JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION



CCS/HCS/SS/SCS/SB 470 -Modifies various provisions relating to transportation. Subjects addressed include:

FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT – Under current law, if a person fails to timely dispose of a traffic ticket, the court will notify the Director of Revenue of such fact and the director will suspend the offender’s license until the person settles the matter by paying the fines and applicable court costs. Upon proof of disposition of the charges, and payment of a reinstatement fee, the director will return the license and remove the suspension from the person’s driver’s record. This act modifies this provision so that a commercial motor vehicle operator or a holder of a commercial driver’s license will not be eligible to have such a suspension removed from his or her driving record. (See Motor Vehicles for a summary of additional provisions of this omnibus bill). (Signed 7/12/12)

CCS/HCS/SB 628 - Modifies provisions relating to the judiciary.
JOINT COMMITTEE ON CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT - Establishes and specifies the legislative membership of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect.
 Among other duties, the Joint Committee is required to:
 (1) Study and analyze the state child abuse and neglect reporting and investigation system;
 (2) Devise a plan for improving the decision process for removal of a child from a home;
 (3) Determine the additional personnel and resources necessary to adequately protect children and improve their welfare; and
 (4) Address the need for additional foster care homes and to improve the quality of care provided to abused and neglected children in the custody of the state.

DRIVER’S REGISTRATION AND MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS - Currently, the Department of Revenue is prohibited from releasing the home address or any other information contained in the Department’s motor vehicle or driver registration records for specified groups of individuals. This act adds any state or federal judge or his or her immediate family members to those groups. The act also limits the information withheld to the home address and information that identifies a vehicle owned by an individual in the specified groups. There is an exception allowing for release of the protected information to government agencies in carrying out their functions.

SHERIFF’S CHARGE IN CIVIL CASES - Under current law, there is a special fund in each county treasury for certain funds coming into the possession of sheriffs that is to be used for the sheriff’s office. Land sale proceeds are not to be directed into the fund. Any proceeds in excess of $50,000 go into the general revenue in the county treasury.
 This act specifies that charges received by sheriffs for executing service of process or other court orders and land sale proceeds must be placed in the special fund, subject to the $50,000 cap on the fund.

COLLECTION OF FINES OR COSTS - Authorizes cities and counties that have established municipal courts to utilize collection agencies to collect unpaid and past due court fines, administrative fines, or costs associated with a finding of guilt for a criminal offense or infraction or entry of a civil judgment.

CITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TAX BOARD - Allows a city that adopts or has already adopted a local option economic development sales tax to increase the number of members on the economic development tax board.

GREENE AND CASS COUNTY ASSOCIATE CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES - Currently, associate circuit judges in Cass County can hear and determine county traffic ordinance violations. This act extends similar authority to associate circuit judges in Greene County and allows such judges in both counties to hear any county ordinance violation adopted pursuant to statute.

BLIGHT IN ENHANCED ENTERPRISE ZONES - No finding of blight under the tax relief chapter can be used to meet the conditions for blight under any other statute.

TRAFFICKING DRUGS - Currently, a person commits the crime of trafficking drugs in the first degree if he or she distributes, delivers, manufactures, produces or attempts to distribute, deliver, manufacture, or produce more than 2 grams of crack. If the quantity involved is between 2 and 6 grams, the person must be sentenced to the authorized term of imprisonment for a class A felony. If the quantity is 6 grams or more, the person will be ineligible for probation or parole. This act raises the quantity for a class A felony sentence to between 8 and 24 grams. If the person has 24 grams or more, the person will be ineligible for probation or parole.
 Currently, a person commits the crime of trafficking drugs in the second degree if he or she possesses or has under his or her control, purchases, or attempts to purchase or brings into this state more than 2 grams of crack. If the quantity involved is between 2 and 6 grams, the person will be guilty of a class B felony. If the quantity is 6 grams or more, the person will be guilty of a class A felony. This act raises the quantity for a class B felony sentence to between 8 and 24 grams. If the person has 24 grams or more, the person will be guilty of a class A felony.

JUVENILE COURT JURISDICTION - See also: HB 1171 (2012). Current law provides that the juvenile court shall have jurisdiction over any child up to 15 and 1/2 years of age who is involved in a state or local traffic violation. This act lowers such age so that the juvenile court would have jurisdiction over any child up to 15 years of age in such instances.

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS IN RAPE CASES - An automatic stay will be placed on paternity proceedings during the pendency of a criminal charge alleging and act of rape by the putative father. Denial of visitation rights by this act cannot be used against the mother in determining which parent is most likely to allow meaningful contact with the other parent.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION APPEALS - When a party seeks to appeal a decision by the PSC in the court of appeals, the party must file a notice of appeal with the PSC but current law does not specify who then files the appeal with the court. This act requires the PSC to forward any such appeal to the appropriate appellate court.

PERFECTION OF SECURITY INTERESTS - Removes the requirement for filing of a financing statement to perfect a security interest in property held as inventory by a person in the business of selling or leasing certain goods.

*QUALIFIED SPOUSAL TRUSTS - Currently, trusts that hold a certain kind of property owned by a husband and a wife will be considered a qualified spousal trust if the property is held in one trust or the property is held in two separate shares of one trust. This act allows a trust to be considered a qualified spousal trust if the trust consists of both property held in one trust for both spouses and property held in two shares of one trust for each spouse. This language was drafted by The Missouri Bar’s Probate & Trust Law Committee.

*TRUST PROTECTORS - This act modifies the law regarding trusts to specifically allow for the appointment of a trust protector. The trust protector is a person who is given power over the trust by the document that creates the trust.
 The trust protector’s powers may include: the power to remove and appoint a trustee, or name a successor trust protector, the power to modify or amend the documents that created the trust, the power to modify the interests of a beneficiary of the trust, the power to terminate the trust in favor of the beneficiary, the power to change which law applies to the trust and which state the trust is located in, and any powers that are expressly included in the trust documents.
 The trust protector is not a trustee but shall act in a fiduciary capacity in carrying out the duties and powers granted by the trust instrument to the trust protector. The trust protector will not be liable for his or her acts or omissions unless they are done in breach of the trust protector’s duty, in bad faith, or with reckless indifference. Unless it is established that the trust protector acted in bad faith or with reckless indifference, the trust protector will be reimbursed from the assets of the trust for the costs and expenses of defending a lawsuit against him or her. A trust protector is entitled to reasonable compensation from the trust assets for carrying out the powers given to them by the trust document.
 The act also provides that the trust protector is entitled to certain information about the trust, provides authority for a trust protector to resign by providing written notice to the trustee, and specifies that the courts have jurisdiction over a trust protector while the administration of the trust is in Missouri. This language was drafted by The Missouri Bar’s Probate & Trust Law Committee

STATEWIDE COURT AUTOMATION FUND - See also HB 1460 (2012). Currently, a court fee is collected and deposited into the Statewide Court Automation Fund. The Court Automation Committee may use moneys in the fund for court automation. Collection of the fee is set to expire on September 1, 2013. The Committee is to cease functions no later than September 1, 2015. Unexpended moneys remaining in the fund will be transferred to the general revenue fund on September 1, 2013.
 This act extends collection of the court fee until September 1, 2018. Moneys left in the fund on that date will be transferred to the general revenue. The Committee shall cease functions on September 1, 2020.

ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION SYSTEM - Springfield will be allowed to establish an administrative adjudication system.

MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS - Currently, municipalities that make an election to have violations of their ordinances heard by an associate circuit court or county municipal court must have all violations of their ordinances heard by such a court. This act allows municipalities to elect to have only violations by an accused with special needs due to mental illness or mental disorder heard by such courts. If the election is for an associate circuit court to handle such matters, the presiding judge of the circuit must consent to the election. If the election is for a county municipal court to handle such matters, a county contract must permit the election.
 The prosecutor must make a designation of special needs on the information. The matter will be transferred back to the municipal court if the associate circuit court or county municipal court does not have established resources for handling such matters or the court determines the accused does not have special needs.

ST. LOUIS CITY CIRCUIT CLERK - Requires that the circuit clerk for the twenty-second judicial circuit be appointed by a majority of the judges of that circuit. The circuit clerk shall be removable for cause by a majority of the circuit judges. The elected circuit clerk holding office when this act takes effect will remain in office for the remainder of his or her term.

INMATE SECURITY FUND - Modifies the uses of money from a current court surcharge in criminal cases. The uses of moneys in the fund are modified to include the purchase of information sharing equipment to allow inmates, detainees or prisoners in a shorter term detention facility to be identified upon booking and tracked within certain law enforcement or criminal justice systems.

COST FOR EXAMINING ELECTRONICS IN SEXUAL OFFENSE CASES - Allows courts to order a defendant, upon a plea of guilty or a finding of guilt for a felony sexual offense, to reimburse the state or local law enforcement agency for the reasonable costs incurred in the examination of certain seized electronic devices. The costs will be established by each law enforcement agency, but the court may reduce the costs if it determines them to be excessive.

VULNERABLE PERSONS, DOMESTIC ASSAULT & CHILD ABUSE - Creates a hearsay exception for vulnerable persons similar to the exception for children under 14 used in certain criminal cases. There requirement that the offense be performed with or on the declarant is removed.
 The crime of domestic assault is modified to include acts involving a child who is a member of the family or household and not acts against persons in a romantic relationship with the actor.
 The crime of abuse of a child changed to abuse or neglect of a child. A person commits the crime if they cause a child under 18 to suffer physical or mental injury, to be placed in a situation which may result in physical or mental injury, or to suffer abusive head trauma. The crime is a class C felony. If the act involved serious physical or emotional injury or the person was previously found guilty of this crime, the person will be guilty of a class B felony. An act will be a class A felony if it involves a serious physical or emotional injury, the victim is less than 14 years old, and the injury is a result of sexual abuse.

INVERSE CONDEMNATION AND DANGEROUS CONDITIONS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY - Requires that suits against municipal corporations involving dangerous conditions of public property or suits in inverse condemnation be brought in the county in which all or part of the property lies.

*PROPERTY EXEMPT FROM ATTACHMENT & EXECUTION - See also HB 1527 (2012). Clarifies that the exemption of the debtor’s interest in motor vehicles applies to all motor vehicles owned by the debtor to a total of $3000 no matter the number of debtor owned motor vehicles which are used to reach the $3000 exemption amount. Clarifies that the exemption of a mobile home used by the debtor as a residence is $5000 when the mobile home is not attached to land which is also owned by the debtor; where the mobile home is attached to the land owned by the debtor the only exemption available to the debtor is that of the homestead exemption. It changes the exemption in public assistance programs to include all public assistance programs notwithstanding the source of the public assistance. It raises the age for dependents from 18 to 21 in the determination of the head of household exemption. Applies to bankruptcies filed on or after the effective date. Applies to executions served on or after the effective date. This language was drafted by The Missouri Bar’s Commercial Law Committee.

FEDERAL SEIZURE PROCEEDS - Currently, a law enforcement agency involved in using the federal forfeiture system under federal law is required each fiscal year to acquire an independent audit of the federal seizures and proceeds therefrom and provide the audit to its governing body, the Department of Public Safety, and the Office of the State Auditor. This act removes the audit requirement and requires the law enforcement agency to file an annual report by January 31 regarding federal seizures and proceeds for the previous year with the department and the auditor’s office.

LANDOWNER LIABILITY TO TRESPASSERS - This act specifies that possessors of real property owe no duty of care to a trespasser except for intentional acts. Three other exceptions are created where the possessor may be liable for the death or injury of a trespasser:
 (1) Children trespassers injured by a dangerous condition on the land;
 (2) Possessor knows that trespassers frequently intruded on an area with a dangerous artificial condition; or
 (3) Possessor knows of the trespassers presence and failed to warn of a dangerous condition.
 A possessor or real property may use justifiable force to repel a criminal trespasser.

CONDUCT AT PUBLIC MEETINGS - Currently, any action seeking monetary damage against a person for conduct or speech at a public hearing or meeting is subject to a special motion to discuss, a motion for judgment on the pleadings, or a motion for summary judgment so it can be considered on an expedited basis. This act allows any action against a person for conduct or speech at a public hearing or meeting to be subject to these special motions.

UNCLAIMED SEIZED ELECTRONICS - This act specifies that computers, computer equipment, computer software and hardware, cellular telephones, or other devices capable of accessing the internet which are used by the owner or with the owner’s consent as a means for committing felonies must be forfeited to the state. Such forfeited equipment that had been used in the acquisition, possession, or distribution of child pornography or obscene material may, upon a court order, be retained by the law enforcement agency and used in criminal investigations.

SENTENCING ADVISORY COMMISSION - The requirement that the Sentencing Advisory Commission biannually distribute its sentencing recommendations is eliminated. The commission is prohibited from making recommended sentences for specific cases pending in the courts.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT INVOLVING A CHILD - The crime of sexual misconduct involving a child is modified to include when a person knowingly coerces or induces a female child who is known by the person to be younger than 15 years of age to expose the breasts of a female child through the internet or other electronic means for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, including the child.

FIRST DEGREE PROPERTY DAMAGE - The crime of property damage in the first degree is modified to include when a person knowingly damages a motor vehicle of another while making entry into the vehicle for the purpose of stealing it or the damage occurs while committing the crime of stealing within the vehicle. Anyone who commits this crime will be guilty of a class C felony unless it is a subsequent violation in which case he or she will be guilty of a class B felony.

AIRPORT AUTHORITY - Eligible entities may individually or jointly form an airport authority. The airport authority will have jurisdictional boundaries conterminous with the eligible entities. The authority must have “airport authority” in the name.

SEXUAL OFFENDER REGISTRY - Requires the Joint Committee on the Missouri Criminal Code to evaluate which offenses should be removed from the sexual offender registry. Neither signed nor vetoed. Becomes law pursuant to Article III, Section 31, Missouri Constitution.

CCS/HCS/SB 636 – Modifies laws relating to the judiciary. Includes provisions relating to:

STATEWIDE COURT AUTOMATION FUND - See also HB 1460 (2012) and SB 628, supra which provides for a longer extension of these sunset provisions. Currently, a court fee is collected and deposited into the Statewide Court Automation Fund. The Court Automation Committee may use moneys in the fund for court automation. Collection of the fee is set to expire on September 1, 2013. The Committee is to cease functions no later than September 1, 2015. Unexpended moneys remaining in the fund will be transferred to the general revenue fund on September 1, 2013.
 This act extends collection of the court fee until September 1, 2015. Moneys left in the fund on that date will be transferred to the general revenue. The Committee shall cease functions on September 1, 2017.

MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS - See SB 628, supra.

ST. LOUIS CITY CIRCUIT CLERK - Requires that the circuit clerk for the twenty-second judicial circuit be appointed by a majority of the judges of that circuit. The circuit clerk shall be removable for cause by a majority of the circuit judges. The elected circuit clerk holding office when this act takes effect will remain in office for the remainder of his or her term. (See Criminal Law for a summary of additional provisions of this bill). (Signed 7/12/12)

SCS/SB 789 - Under current law, a surcharge of $30 is assessed in criminal cases in which a defendant is found guilty of a felony, a surcharge of $60 is assessed if the defendant if found guilty of a class A or B felony or an unclassified felony under Chapter 195, and $15 is assessed if the defendant is found guilty of a misdemeanor. This money is deposited into the “DNA Profiling Analysis Fund”.
 The surcharge was set to expire on August, 28, 2013. This act extends the expiration date to August 28, 2019.
 Repeals a provision that redirects the funds to the state’s general revenue if such revenue did not increase by two percent or more from the previous fiscal year. (See Criminal Law for a summary of additional provisions relating to DNA samples). (Signed 7/9/12)

SCS/SJR 51 - This constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters, would modify the composition of the Appellate Judicial Commission and the selection process for judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
 This act increases the number of individuals that the Appellate Judicial Commission nominates for vacancies in the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals from three to four.
 Currently, the Appellate Judicial Commission consists of seven members as follows: one Supreme Court judge, a member of the bar from each appellate district elected by members of the bar in that district, and a non-bar member citizen from each appellate district appointed by the Governor. This act replaces the judge member of the commission with an additional member appointed by the Governor. Members appointed by the Governor no longer must be non-bar members. The Governor will appoint one member from each appellate district and one from the state at large. The appointed members will serve terms of four years. Their terms will be staggered so that a Governor will appoint two when taking office and two during the middle of his or her term. The Supreme Court will appoint a former Supreme Court or Court of Appeals judge to serve as a nonvoting member of the commission. The former judge cannot have been removed for cause or failed to be retained in a retention election. The changes to the Appellate Judicial Commission will take effect on January 15, 2013. (These provisions will appear on the November 6, 2012 ballot).

HCS/HB 1171 - Modifies provisions relating to courts. Current law provides that the juvenile court shall have jurisdiction over any child up to 15 and 1/2 years of age who is involved in a state or local traffic violation. This act lowers such age so that the juvenile court would have jurisdiction over any child up to 15 years of age in such instances.
 This act also authorizes Franklin County to prosecute and punish violations of its county orders in the circuit court or in a county municipal court if such creation is approved by an order of the county commission. The Franklin County commission shall appoint the first judges for a term of four years, and thereafter the judges shall be elected for a term of four years. The commission shall establish by order the number of judges to be appointed and the qualifications for their appointment. (Signed 7/9/12)

SS/HB 1318 -Modifies provisions relating to mental health facilities and social security numbers used to identify employees.

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS MENTAL HEALTH PILOT PROGRAM - Allows the Department of Corrections to establish a three-year pilot program in which judges in participating counties may send a criminal offender, upon a motion by a prosecutor, to the Department of Corrections for 120 days for mental health assessment and treatment. The victim must be given notice and an opportunity to be heard before the judge rules on the motion.
 At the end of the 120 days, the department must send an assessment report to the sentencing court, which may release the offender on probation. The state probation and parole officer for the offender must work with the Department of Mental Health to enroll eligible offenders into Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation programs.
 Specifies that offenders who have been found guilty of or plead guilty to certain crimes are not eligible for the pilot program.

NOTICE REGARDING THE RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS - Under current law, if the Director of the Department of Mental Health determines that the sexually violent predator who has been committed to a facility determines that the person is not likely to engage in predatory acts if released, the director shall authorize the person to petition the court for release and such petition shall be served upon the court, the director, the director of the facility housing the person, and the Attorney General. This amendment provides that the petition shall also be served upon the prosecutor of the jurisdiction into which the committed person is to be released. (See Labor and Health & Hospital Law for a summary of additional provisions of this omnibus bill). (Signed 7/5/12)

SCS/HB 1460 - Currently, a court fee is collected and deposited into the Statewide Court Automation Fund. The Court Automation Committee may use moneys in the fund for court automation. Collection of the fee is set to expire on September 1, 2013. The Committee is to cease functions no later than September 1, 2015. Unexpended moneys remaining in the fund will be transferred to the general revenue fund on September 1, 2013. This act extends collection of the court fee until September 1, 2018. Moneys left in the fund on that date will be transferred to the general revenue. The Committee shall cease functioning on September 1, 2020. (Signed 7/12/12)

SCS/HCS/HB 1525 - Modifies provisions relating to probation, parole and conditional release. (See Criminal Law for a more complete summary of the provisions of this bill). (Signed 7/6/12)

SS/HCS/HB 1647 - The act modifies provisions relating to public safety. Includes provisions relating to expungement. (See Criminal Law, supra).

THE INMATE SECURITY FUND - Modifies the uses of money from a current court surcharge in criminal cases. The uses of moneys in the fund are modified to include the purchase of information sharing equipment to allow inmates, detainees or prisoners in a shorter term detention facility to be identified upon booking and tracked within certain law enforcement or criminal justice systems. This provision is identical to one contained in CCS/HCS/SB 628 (2012).
 Allows a person who has been adjudged mentally incapacitated or defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution to petition for a removal of any disqualification on shipping, transporting, receiving, purchasing, possessing, or transferring a firearm imposed by federal or state law. The petition is to be filed in the circuit court in the petitioner’s place of residence or where letters of guardianship or other disqualifying order was entered. Prior to issuing a determination, the court must hold a hearing on the matter. The court’s decision is appealable, but a person may not file another petition for one year from the date of the court’s denial.
 The petition process under current law for those adjudged incapacitated or involuntarily committed who wish to purchase, possess, or transfer a firearm is repealed. (See Criminal Law and Local Government for a more complete summary of this omnibus bill). (Signed 7/10/12)

SCS/HCS/HB 1758 – Modifies provisions relating to child custody and visitation rights of a person who is not the biological or legal parent of a child with whom he or she has a parent/child relationship. Also includes provisions relating to custody or visitation orders for military parents and racial considerations in adoption proceedings (See Family & Juvenile Law for a more complete summary of these provisions). (Vetoed 7/12/12)

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
 

Administrative Law
Agricultural & Animal Law
Business Law  
Civil Practice & Procedure Law
Commercial Law
Criminal Law
Education & School Law
Elder Law
Environmental & Energy Law
Family & Juvenile Law
Health & Hospital Law
Insurance Law
Judicial Administration
Labor Law
Licensing  
Local Government
Media Law
Military Law
Motor Vehicles & Transportation
Probate & Trust Law
Property Law
State Government
Taxation Law
Technology Law
Tort Law
Utilities  
Workers' Compensation Law

 

Legislative Digest Archives