Judicial Administration

CCS/SCS/SB 36 – Jurisdiction of juvenile court. (See Family and Juvenile Law, supra). 

CCS/HCS/SCS/SB 42 – Modifies provisions relating to county sheriffs, allows setoff of income tax refunds and lottery payouts for unpaid debts to county jails, and bars such debtors from holding licenses to hunt or fish. 

REPAYMENT OF COUNTY JAIL DEBT – Under current law, prisoners in a county jail must pay the costs of their board. Requires the circuit clerk in each county to report to the Office of State Courts Administrator the names of people certified by the sheriff as being delinquent in the payment of money owed for a period of imprisonment in a county jail. Whenever a person has satisfied his or her debt or begun making regular payments to the sheriff, the sheriff must notify the clerk that the person is no longer considered delinquent. 

When the Office of State Courts Administrator receives the name of a debtor, it is required to seek a setoff of state tax refunds and state lottery winnings until the full debt has been paid. 

The Department of Conservation must suspend and refuse to issue a hunting or fishing license for anyone reported delinquent to the department by the Office of State Courts Administrator. 

In addition, this act requires the Office of State Courts Administrator to notify debtors that the person will be ineligible for a hunting or fishing license prior to forwarding a person’s name to the Department of Conservation. The notice must contain information regarding the right of review of the debt in the court in which the debt arose. 

Eligibility for a new or renewed license to hunt or fish is reestablished when the county sheriff notifies the circuit clerk who notifies State Courts Administrator who notifies the Department of Conservation that the person has repaid the debt or honored a repayment plan with the sheriff. 

A county sheriff may establish a canteen or commissary in the county jail. 

Funds from sales at the canteen or commissary are to be deposited in the “Inmate Prisoner Detainee Security Fund”. 

MODEX FUND – Allows, sheriffs, county marshals and other officers to charge for their services rendered in cases disposed of by a violations bureau. This act allows these officials to charge six dollars for their services, even when a case is disposed of by a violations bureau. One–half of the amount collected will be deposited in the MODEX fund. The other half will be deposited in the inmate security fund of the county or municipality where the citation originated. If the county or municipality does not have an inmate security fund, all of the amount collected shall be deposited in the MODEX fund. 

This act also creates the MODEX fund. The fund will be used for the support and expansion of the Missouri Data Exchange (MODEX) system. The Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission will administer the fund. 

The act specifies that sheriffs, county marshals or other officers located in St. Louis County or St. Louis City cannot charge for their services rendered in cases disposed of by a violations bureau. 

CCS/HCS/SB 51INFORMATION MANAGEMENT PRODUCTS – Under this act, any quasi–government entity created to provide information management products and services to criminal justice, municipal and county courts and other government agencies whose originating  

agency identifier was terminated by the FBI shall provide integration access to the contracted data for the political subdivision or its agency in a web service or file transfer protocol format on line in a timely manner upon written request at no additional charge as is required by the political subdivision or its agency. (See also Motor Vehicles & Transportation Law) (Vetoed 6/26/13) 

SCS/SB 69 – Grants the 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. (See summary under Family & Juvenile Law) (Signed 7/1/13) 

HCS/SB 73 – Modifies various provisions relating to the judicial process. 

DWI COURT IN JACKSON COUNTY – Under this act, if the department of probation and parole is otherwise unavailable to assist in the judicial supervision of any person who wishes to enter a DWI court, a court–approved private probation service may be utilized by the DWI court to fill the department’s role. In such case, any and all necessary additional costs may be assessed against the participant. In no case shall any person be rejected from participating in DWI court for the reason that the person does not reside in the city or county where the applicable DWI court is located. 

TRANSCRIPT FEES – Specifies that in cases where an appeal is taken, the court reporter must receive the sum of $3.50 per legal page for the preparation of a paper and an electronic version of the transcript. In criminal appellate cases where the court determines the defendant is unable to pay the costs of the transcript, the court reporter must receive a fee of $2.60 per legal page and an electronic version of the transcript. Under the terms of the act, any judge, in his or her discretion, may order a transcript of all or any part of the evidence or oral proceedings and the court reporter must receive $2.60 per legal page for the preparation of a paper and an electronic version of the transcript. For purposes of this portion of the act, a legal page, other than the first page and the final page of the transcript, shall be 25 lines, approximately 8.5” by 11” in size, with the left–hand margin of approximately 1.5”, and with the right–hand margin of approximately .5”. (Vetoed 7/3/13) 

*CCS/HCS/SB 100 – Modifies various provisions relating to various court proceedings, court costs, and surcharges and judicial personnel. 

RELEASING INFORMATION – First, the act repeals the requirement that a member of the judiciary must notify the Department of Revenue when the member’s status changes and the member no longer qualifies for the exemption which prohibits the Department from releasing certain information. 

CRIMINAL RECORDS AND JUSTICE INFORMATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE – Within the Department of Public Safety there is a Criminal Records and Justice Information Advisory Committee, which is composed of various members. This act replaces the chairman of the circuit court budget committee as a member of the advisory committee with the chairman of the court automation committee. 

CREDIT AGREEMENTS – Provides that a credit agreement must be executed by both the debtor and the lender for a debtor to maintain an action upon or defense related to the credit agreement. 

MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATORS –Requires licensed mortgage loan originators to complete one hour of continuing education in Missouri law and regulations, as part of the eight hours of education necessary to maintain licensure. 

CHILD CUSTODY – Currently, when custody or visitation ordered pursuant to a dissolution is interfered with by a parent without good cause the aggrieved person may file a family access motion with the court stating the facts which constitute a violation of the judgment of dissolution or legal separation. This act clarifies that an aggrieved parent may file a family access motion with the court when custody or visitation has been ordered pursuant to a judgment of paternity. 

ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS – When the person sought to be adopted is under eighteen then written consent of certain persons is required. The act specifies that the signatures of the mother of the child, the man who has established paternity of the child or the current adoptive parents of the child must execute in front of a judge or before a notary. If the signatures are executed in front of a judge then the judge must advise the birth parent of the consequences of consent. 

A parent may waive the necessity of consent to future adoption of the child, and the waiver must be acknowledged before a notary or executed in front of a judge. When the waiver is executed in front of a judge then the judge must advise the parent of the consequences of the waiver. 

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS –Grants the 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. (See summary of SB 69 under Family & Juvenile Law, supra).

SEGREGATION OF FEES COLLECTED BY THE OFFICE OF STATE COURTS ADMINISTRATOR – The act specifies that moneys collected for providing training to judicial personnel by the Office of State Courts Administrator shall be deposited in a special fund, but moneys in the fund in connection with a particular purpose shall be segregated and not disbursed for any other purpose. 

SUBMISSION OF JUDICIAL WEIGHTED WORKLOAD MODELS – Provides that the Supreme Court shall submit a judicial weighted workload model and a clerical weighted workload model to the chairs of both the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees, to be distributed to the members of the General Assembly. 

DWI COURT – Allows the DWI court to use a private probation service when the Division of Probation and Parole is unavailable to assist in the supervision of a person who wishes to enter a DWI court. A person cannot be rejected from participating in the DWI court for not residing in the city or county where the DWI court is located. 

JUDICIAL POSITIONS – When a judicial weighted workload indicates for three consecutive years that a judicial circuit with a population of one–hundred thousand or more is in need of four or more full–time judicial positions, then there shall be one additional associate circuit judge position in such circuit. In circuits composed of multiple counties, the additional associate circuit judge position shall be apportioned among the counties based on population. 

SURCHARGES IN CIVIL CASES – Modifies provisions which allow Jackson County to charge up to a twenty dollar surcharge when a party files a civil court case. Currently, only Jackson County can charge twenty dollars, and all other circuits may charge up to fifteen dollars. This act authorizes any circuit court that reimburses the state for the salaries of family court commissioners to charge up to a twenty dollar surcharge for such cases. 

KANSAS CITY MUNICIPAL VIOLATIONS SURCHARGE – The act allows Kansas City to provide for an additional surcharge of up to seven dollars in municipal ordinance violation cases. No additional cost shall be collected in a proceeding involving an indigent defendant. The surcharge shall be used to fund special mental health, drug, and veterans courts. 

COURT TRANSCRIPTS COSTS – Specifies that the court reporter shall receive three dollars and fifty cents per page for appeal transcripts. When the defendant is indigent or when a judge orders a transcript, the court reporter shall receive two dollars and sixty cents per page. 

MODEX FUND – Currently, sheriffs, county marshals and other officers are not allowed to charge for their services rendered in cases disposed of by a violations bureau. This act allows these officials to charge six dollars for their services, even when a case is disposed of by a violations bureau. One–half of the amount collected will be deposited in the MODEX fund. The other half will be deposited in the inmate security fund of the county or municipality where the citation originated. If the county or municipality does not have an inmate security fund, all of the amount collected shall be deposited in the MODEX fund.

This act also creates the MODEX fund. The fund will be used for the support and expansion of the Missouri Data Exchange (MODEX) system. The Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission will administer the fund. 

Specifies that sheriffs, county marshals or other officers located in St. Louis County or St. Louis County cannot charge for their services rendered in cases disposed of by a violations bureau. 

*BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS EXEMPTIONS – Under current law a person, either as a participant or a beneficiary, can exempt from attachment in bankruptcy proceedings the right to receive money from a retirement or profit–sharing plan. This act includes a person’s interest in health savings plans and inherited accounts to this list of exemptions. (This provision drafted by The Missouri Bar’s Probate and Trust Law Committee and approved by the Board of Governors). 

WAIVER OF COURT COSTS – Currently when a legal aid society, legal services, or a nonprofit organization represents an indigent party in a civil case, the court costs and expenses are waived without motion and court approval, provided that the organization has already determined the party is unable to pay the expenses and filed the determination with the court. This act adds law school clinics to the list of organizations who may waive court expenses without filing a motion with the court. (Signed 7/2/13) 

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 also Military Law

CHILD CUSTODY RIGHTS OF DEPLOYED MILITARY MEMBERS – Child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent are established. A deploying parent is a military parent who has received written orders to deploy with the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, or any other reserve component. 

If a deploying parent is required to be separated from a child, a court shall not enter a final order modifying the terms of custody or visitation contained in an existing order until 90 days after the deployment ends unless there is a written agreement by both parties. Deployment or the potential for future deployment shall not be the sole factor supporting a change in circumstances or grounds sufficient to support a permanent modification of the custody or visitation terms established in an existing order. 

A custody or visitation order may be temporarily modified to make reasonable accommodation for the parties due to the deployment. Such temporary order shall also specify the terms of custody or visitation during the deployment and for when there is leave time for the deploying parent. Procedures are delineated for the deploying parent to obtain an expedited hearing in any custody or visitation matters. 

The nondeploying parent is required to provide written notice to the court and to the deploying parent of any change of address and contact information within seven days of the change, except in instances where there is a valid order of protection in effect requiring the confidentiality of the nondeploying parent’s contact information. In such instances the information shall only be given to the court. Nothing in the act shall be construed to eliminate current law requirements regarding relocation procedures. 

A temporary modification shall automatically end no later than 30 days after the return of the deploying parent and the original terms of the custody or visitation order in place at the time of deployment are automatically reinstated. 

The court may also conduct an expedited or emergency hearing within 10 days of the filing of a motion regarding custody or visitation upon return of the deploying parent in cases alleging an immediate danger or irreparable harm to the child. The nondeploying parent shall bear the burden of showing that reentry of the custody or visitation order in effect before the deployment is no longer in the child’s best interests. 

The court shall set any nonemergency motion by the nondeploying parent for hearing within 30 days of the filing of the motion. 

Upon motion of the deploying parent or upon motion of a family member of the deploying parent with his or her consent, the court may delegate his or her visitation rights, or a portion of such rights, to a family member with a close and substantial relationship to the minor child or children for the duration of the deployment if it is in the best interest of the child. Such rights shall terminate by operation of law upon the end of the deployment, as set forth under the act. There is a rebuttable presumption that delegation of rights shall not be permitted in instances of domestic violence on the part of the family member seeking the delegated visitation rights. 

This act specifies certain obligations the nondeploying and deploying parent have toward each other under any order entered. A deploying parent is required to provide a copy of his or her orders to the nondeploying parent promptly and without delay prior to the deployment. 

The act prohibits a court from counting any time periods during which the deploying parent did not exercise visitation due to military duties when determining whether a parent failed to exercise such rights. 

This act also specifies that any absence of a child from the state during a deployment after an order for custody has been entered must be denominated as a temporary absence for the purposes of the uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act. 

The act specifies how the court may award attorney’s fees and court costs. (Signed 7/10/13) 

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

CCS/HCS/SCS/SB 117 – Modifies provisions relating to military affairs. Establishes the child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent. (See summary of similar provisions under SB 106, supra). (Signed 7/10/13) 

HCS/SCS/SB 118 – Authorizes circuit courts or a combination of circuits to create veterans treatment courts. These courts will handle cases involving substance abuse or mental illness of current or former military personnel. Circuit courts must enter into a memorandum of understanding with participating prosecuting attorneys, and other interested parties. 

Veterans treatment courts may accept participants from other jurisdictions when there is not a veterans treatment court in the jurisdiction where the participant is charged and as long as other criteria are met. 

The veteran treatment courts shall refer participants to substance abuse and mental health treatments. Any statements made by a participant during treatment or reports prepared by staff of the treatment program shall not be admissible as evidence against the participant in judicial proceedings. Veterans treatment court staff shall be informed of matters relevant to a participant’s treatment, but records and reports are to be treated as confidential and not available to the public. (Signed 7/10/13) 

SB 208 – 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. (Signed 6/13/13) 

CCS/SCS/SB 224 – Modifies provisions relating to public safety. 

CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT – Defines “arrearage” as the amount of money created by a failure to provide support to a child as required under an administrative or judicial support order or support to an estranged or former spouse if the judgment or order for spousal support also requires the payment of child support and the individual receiving the spousal support is the custodial parent. 

The arrearage must reflect any retroactive support ordered under a modification, any judgments entered by a court or any authorized agency, and any satisfactions of judgment filed by the custodial parent. A person may petition the court for the expungement of the criminal records of a first felony offense of criminal nonsupport. The expungement of a record is allowed only when at least eight years have elapsed since the person requesting expungement has completed his or her imprisonment or period of probation; the person has not been convicted of or been placed on probation for any felonies during the same period; is current on all child support obligations; has paid off all arrearages; has no other criminal charges or administrative child support actions pending at the time of the hearing on the application for expungement; and the person has successfully completed a criminal nonsupport courts program under § 478.1000, RSMo. 

If a court grants the order of expungement, the records and files maintained in any court proceeding in an associate or circuit division of the circuit court shall be confidential and only available to the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown. 

The effect of such expungement order shall be to restore such person to the status he or she occupied prior to such arrest, plea or conviction, and as if such event had never taken place. A person shall only be entitled to one expungement under this provision. (See also Local Government Law) (Vetoed 7/1/13) 

SB 257 – Modifies definitions and procedures in the Port Improvement District Act. 

Under current law, a port authority must hold a public hearing on a proposed port improvement district not more than 10 days prior to submitting the petition to the circuit court. This act requires the public hearing to be held not more than 60 days prior to submitting the petition to the circuit court. 

The act clarifies that the circuit court must give notice of the petition to create a port improvement district when the court receives the filed petition. (Signed 6/25/13) 

SS/SB 267 – Creates the Civil Liberties Defense Act. This act mandates that any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling shall be unenforceable if based on a foreign law which is repugnant or inconsistent with the Missouri and United States constitutions. 

The act makes contract provisions that choose to apply a foreign law to contractual disputes or to have disputes settled in another country void and unenforceable in Missouri, if the foreign law is repugnant to or inconsistent with the Missouri and United States constitutions. 

In some cases, a court may refuse to take jurisdiction over matters, where the court believes there is a more appropriate forum for the dispute. This act requires that the court hear the case in Missouri, if a state resident brings the case and if the court finds that not hearing the case in Missouri violates or would likely violate the rights of the person who brought the case. 

The act does not apply to a business entity that subjects itself to a foreign law in a jurisdiction outside the United States. The act does not authorize courts to adjudicate religious matters. (Vetoed 6/3/13) 

CCS/SB 327
– Modifies provisions regarding DWI courts and electronic monitoring of criminal offenders. 

Under current law, a judge may release a person charged with a crime pending trial and place the person on house arrest with electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs of the monitoring. A judge can also order that a person convicted of a crime and placed on probation be placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs of the monitoring. 

This act provides that, in either of the above scenarios, a person may be placed on electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs or the county commission agrees to pay the costs of the monitoring from its general revenue. 

Allows the DWI court to use a private probation service when the Division of Probation and Parole is unavailable to assist in the supervision of a person who wishes to enter a DWI court. A person cannot be rejected from participating in the DWI court for not residing in the city or county where the DWI court is located. (Signed 7/3/13) 

CCS/SS/SCS/HCS/HB 117 – Modifies the law relating to the initiative and referendum petition process. (See State Government & Elections Law

SS/SCS/HCS/HB 215 – Modifies provisions relating to criminal procedure. 

Under current law, the chairman of the Circuit Court Budget Committee serves on the Criminal Records and Justice Information Advisory Committee. This act replaces the chairman of the budget committee with the chairman of the Court Automation Committee. 

Current law provides for an exception to the requirement for public notice of a name change for instances where the person changing his or her name is a victim of domestic violence. This act extends such exception to prohibit publication on CaseNet or through other any system operated by the judiciary that is designed to provide public case information electronically. Section 527.290.2 

COSTS OF ELECTRONIC MONITORING – Under current law, a judge may release a person charged with a crime pending trial and place the person on house arrest with electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs of the monitoring. A judge can also order that a person convicted of a crime and placed on probation be placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs of the monitoring. This act provides that, in either of the above scenarios, a person may be placed on electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs or the county commission agrees to pay the costs of the monitoring from its general revenue. 

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS 120–DAY PROGRAMS – Under current law, a court must place certain defendants who have violated the terms of probation in one of the Department of Corrections’ 120–day programs before revoking probation. This act provides that a court may revoke a defendant’s probation without placing the defendant in a 120–day program if the defendant consents to the revocation. 

Repeals a provision of current law requiring a circuit court to release an offender who participates in a 120–day Department of Corrections program unless the release constitutes an abuse of discretion. 

Provides that the offender’s sentence may only be executed after conducting a hearing on the matter within 90 to 120 days from the date the offender was delivered to the Department of Corrections rather than within 90 to 120 days from the date the offender was sentenced. 

Modifies provisions of law dealing with the department’s responsibilities when an offender is not successful in a 120–day program. 

Provides that the court must consider other authorized dispositions if the court is advised that an offender is not eligible for placement in a 120–day program. 

Under this act, the department must provide a report and sentencing recommendation to the court when an offender completes a sexual offender assessment. This act also specifies that a sexual offender assessment shall not be considered a 120–day program and identifies the provisions containing the process for granting probation to an offender who has completed the assessment. This act repeals a provision requiring the court to request certain offenders be placed in the sexual offender assessment unit of the Department of Corrections. 

Current law provides that an offender’s first incarceration for 120 days in a Department of Corrections program prior to release on probation shall not be considered a previous prison commitment for purposes of sentencing for subsequent crimes. This act provides that an offender’s first incarceration prior to release on probation – even if the offender does not participate in a 120–day program – shall not be considered a previous prison commitment. 

RESTITUTION – Provides that restitution must be paid through the office of the prosecuting or circuit attorney. 

In addition, this act allows the prosecuting attorney who takes action to collect restitution to collect an administrative handling cost. The proceeds are to be deposited by the county treasurer into an “Administrative Handling Cost Fund” to be expended by the prosecuting attorney. Restitution collected from a person found guilty of passing a bad check must also be put in the “Administrative Handling Cost Fund”. 

Current law provides that a court may order a person to make restitution when the person has been found guilty of first degree tampering involving an automobile, airplane, motorcycle, motorboat or other motor–propelled vehicle or stealing a motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft. The restitution must include payment for repairs or replacement of the vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft and any costs associated with towing or storage fees. In addition, a person may be required, as a condition of parole, to make restitution. This act expands the current restitution law so that it applies to any person found guilty of any offense and repeals the provisions requiring the restitution include repairs, towing, and storage fees. In addition, this act provides that a person must be required to make restitution as a condition of parole. 

This act allows the court to set an amount of restitution to be taken from the inmate’s account while incarcerated by the Department of Corrections. 

This act also provides that the payment of restitution may be collected as a condition of conditional release or parole by the prosecuting attorney and that the prosecuting attorney may refer any failure to make restitution as a violation of parole or the terms of conditional release. 

CRIMINAL DEFENSE OF INDIGENT PERSONS – Under current law, public defenders represent indigent persons who are detained or charged with a violation of probation or parole. This act provides that indigent persons who are charged with a violation of probation must be represented by a public defender if the judge in the case determines that such representation is necessary to protect the person’s due process rights. 

This act redefines various positions within the Public Defender System to reflect the current administrative structure of the public defender system. 

This act specifies that the deputy director exercises the duties of the director on a temporary basis only, when the director is absent or has resigned, until the commission appoints a new director. 

This act requires the director to prepare a plan to establish district offices that have the same boundaries as the existing judicial circuits. The director must submit the plan to the chairs of the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judiciary and Criminal and Civil Jurisprudence Committee, along with any fiscal estimates, by December 31, 2014. The plan must be implemented by December 31, 2018. 

Currently, indigent persons are eligible for public defender services when detained or charged with a misdemeanor which will likely result in confinement. Under this act, such persons are only eligible when the prosecuting attorney has requested a jail sentence. 

This act provides that neither the director nor the commission may limit the availability of a district\ office or a public defender to accept cases based on a determination that the office has exceeded a caseload standard. It specifies that the director, commission, and any public defender may not refuse to provide representation without prior court approval. This provision has an emergency clause. 

In addition, this act allows any district defender to file a motion to request a conference to discuss caseload issues involving an individual public defender or defenders with the presiding judge of a circuit court served by the office. Within 30 days of the conference, the judge must issue an order either granting or denying relief. In order to grant relief, the judge must find that the public defender or defenders will be unable to provide effective assistance of counsel due to caseload issues. The prosecuting attorney and district defender have 10 days to appeal the order. This act gives the Public Defender Commission and the Missouri Supreme Court authority to make rules to implement the above process. 

This act requires judges, before appointing private counsel to represent an indigent defendant, to investigate the defendant’s financial status to verify the defendant does not have the means to obtain counsel, provide each appointed lawyer, upon request, with an evidentiary hearing on the propriety of the appointment, and determine the appointed counsel has the necessary experience, education, and expertise in criminal defense to provide effective assistance of counsel. A judge who finds that an appointment will cause undue hardship on an attorney must appoint a different attorney to represent the defendant. This act prohibits a judge from requiring a lawyer to advance any amount of personal funds for the cost of defending an indigent defendant. 

In addition, this act provides that, when an employee of the General Assembly is appointed to represent an indigent defendant during the legislative, special, or veto session, or an out–of–session committee hearing, the judge must postpone the trial and other court proceedings to a date that does not fall during such times or appoint a different lawyer who is not an employee of the General Assembly. 

This act provides that private counsel appointed to represent an indigent defendant may seek payment of litigation expenses from the Public Defender System, but such expenses shall not include counsel fees and shall be approved in advance by the director. (See also Criminal Law) (Signed 7/2/13) 

SCS/HB 301 – Modifies provisions relating to sexual violent predators and to a prisoner reentry program. 

SEXUAL OFFENSES – Under this act, the crimes of forcible rape and sexual assault are renamed first and second degree rape, the crimes of forcible sodomy and deviate sexual assault are renamed first and second degree sodomy, and the crimes of sexual abuse and first degree sexual misconduct are renamed first and second degree sexual abuse. Second and third degree sexual misconduct are renamed first and second degree sexual misconduct. 

References throughout the statutes to the former names are updated to reflect the change. A section that prohibits insurers from taking certain actions based on a person’s status as a domestic violence victim was further modified to align with statutory definitions in current law related to domestic violence. 

Under current law, forcible rape, forcible sodomy and sexual abuse all occur when a person engages in certain specified sexual conduct with another person by forcible compulsion. This act provides that a person violates the law when engaging in the sexual conduct with another person who is incapacitated, incapable of consent, or lacks the capacity to consent, or by forcible compulsion. 

Under current law, assent does not constitute consent if it is given by a person who due to youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is manifestly unable to make a reasonable judgement regarding the conduct charged. This act provides that a drug–induced state or any other reason can result in the person being unable to consent. 

In addition, this act repeals current law specifying that a person is not to be considered incapacitated if the person became incapacitated after consenting to an act and a crime is not committed when an offender reasonably believed the victim consented to the act and was not incapacitated. 

Current law provides that multiple sentences of imprisonment must run concurrently unless the court specifies that the sentences are to run consecutively, except when the sentences are for the crimes of rape or sodomy, in which case the sentences for those crimes must run consecutively. Under this act, sentences for the crimes of first degree statutory rape and first degree statutory sodomy must also run consecutively. 

CIVIL COMMITMENT AND RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS – Revises the definition of “sexually violent offense” for purposes of civil commitment to include sexual abuse in the first degree, sexual assault in the first degree, deviate sexual assault in the first degree, and an act of abuse of a child involving either sexual contact, a prohibited sexual act, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation of a minor, or any felony offense that contains elements substantially similar to these offenses. The intent of the legislature to is to reject and abrogate earlier case law interpretations on the meaning of or definition of “sexually violence offense”. This provision contains an emergency clause. 

This act also adds to the list of persons who shall be served with petitions for the conditional release of a sexually violent predator to include the prosecuting attorney of the jurisdiction where the person is to be released. 

Under this act, when a person designated as a sexually violent predator is electronically monitored while on conditional release, the Department of Corrections must provide, upon request, the chief of the law enforcement agency for the county or city where the facility that released the offender is located with access to the real–time and recorded information collected by the electronic monitoring, including any alerts generated by the technology. The access must continue while the person is living in the county, city, town, or village where the facility that released the offender is located. 

The electronic information must be closed and not disclosed to anyone outside of the law enforcement agency except upon an order of the court supervising the conditional release. 

SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY – Under this amendment, beginning August 28, 2013, no information shall be provided on sex offender websites maintained by the Highway Patrol or any local law enforcement agencies regarding offenders who were under the age of 18 when they committed their sex offenses. Information regarding such offenders that is currently on the websites must be removed immediately. 

Offenders on the adult registry who were juveniles at the time of their offenses will be required to register as sex offenders on the adult registry for a period of five years from the later of the date they were found guilty or were released from custody. After the five–year period, such offenders may petition for removal from the registry. 

The petition may be filed in the circuit court in the county in which the person was found guilty of the offense requiring registration. A person whose offense was adjudicated outside the state may petition in the circuit court in the county in which such person resides if the person has been a resident of Missouri for at least five years prior to filing the petition. 

The court must grant the petition unless it finds that the petitioner in this state, or any other state, country, or jurisdiction, has been found guilty of, or has charges pending for, failure to register or an additional offense that would require registration on either the adult or juvenile sex offender registries, has not completed any required period of supervised release, probation, or parole, or, if the offense was adjudicated outside the state, the offender has not been a Missouri resident for at least five years. 

If the petition was denied for pending charges, the petitioner may file a new petition if those charges are subsequently dismissed or the person is acquitted. A person denied for failing to register may petition again after five years have passed from the date the person was found guilty of failure to register. If the denial is for not completing a required term of probation, parole, or conditional release and the person subsequently completes such term, then the person may immediately file a new petition. A person denied for committing an additional offense requiring registration may never file a petition again under this act. If the petition was denied because the person did not meet the five–year residency requirement, then a new petition may be filed whenever the person can meet the requirement. (See Criminal Law) (Vetoed 7/3/13) 

SS/HB 331 – Modifies provisions relating to telecommunications. 

RIGHT–OF–WAY FOR PUBLIC UTILITIES – Allows attorneys’ fees and costs in connection to issuing, processing, or verifying right–of–way permit applications or other agreements to be recovered. Provides that, if a political subdivision fails to act on an application for a right–of–way permit within 31 days, the application shall be approved. 

If a public utility right–of–way user has been denied a permit, had a permit revoked, or believes the political subdivision has violated this section, the utility may bring an action in court. The court shall rule on any such petition for the review in an expedited manner by moving the petition to the head of the docket. Nothing shall deny the authority of its right to a hearing before the court. 

Also bans political subdivisions from requiring any public utility that has been granted access to the subdivision’s right–of–way to enter into an agreement or obtain a permit for the right to remain in the right–of–way. 

UTILITY RIGHT–OF–WAY ACROSS RAILROADS – Establishes a procedure for certain utilities to construct facilities over, under, or across a railroad right–of–way. 

Under the terms of this act, if the parties cannot agree that special circumstances exist to a particular crossing, the dispute shall be submitted to binding arbitration. Special circumstances generally means that there are circumstances associated with a particular crossing that requires additional terms and conditions or additional compensation. Any decision by the board of arbitration shall be final, binding, and conclusive as to the parties. Land management companies and utilities may seek enforcement of this act through the courts, and are entitled to reasonable attorney fees if they prevail. If the dispute over special circumstances concerns only the compensation associated with a crossing, the utility may proceed with installation during the pendency of arbitration. This act shall apply in all crossings of land management corridors involving a land management company and a utility. The provisions of this act shall apply to a crossing commenced after August 28, 2013, if an agreement concerning the crossing has expired or is terminated and to a crossing commenced on or after August 28, 2013. 

CIVIL IMMUNITY – Establishes immunity from a cause of action for any telecommunications carrier or other communications service for providing any information, facilities, or assistance to a law official or agency in response to requests made under the circumstances of an emergency situation. (See also Utilities Law) (Signed 7/5/13) 

CCS/SS/SCS/HCS/HBs 374 & 434 – Modifies various provisions relating to judicial procedures. 

RELEASING INFORMATION – Repeals the requirement that a member of the judiciary must notify the Department of Revenue when the member’s status changes and the member no longer qualifies for the exemption from the release of certain information. 

CRIMINAL RECORDS AND JUSTICE INFORMATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE – Within the Department of Public Safety there is a Criminal Records and Justice Information Advisory Committee, which is composed of various members. This act replaces the chairman of the circuit court budget committee as a member of the committee with the chairman of the court automation committee. 

ADMINISTRATIVE CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS – Grants the 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 and 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 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. 

This act also specifies, however, that 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. 

SEGREGATION OF FEES COLLECTED BY THE OFFICE OF STATE COURTS ADMINISTRATOR – Specifies that moneys collected for a particular purpose by the Office of State Courts Administrator shall be segregated and not disbursed for any other purpose. 

JUDICIAL/CLERICAL WEIGHTED WORKLOAD MODEL – States that the Supreme Court shall submit a judicial weighted workload model and a clerical weighted workload model annually to the chairs of both the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees to be distributed to the members of the General Assembly. 

VETERANS TREATMENT COURTS – (See summary of similar provisions under HCS/SCS/SB 118, supra)

JUDICIAL CIRCUIT REALIGNMENT – Authorizes the Judicial Conference to alter the circuit court boundaries by means of a circuit realignment plan every twenty years beginning in year 2020. The Judicial Conference must submit the circuit realignment plan, along with certain supporting information within the first ten calendar days of regular session to the chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committee, the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the Senate. The circuit realignment plan shall become effective the following January unless a bill realigning the judicial circuits is presented to the governor and is duly enacted. The existing number of circuits shall not be altered, and the current circuits will remain in law until December 31, 2020. 

TRANSFER OF JUDICIAL POSITIONS – When a judicial weighted workload indicates for three consecutive years that a judicial circuit with a population of one–hundred thousand or more is in need of four or more full–time judicial positions, then there shall be one additional associate circuit judge position in such circuit. In circuits composed of multiple counties, the additional associate circuit judge position shall be apportioned among the counties based on population. 

REIMBURSEMENT OF FAMILY COURT COMMISSIONERS – Currently, the state must be reimbursed for the salaries of family court commissioners appointed after August 28, 1993. There is an exception for the eleventh judicial circuit which allows one family court commissioner to be compensated by the state without requiring reimbursement. The state–paid commissioner is subject to appropriation. This act creates a similar exception for the thirteenth and thirty–first judicial circuits. 

Also modifies provisions which allow Jackson County to charge up to a twenty dollar surcharge when a party files a civil court case. Currently, only Jackson County can charge twenty dollars, and all other circuits may charge up to fifteen dollars. This act authorizes any circuit court which reimburses the state for the salaries of family court commissioners to charge up to a twenty dollar surcharge for such cases. 

COURT TRANSCRIPT COSTS – Specifies that the court reporter shall receive three dollars and fifty cents per page for appeal transcripts. When the defendant is indigent or when a judge orders a transcript, the court reporter shall receive two dollars and sixty cents per page. 

MODEX FUND – (See summary of similar provisions under CCS/HCS/SCS/SB 42, supra). 

*BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS EXEMPTIONS – Under current law a person, either as a participant or a beneficiary, can exempt from attachment in bankruptcy proceedings the right to receive money from a retirement or profit–sharing plan. This act includes a person’s interest in health savings plans and inherited IRA’s to this list of exemptions. (This provision was drafted by the Missouri Bar’s Probate & Trust Law Committee

WAIVER OF COURT COSTS – Currently when a legal aid society, legal services, or a nonprofit organization represents an indigent party in a civil case, the court costs and expenses are waived without motion and court approval, provided that the organization has already determined the party is unable to pay the expenses and filed the determination with the court. Law school clinics are now added to the list of organizations who may waive court expenses without filing a motion with the court. 

COST OF ELECTRONIC MONITORING – Under current law, a judge may release a person charged with a crime pending trial and place the person on house arrest with electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs of the monitoring. A judge can also order that a person convicted of a crime and placed on probation be placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs of monitoring. This act provides that in both scenarios a person may be placed on electronic monitoring if the person can afford the costs or the county commission agrees to pay the costs of the monitoring from its general revenue. 

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS 120-DAY PROGRAM – (See summary of similar provisions under SS/ SCS/HB 215, supra). 

MONITORING OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS – Modifies the list of persons who shall be served with the petition for conditional release of a sexually violent predator to include the prosecuting attorney of the jurisdiction where the person is to be released. 

When a person designated as a sexually violent predator is electronically monitored while on conditional release, the Department of Corrections must provide, upon request, the chief of the law enforcement agency for the county or city where the facility that released the offender is located with access to the real–time and recorded information collected by the electronic monitoring, including any alerts generated by the technology. The access must continue while the person is living in the county, city, town, or village where the facility that released the offender is located. The electronic information must be closed and not disclosed to anyone outside of the law enforcement agency, except upon an order of the court supervising the conditional release. 

The act also specifies that it is the intent of the legislature to reject and abrogate earlier case law interpretations on the definition of “sexually violent offense.” (Signed 7/3/13) 

SCS/HCS/HB 436 – Modifies provisions relating to firearms. 

SECOND AMENDMENT PRESERVATION ACT – Lists various declarations of the Missouri General Assembly regarding the United States Constitution and the scope of the federal government’s authority. In addition, this act declares that federal supremacy does not apply to federal laws that restrict or prohibit the manufacture, ownership, and use of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition within the state because such laws exceed the scope of the federal government’s authority. Laws necessary for the regulation of the land and the United States Armed Forces are excluded from the types of federal firearms laws that exceed federal authority. This act also declares that the General Assembly strongly promotes responsible gun ownership and condemns unlawful transfers of firearms and the use of a firearm in criminal or unlawful activity. 

Declares as invalid all federal laws that infringe on the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution. Some laws declared invalid under this act include the Gun Control Acts of 1934 and 1968, certain taxes, certain registration and tracking laws, certain prohibitions on the possession, ownership, use, or transfer of a specific type of firearm, and confiscation orders. 

This act declares that it is the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of law–abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. 

Under this act, no public officer or state employee has the authority to enforce firearms laws declared invalid by the act. Any federal official, agent or employee who enforces any of the laws declared invalid under the act is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. 

Any Missourian who has been subject to an enforcement action involving any of the laws declared invalid by this act has a private cause of action for declaratory judgment and damages against any person or entity attempting to enforce the law. (Vetoed 7/5/13)