Courts Bulletin - 13-April

The latest court decisions are summarized each month in the Courts Bulletin. This publication keeps Missouri Bar members current with rulings in selected areas of the law. Selected federal court opinion summaries, new or amended rules of court and other matters of interest to practitioners are also included from time to time. A panel of volunteer lawyers, all authorities in their respective subject areas, prepare the case summaries.

In This Issue  

Administrative Law
Time limits challenged too late. Davis v. Cumley, No. 31933 (Mo. App. S.D. March 28, 2013), per curiam.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Bankruptcy Law
Refundable Earned Income Tax Credit exempt in bankruptcy as a public assistance benefit. In re Corbett (Bankr. W.D. Mo 2013, case 13-60042), Federman, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Civil Practice and Procedure
Res judicata requires identity of parties. Lauber-Clayton, LLC v. Novus Properties Company, No. 98302
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Construction Law
If a general contractor lists a subcontractor in a response to a Request for Proposals, that does not create a basis for a cause of action in breach of contract or based upon promissory estoppel. Jamison Electric, LLC v. Dave Orf, Inc., No. No. 98710 (Mo. App. E.D., April 9, 2013, 2012), Odenwald.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Criminal Law
For an arrest inside a home without a warrant, an exigent circumstance must exist in addition to hot pursuit. State v. Foster, No. 32181 (Mo. App. S.D., March 20, 2013), Scott, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Elder Law
MO HealthNet Update
More Information   

 
Family Law
Maternal grandmother sought guardianship against her daughter. Father sought paternity, custody and support. Since the mother was not found to be unfit, unsuitable or unable to have custody of the child, the claim for guardianship failed, and the amount of visitation time granted to the grandmother was so excessive as to impinge on the mother’s constitutional right to raise her child as she sees fit. The fact that the trial court did not designate grandmother’s time as “grandparent visitation,” but rather “third-party visitation,” did not excuse the grant of too much grandparent visitation because the grandmother’s case did not include a request for that relief. T.W. By Next Friend and R.W., Individually (P.) v. T.H. (R.) and C.H. (Intervenor – Respondent.), No. 97661 (Mo. App. E.D., March 12, 2013), Mooney, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Juvenile Law
Consolidation of two competing adoptions is not a right, and the decision is left to the discretion of the trial court. Suitability of petitioners is merely a preliminary step in determining the best interests of the children in an adoption. Adoption was properly denied where Petitioners did not produce evidence about the children, their physical or emotional needs, their past or present homes, their adaptation to the current home or the effect that changing their homes would have on the children. In the Matter of the Adoption of I.R.C. and A.R.C., No. 32349 (Mo. App. S.D., April 19, 2013), Lynch, P.J.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Labor Law
A former employee, in direct competition with his former employer, began a new company and solicited clients from his former company using client contact information that he had withheld in a safety deposit box. The former employee also acted as an independent contractor for a third party company but did not share that client contact information with the third party company. With respect to the third party company, the court entered summary judgment holding: (1) client contact information was not a “trade secret” within the meaning of the statute, (2) there was no basis for claims for tortious interference with business relations and civil conspiracy, and (3) the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the former employer’s motion for reconsideration of summary judgment and motion for a new trial. Central Trust and Investment Co. v. Troy Kennedy, et al, No. 31658 (Mo. App. S.D., January 24, 2013), Francis, Jr., J.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Local Government
Statute requiring a candidate to timely file a financial interest held constitutional. Coyne v. Edwards, No. 93194 (Mo. banc, March 25, 2013), J. Stith.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Property Law
Identity of parties in both lawsuits requirement was not met, even though it could have been, so that prior litigation did not preclude present suit. Res judicata does not apply to merge and bar the case still pending. Lauber-Clayton, LLC v. Novus Properties Co., No. 98302 (Mo. App. E.D. February 26, 2013), Mooney, P.J.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Taxation Law in Missouri
Income Tax - Income from “Rabbi Trust” determined to be non-business income. MINACT, Inc. v. Director of Revenue, No. 10-1951RI (Mo. AHC, January 28, 2013), Dandamudi, C.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Workers' Compensation
An employer has the burden of proof in asserting a safety penalty including specific evidence on how “the employer... made a reasonable effort to cause [its] employees … to obey the safety rule[s].” Section 287.120.5, RSMo 2005. Carver v. Delta Innovative Services, No. 74266 (Mo. App. W.D., January 29, 2013), Ahuja, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases