, health, and sanitation inspections and holds itself out to be a child care facility.

Also requires a person incarcerated for a sexual assault offense to successfully complete the treatment, education, and rehabilitation program provided by the Department of Corrections prior to being eligible for parole or conditional release. (Signed 6/22/11)

CCS HCS SB 282 – Elections  (See Local Government)

HCS SB 161 – Agricultural/dog breeders (See Agricultural/Animal Law)

SS#2 SCS SB 320 – Domestic violence Changes the laws regarding domestic violence and orders of protection.  In its main provisions, the bill:

(1) Specifies that the juvenile court or family court will have exclusive original jurisdiction in a proceeding involving an order of protection when the respondent is younger than 17 years of age;

(2) Revises the definition of “abuse” to specify that it does not include abuse inflicted on a child by accidental means by an adult household member or discipline of a child, including spanking, in a reasonable manner;

(3) Revises the definition of “harassment” to include conduct that alarms or causes distress to a child as well as to an adult;

(4) Defines “child” as any person younger than 17 years of age unless he or she is emancipated;

(5) Revises the definition of “domestic violence” as abuse or stalking;

(6) Revises the definition of “family” or “household member” to include any person related by blood or marriage; persons presently residing together or who have resided together in the past; any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time;

(7) Revises the definition of “petitioner” to be a family or household member who has been a victim of domestic violence, any person who has been a victim of stalking, or a person filing on behalf of a child pursuant to Section 455.503;

(8) Revises the definition of “respondent” to be a family or household member alleged to have committed an act of domestic violence, a person alleged to have committed an act of stalking against whom a petition has been filed, or a person served on behalf of a child pursuant to Section 455.503;

(9) Revises the definition of “stalking” to include stalking by any person instead of by an adult;

(10) Prohibits a petitioner from being charged a filing fee in any action regarding an adult order or protection, including a contempt motion seeking to enforce an existing order of protection;

(11) Specifies that if a respondent is younger than 17 years of age and is not emancipated, service of process of an ex parte order of protection must be made upon his or her parent, guardian, or a court-appointed guardian ad litem;

(12) Requires a court to transfer a case to juvenile court for a hearing on a full order of protection if an ex parte order is entered and the respondent is younger than 17 years of age.  The court must appoint a guardian ad litem for any respondent not represented by a parent or guardian;

(13) Specifies that the provisions of Section 491.075 regarding the admissibility of statements of a child younger than 14 years of age, instead of the current younger than 12 years of age, are to apply to any hearing regarding allegations of domestic violence;

(14) Requires the local law enforcement agency or any other government agency responsible for serving ex parte orders of protection to enter service information into the State Highway Patrol’s Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System (MULES) or future secure electronic databases that are intended for law enforcement use within 24 hours after an ex parte order is served on a respondent;

(15) Allows the court, upon a finding that it is in the best interest of the parties, to include a provision that a full order of protection with a duration of one year must automatically renew unless the respondent requests a hearing at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the order;

(16) Requires the law enforcement agency maintaining MULES to enter information contained in an order of protection including any orders regarding child custody or visitation and all specifics as to the times and dates of custody or visitation provided in the order.  Any change in child custody or visitation within an order must be issued to the local law enforcement agency and the agency responsible for entering the information into MULES.  Any expiration of termination must be entered within 24 hours of receiving notice;

(17) Requires the court to cause a copy of any objection filed by the respondent and a notice of the date set for the hearing on that objection to an automatic renewal of a full order of protection with a duration of one year to be personally served upon the petitioner by a personal process server, sheriff, or police officer at least three days prior to the hearing.  This service of process must be served at the earliest time and take priority over service in other actions except those of a similar emergency nature;

(18) Allows the court to include in any full or ex parte order of protection any terms reasonably deemed necessary to ensure the petitioner’s safety;

(19) Specifies that before the court terminates any order of protection, it can examine the circumstances of the motion to dismiss the order and may inquire of the petitioner or others in order to assist the court in determining if the dismissal is voluntary;

(20) Specifies that a respondent in violation of an ex parte or full order of protection for a child will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for entering a petitioner’s place of employment or school or for being within a certain distance of the petitioner or a child of the petitioner unless the respondent has previously pled guilty to or has been found guilty of violating an order of protection within five years of the date of the subsequent violation in which case he or she will be guilty of a class D felony.  Evidence of a prior plea of guilty or finding of guilt must be heard by the court out of the presence of the jury prior to the submission of the case to the jury.  If the court finds the existence of a prior plea of guilty or a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court must decide the extent or duration of the sentence or other disposition and cannot instruct the jury regarding the range of punishment or allow the jury to assess the punishment as part of its verdict;

(21) Requires any ex parte order of protection to be for the purpose of protecting the victim from domestic violence which can include restraining the respondent from communicating with the victim in any manner or through any medium;

(22) Requires any full order of protection to be for the purpose of protecting the victim from domestic violence which can include temporarily enjoining the respondent from communicating with the victim in any manner or through any medium;

(23) Requires the Division of Probation and Parole within the Department of Corrections to establish standards and to adopt a credentialing process for any court-appointed batterer intervention program;

(24) Requires all records in a proceeding of the juvenile court regarding an order of protection to be kept confidential and to only be open for inspection without a court order to the juvenile officer; officials at the child’s school, law enforcement officials, prosecuting attorneys, or any person or agency having or proposed to provide care, custody, control, or treatment of the child; and the parent, guardian, or court-appointed guardian ad litem of the child;

(25) Specifies that any person who has pled guilty to or been found guilty of any offense committed in violation of any county or municipal ordinance in any state, federal, or military law which, if committed in Missouri, would be a third degree domestic assault will be guilty of a class D felony for the third or any subsequent commission of the crime of domestic assault;

(26) Repeals the expiration provision of the Safe at Home Confidentiality Program which provides victims of sexual assault, rape, stalking, and domestic violence a substitute mailing address through the Secretary of State’s Office;

(27) Prohibits a public or private agency providing services to victims from using more than 10% of any funds received from the Services to Victims Fund for administrative purposes; and

(28) Requires the Department of Public Safety to establish the maximum reimbursement rate for a forensic examination for a victim of a sexual offense which reflects the reasonable cost of providing the examination. (Signed 7/12/11)

 

Index of Bills by Subject Matter

Key
  • CCS - Conference Committee Substitute
  • HB - House Bill
  • HCS - House Committee Substitute
  • HS - House Substitute
  • HJR - House Joint Resolution
  • SB - Senate Bill
  • SCS - Senate Committee Substitute
  • SS - Senate Substitute
  • SJR - Senate Joint Resolution
  • * - Missouri Bar Committee-Drafted Legislation