St. Louis Public Radio News
8:32 am
Mon February 15, 2010

Court officials urge lawmakers to act quickly to fix vehicle infractions law

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri court officials are warning that thousands of infraction cases may have to be scrapped unless lawmakers take action by the end of this month.

The problem stems from a bill passed last year that lowered some vehicle offenses from misdemeanors to infractions. The bill also stated that infractions should be handled as a "civil action."

That caused uncertainty among some police, prosecutors and judges about how to pursue infractions in court.

At least one prosecutor has simply stopped filing infraction cases.

A bill reversing the 2009 law passed the House and is now in the state Senate.

Court officials say it must be signed into law by Feb. 28 or else a six-month deadline will expire to file some infraction cases.