Courts Bulletin - 13-October

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 Hearing Commission
Licensed professionals prevailing in license disciplinary actions may be entitled to attorney’s fees above the statutory $75 per hour cap, upon a showing of “special factors”. Funk v. Missouri Real Estate Appraisers Commission, No. 10-0213 AF (Mo. AHC, September 10, 2013), Chapel, C.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Administrative Law
State purchasing decision affirmed. Public Communications Services, Inc., et al vs. Simmons, Commissioner of Administration, et al., Nos. 74740 and 74769 (Mo. App. W.D., September 24, 2013), Ahuja, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Constitutional Law
Eastern District grants partial reversal of dismissal of petition regarding constitutionality of red light camera ordinance and ticket issued pursuant to same. Unverferth, et al. v. City of Florissant, et al., No. 98511 (Mo. App. E.D., September 10, 2013), Odenwald, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Construction Law
Though the homeowner claimed she never agreed to pay an amount above the contractor’s original proposal for work by the contractor at her home, the court of appeals held that the homeowner’s requests for modifications and additional work, though not reduced to writing, coupled with the parties’ conduct, including specifically the contractor’s admonition that the requests would raise the cost of the project above the homeowner’s budget, was sufficient to create a contract. On the aspect of damages, the court of appeals that noted that proof of damages need only be that damages have been suffered, and they need not be quantified with absolute certainty. Best Buy Builders, Inc. v. Siegel, No. 98620 (Mo. App. E.D., September 24, 2013), Sullivan, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases  

 
Criminal Law
Sentencing prior to the expiration of the time for filing a motion for new trial is not jurisdictional, but is error which can be waived by the defendant. State v. Jacobs, No. 32107 (Mo. App. S.D., September 13, 2013), Sheffield, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Family Law
The doctrine of the law of the case precludes relitigation of matters on appeal already disposed of on a prior appeal. Jenkins v. Jenkins, No. 75800 (Mo. App. W.D., August 27, 2013), Mitchell, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Juvenile Law
Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) for neglect and adoption without consent is affirmed where Mother failed to provide for child from birth, had no contact for years and showed no intent to continue the parent-child relationship. TPR is in the best interests of child as there was no emotional bond, no contact for years, only token support after remand, Mother never sought services from the state, Mother was disinterested in child and where Mother is a felon subject to deportation. Adoption of C.M., No. 32228 (Mo. App. S.D., October 7, 2013).
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice defense verdict affirmed. Snellen v. Capital Regional Medical Center, No. 75787 (Mo. App. W.D., October 15, 2013). Witt, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Property Law
Statute of limitations for recovery of land begins to run at the time of conveyance and where tortfeasor is deceased, requires substitution of personal representative for judgment to stand. Ellison, et al. v. Fry, deceased, et al., Nos. 32120 & 32188 (Mo. App. S.D., September 23, 2013), Scott, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Public Service Commission
Ten-day effective date presumed reasonable. State of Missouri, ex rel Office of The Public Counsel v. Public Service Commission of The State of Missouri, et al., No. 76079 (Mo. App. W.D., September 10, 2013), Ellis, P.J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Taxation Law in Missouri
Use Tax – Purchaser liable for use tax with respect to airplane purchased in Missouri. Featherston v. Director of Revenue, No. 93048 (Mo. banc, October 15, 2013), Teitelman, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Tort Law
Where an exculpatory clause releases all negligence except recklessness, whether the defendant’s conduct was reckless is a question of fact, precluding summary judgment. Decormier v. Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, Inc., et al., No. 99064 (Mo. App. E.D., August 13, 2013), Cohen, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Transportation Law
Eastern District grants partial reversal of dismissal of petition regarding constitutionality of red light camera ordinance and ticket issued pursuant to same. Unverferth, et al. v. City of Florissant, et al., No. 98511 (Mo. App. E.D., September 10, 2013), Odenwald, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases

 
Workers' Compensation
A civil negligence suit filed by an employee against his employer for injuries sustained related to an occupational disease was allowed to proceed over a motion to dismiss based upon the exclusivity of the workers' compensation act. The additional counts against co-employees were properly dismissed. Amesquita v. Gilster-Mary Lee Corp, et al., No. 99266 (Mo. App. E.D., September 10, 2013), Odenwald, J.
Full Summary and Other Cases