Missouri Supreme Court

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The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to decide as soon as today whether to consider the fate of a proposed tobacco tax increase that backers hope to get on the November ballot.

Secretary of State Jason Kander’s office made the request late Tuesday, after an appeals court declined to reconsider its ruling last week that could kill the proposed constitutional amendment.

An infrared photograph shows a water main leak in Webster Groves. Water utility companies photograph roads at night to determine which pipes may be in need of repair.
Missouri American Water | Provided

The Missouri Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Missouri American Water can keep charging its St. Louis County customers an infrastructure fee, despite a drop in the county's population.

Since 2002, the utility's 340,000 customers in the county have paid an additional $3-a-month infrastructure replacement surcharge, which allows Missouri American to replace old water mains before they break. But in March, a state appeals court ruled that the utility could no longer collect that surcharge because St. Louis County's population had dropped below the required 1 million people.

car lot
Martin Kleppe | Flickr

On April 5, all St. Louis County voters, and residents of more than four dozen municipalities in St. Louis and St. Charles will see a variation of the following proposition, known as Proposition B  (A, V, or 1) on their ballot.

Members of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment conduct a silent protest during a public hearing on municipal court reform on Nov. 12, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

A working group created by the Missouri Supreme Court to recommend changes to the municipal courts is rejecting the idea that the state's highest court can force the smaller ones to consolidate.

An HD camcorder
Nebrot | Wikipedia

The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing a lawsuit that accuses state senators of violating the Sunshine Law. Progress Missouri filed suit after being kicked out of Senate hearings on multiple occasions while videotaping proceedings.

The group's appeal to the state Supreme Court comes after the circuit judge of Cole County sided with the Senate. The high court heard arguments from both sides on Wednesday.

Ernest Johnson
Missouri Department of Corrections

Updated 8:05 p.m. Nov. 3 with court action - The U.S. Supreme Court has hit pause on Tuesday night's scheduled execution of Ernest Lee Johnson.

The high court issued a stay, pending the outcome of one of his appeals. It centers on claims that the state's execution drug pentobarbital could cause Johnson to experience violent seizures, due to part of his brain being removed in 2008 during surgery to remove a tumor.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

A new commission set up by the Missouri Supreme Court will examine ways to ensure that minorities receive fair and just treatment from the state's court systems and legal profession.

Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge announced the formation of the commission at a recent Missouri Bar meeting in St. Louis. She cited findings in two Department of Justice reports, one on Ferguson and the other on St. Louis County's juvenile division, as reasons for forming the commission.

Mary Russell discusses her tenure as chief justice with reporters Tuesday.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Mary Russell says she's mostly satisfied with her two-year term as chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, which ends next week on June 30.

She took over as chief in July 2013 after fellow Supreme Court Judge Richard Teitelman wrapped up his two-year term.

Russell's tenure coincided with the resumption of executions in Missouri, which have been on a record pace as 16 convicted killers have been put to death since November 2013.  Russell says the increase is due to several factors.

Steakpinball | Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court is asking members of the public to write in about their experiences, both good and bad, at municipal courts around the state.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Legislation to cap the amount of revenue from traffic fines cities and towns in Missouri can include in their budgets is getting early attention in this year's regular session.

Under the current law, known as the Macks Creek law, local municipalities can receive up to 30 percent of their income from speeding tickets and other traffic citations.  That would drop to 10 percent if the proposed measure becomes law. 

Arch City Defenders executive director Thomas Harvey speaking during a 2014 meeting of the Ferguson Commission.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court issued a new rule two weeks ago that eases the financial burden on poor people facing big fines in municipal courts. The new rule should reduce the number of people who spend time in jail for failing to pay fines. 

James Cridland via Flickr

Two proposed amendments to Missouri's Constitution will appear on August's ballot, and they are raising questions among law enforcement officials, lawmakers and voters. 

(via Flickr/functoruser)

The Missouri Supreme Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge to a red light camera program.

school buses
Flickr

One year ago Wednesday, the Missouri Supreme Court threw the lives of thousands of students, teachers, parents and school administrators into a turmoil that shows no signs of stopping.

By unanimously overturning a lower court ruling and allowing students in unaccredited school districts to transfer to nearby accredited schools, the court enforced a 20-year-old law in a way that no one had foreseen would ever happen.

As a result:

Photo courtesy of Kelly Glossip

Updated at 10:05 a.m. Wednesday to correct Judge Teitelman's first name.

Updated with comments from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a gay man whose longtime partner, a state trooper who was killed in the line of duty, is not eligible for the trooper's survivor benefits because the two were never married.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Missouri's long-ailing Second Injury Fund is at the center of a lawsuit heard Tuesday before the State Supreme Court.

David Spradling was injured on the job in 1998 after having previously been declared disabled, and died in 2005 from unrelated circumstances.  He had filed a Second Injury Fund claim, which his three children pursued, and in 2011 were awarded his disability payments for the rest of their lives.  Attorney Sheila Blaylock represented the Spradlings before the High Court.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit that's delaying the implementation of the state's student transfer law in the Kansas City area.

A lower court ruling declared the transfer law to be an unfunded mandate for school districts in Independence, Lee's Summit and North Kansas City, but not for Blue Springs and Raytown.  Attorney Duane Martin argued Blue Springs' position before the High Court, saying the transfer law would be an unfunded mandate for them as well.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering whether laws restricting actions by sex offenders and felons can be applied to people who were convicted before the laws were enacted.

The court heard arguments on Tuesday on five cases dealing with sex offenses and guns.

Three people are challenging whether a law passed in 2009 applies to them because they were convicted of sex offenses before the law was made. The law prohibits sex offenders from being near public parks with playgrounds or swimming pools.

Mo. Supreme Court

Judge Mary Russell is set to become Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court next week.

The Hannibal native has sat on the state's highest court since 2004, and previously served on the Appeals court for Missouri's Eastern District.  Russell lists the expansion of specialty courts as one of her top priorities for her two-year term.

Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday for and against the constitutionality of a Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District storm water fee.

(via Flickr/breahn)

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a decision striking down a 2011 law that created an incentive fund for science and technology-based businesses.

In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, the court said the law was unconstitutional because the Legislature linked it to an unrelated bill about tax credits. That separate bill ultimately did not pass during a 2011 special session.

(via Flickr/David_Shane)

Lawyers for Missouri's governor and auditor are battling before the state Supreme Court over the governor's power to make spending cuts.

The Supreme Court was to hear arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of about $170 million of budget cuts announced by Gov. Jay Nixon in June 2011 and challenged by Auditor Tom Schweich.

The case is an appeal of a July decision by a Cole County judge, who ruled that Nixon had a legal right to cut spending but also said that Nixon should not have been able to transfer money among various budgeted purposes.

via Flickr/david_shane

An attorney for nonprofit animal shelters is trying to persuade the Missouri Supreme Court to strike down a law that he says was originally enacted through "legislative shenanigans."

Attorney David Cosgrove argued Tuesday to the Supreme Court that lawmakers violated the state constitution by including the animal shelter fee in a 2010 bill that originally dealt with dynamite.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

Should certain state benefits be limited only to married couples, even though that could discriminate against gays and lesbians in Missouri?

That's one of the questions the Missouri Supreme Court will be considering after hearing arguments today in the case of Kelly Glossip, whose partner, Cpl. Dennis Englehard, was killed in the line of duty as a state trooper.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Glossip

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday in a case that began with the tragic line-of-duty death of a Missouri state trooper.

According to the state, Dennis Englehard left behind no survivors. But his partner of 15 years disagreed  - and sued to access the benefits he felt he was due. A district judge in Cole County rejected that request.

Kelly Glossip never thought he would be a gay rights activist.

Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Teitelman sang the praises of the state's drug court system during his annual State of the Judiciary Address Wednesday.

He told lawmakers that 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the state’s drug courts, which provide treatment options for non-violent drug offenders.

22nd Judicial Circuit Courts

A St. Louis city judge fighting to keep her job had her day before the Missouri Supreme Court today.

(Courtesy Office of the Governor)

Will be updated.

Paul Wilson, of Jefferson City, has been appointed by Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon to fill the vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis developer Paul McKee’s NorthSide redevelopment plan took center stage today at the Missouri Supreme Court.

He’s been seeking nearly $400 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from the city – but the project has been on hold since Circuit Judge Robert Dierker ruled two years ago that its details are too vague to justify awarding TIF dollars and for declaring two square miles of north St. Louis as blighted.  Cheryl Nelson is one of the plaintiffs.  She says McKee’s project has wrecked the property value of her home.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that not only must public bodies like school boards and cities collectively bargain with their employee unions, but that bargaining must be done in good faith.

The Court issued two rulings Tuesday - one dealing with unionized teachers at a St. Louis charter school, and the other dealing with police officers in University City and Chesterfield who wanted to unionize.

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