Family & Juvenile Law

CCS/SCS/SB 36 – Under current law, when a juvenile is prosecuted as an adult, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court over future violations of the law is forever terminated for the child unless he or she is found not guilty of the offense. This act specifies that the jurisdiction of the juvenile court is only terminated if the child is convicted of the crime.  

In addition, current law allows a court of general jurisdiction to impose a juvenile sentence and, at the same time, impose, but suspend the execution of, an adult criminal sentence when an offender under the age of 17 is certified as an adult. If a juvenile is sentenced this way, the court may order the offender into the custody of the Division of Youth Services if a facility, which was designed and built by the division specifically for offenders sentenced under dual jurisdiction, has space available.  

Under this act, the court must consider imposing a juvenile sentence and suspending the execution of the adult criminal sentence if the juvenile is under the age of 17 and a half. In addition, the facility only needs to be designed to serve offenders sentenced in this manner and have space available.  

Also, this act requires the court to make a finding on the record as to why the division was not appropriate for the offender if the court chooses not to impose a juvenile sentence prior to imposing an adult criminal sentence. (Signed 6/12/13)  

SCS/SB 47 – Adds to the list of qualified legal guardians of a child who shall receive subsidies in the same manner as such subsidies are available for adoptive parents. Subsidies are provided for “qualified relatives”, which includes any 20 person related to the child by blood or affinity as well as for any “qualified close nonrelated person” which includes any nonrelated person whose life is so intermingled with the child such that the relationship is similar to a family relationship. (Signed 6/25/13)  

SCS/SB 69 – Grants authority to administrative hearing officers from the Department of Social Services to set aside or correct administrative child support decisions or orders and proposed administrative modifications of a judicial order. Such authority to set aside or correct decisions, orders or modifications must be done after written notice and an opportunity to respond to all parties. Any objection or response to such motion shall be made in writing within 15 days from the filing of the motion to correct or set aside. The act specifies the conditions and time frame under which the corrections can be made.  

Specifically, no order, decision or modification based on errors arising from mistake, fraud, misrepresentation, excusable neglect or inadvertence may be corrected prior to being filed with the court provided the written motion to correct is mailed to all parties and filed within 60 days of the administrative decision, order or proposed decision and order. Any objection or response to the motion shall be filed within 15 days from the mailing of the motion. No decision, order, or proposed modification of a judicial order may be vacated after 90 days from the mailing of the administrative decision, order, or proposed modification of a judicial order.  

In cases of lack of jurisdiction, the hearing officer may, after notice to the parties, on his or her own initiative or upon the motion of any party or the Family Support Division, vacate the administrative order or proposed administrative modification of a judicial order if it is found the order, decision or modification was without subject matter or personal jurisdiction or due process and the order, decision or modification had not been filed with the court. (Signed 7/1/13)  

No corrections shall be made during the court’s review of the applicable administrative decision, order or proposed order as authorized under the judicial review procedures for such administrative decisions under Chapter 536, RSMo, except in response to an express order from the reviewing court.  

*CCS/HCS/SB 100 – Modifies various provisions relating to various court proceedings, court costs, and surcharges and judicial personnel. (See also Judicial Administration)  

CCS/SCS/SB 106 – Modifies various provisions relating to veterans and members of the military including academic credit, professional licences and child custody rights of military members. (See Military Law)  

HCS/SB 110 – Child custody and visitation rights of deploying military parents. (See summary of similar provisions under SB 106, Military Law)  

CCS/HCS/SCS/SB 117 – Establishes the child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent. (See summary of similar provisions under SB 106 under Military Law).  

HCS/SB 205 – Under current law, if a youth under the age of 18 is released from the custody of the Children’s Division within the Department of Social Services, the juvenile officer, the Children’s Division or the youth may petition the court to return to the custody of the Children’s Division if it appears it would be in the youth’s best interest. This act raises the age limit from 18 to 21. (See also Education & School Law)  

SB 208 – Modifies provisions relating to foster children. (See a summary of similar provisions under HCS/SB 205, supra).  

CCS/SCS/SB 224 – Modifies provisions relating to criminal nonsupport. (See Criminal Law)  

CCS/HCS/SCS/SB 256 – Modifies provisions relating to child abuse and neglect. Subjects addressed include:  

The Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children repeals expiration date.  

Safe Place for Newborns Act – Provides that a parent will not be prosecuted for the abandonment of a child up to 45 days old if he or she leaves the child in the custody of a medical facility staff member, provider or volunteer, a firefighter or emergency medical technician, a law enforcement officer, maternity homes or pregnancy resource centers.  

No parent voluntarily relinquishing a child will be required to release any identifying information about the child or parent. No officer, employee, or agent of this state or any political subdivision can attempt to locate or determine the identity of a parent or disclose identifying information except in certain cases.  

The affirmative defense to prosecution for the abandonment of a child shall only be allowed for a defendant who voluntarily relinquishes a child no more than one year old.  

Forensic examinations for children younger than 14 years of age. (See summary of similar provisions under CS/HCS/ HB 505, infra). (Signed 7/9/13)  

SS/SB 267 – Creates the Civil Liberties Defense Act. (See also Judicial Administration) (Note: The potential effect of this act on foreign adoptions was referenced in Governor’s veto message)  

SCS/HB 148 – Establishes the child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent. (See summary of similar provisions in SB 106, supra).

SS/SCS/HCS/HB 215 – Includes provisions affecting corrections programs for offenders under age 18, domestic violence, possession of child pornography and forensic exams of child victims. (See Criminal Law)  

CCS/SS/SCS/HCS/HBs 374 & 434 – Includes provisions relating to reimbursement of family court commissioners and waiver of court costs when a law school clinic represents an indigent party in a civil case. (See Judicial Administration)  

CS/HCS/HB 505 – Modifies provisions relating to child abuse and neglect.  

Allows the Office of the Child Advocate to coordinate mediation efforts between charter schools and students when requested by both parties when allegations of child abuse arise in a school setting.  

A person to whom a student reports alleged sexual misconduct on the part of a school employee and the superintendent of the school district must report the allegation to the Children’s Division as set forth in § 210.115.  

Requires each charter school to adopt a written policy on information that the charter school provides about former employees to other public schools.  

The governing body of each charter school must adopt a written policy concerning employee–student communication by January 1, 2014. All school boards and all governing bodies of charter schools must adopt and implement training guidelines and an annual training program, as described in the act, for all school employees who are mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect.  

Current law requires that certain personnel must report, or cause a report to be made, to the Children’s Division when child abuse or neglect is suspected. This act requires that an individual must immediately report to the Children’s Division when child abuse or neglect is suspected. This act prohibits an internal investigation from being initiated until a report has been made.  

If two or more members of a medical institution are required to report jointly, a single report may be made by a designated member of that medical team. If the designated team member fails to report, any other member must immediately make the report. Supervisors and administrators are prohibited from impeding and inhibiting reporting. Employers are prohibited from sanctioning or imposing any adverse employment action on any mandatory reporter for making a report. Every employer must ensure that any employee who is required to report has immediate and un-restricted access to communications technology necessary to make and immediate report and is temporarily relieved of work duties to make any required report.  

This act specifies that child abuse is a Class A felony and shall also be classified as a dangerous felony if the child dies as a result of injuries sustained from chargeable conduct. These provisions contain an emergency clause.  

Requires the Department of Public Safety to establish rules regarding the reimbursement of the costs of forensic examinations for children younger than 14 years of age, including establishing conditions and definitions for emergency and non–emergency forensic exams and specific qualifications for appropriate medical providers performing non–emergency forensic exams. The Department must provide reimbursements regardless of whether or not the findings indicate the child was abused.  

Allows the department to establish additional qualifications for appropriate medical providers performing non–emergency forensic evaluations for children younger than 14 years of age. (Signed 7/9/13)