Missouri Supreme Court

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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for nonprofit animal shelters is trying to persuade the Missouri Supreme Court to strike down a law that he says was originally enacted through "legislative shenanigans."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. But some Supreme Court judges seemed skeptical of his argument. They noted that lawmakers repealed and re-enacted the...

The Supreme Court of Missouri
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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. Glossip sued in 2010 after he was denied Englehard's survivor benefits. Under Missouri law, only married couples are eligible for...

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. "We weren't out there holding the gay flag and marching in the parade every...

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. “With a graduation rate exceeding 50 percent, Missouri now has more than 12,000 graduates who successfully have completed treatment court programs," Teitelman said. "In addition, nearly...

22nd Judicial Circuit Courts

A St. Louis city judge fighting to keep her job had her day before the Missouri Supreme Court today. Circuit Judge Barbara Peebles was suspended with pay last August by the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline over the way critics say she ran her courtroom. Peebles is accused of regularly showing up late to court, poorly supervising her clerks, and handling documents in a sloppy manner – that includes destroying a court document that contained a motion to dismiss a case. Attorney...

(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. Following Judge William Ray Price, Jr.'s departure from the Court , a field of applicants to replace him was first narrowed to three , and included, along with Wilson, Mike Manners of Lee's Summit and Stan Wallach, of Kirkwood. “Paul Wilson has stood before both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Missouri Supreme Court to represent the state of Missouri in...

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.

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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. "Essentially, they're complete victories for the labor side," said Bruce Feldacker, a labor...

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A four-year legal struggle over whether Missouri’s home care workers can unionize is finally over. The Missouri Supreme Court has chosen to let stand the most recent ruling surrounding the results of a 2010 election, in which a majority of home care workers voted to form a labor union. A circuit court judge had blocked the state from certifying the election results, but the Court of Appeals for the Western District reversed that decision. The High Court’s decision to take no further action...

Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District can charge for stormwater service based on how much water a property absorbs. The decision extends a nearly four-year-old legal battle over the agency’s so-called "impervious fee." Two lower courts have ruled that it was not a fee at all, but a tax – and therefore had to be approved by voters under the Hancock Amednment. MSD says the current taxing system barely provides enough money to maintain the...

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The Appellate Judicial Commission has announced the nominees to fill a vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court. The nominees are Mike Manners, Stan Wallach and Paul Wilson. According to a press release, Manners is a circuit judge in the 16 th Judicial Circuit in Jackson County. He earned his law degree in 1976 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. He lives in Lee's Summit. Wallach is a St. Louis attorney at the Wallach Law Firm. He earned his law degree in 1992 from the...

cigarette
seannaber | Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court will not hear a legal challenge to Springfield's smoking ban, officially ending a lawsuit filed by a bar owner.

Attorney Jonathan Sternberg says the state Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a legal challenge by Jean Doublin, owner of Ruthie's Bar in Springfield.

In June, an appeals court rejected Sternberg's argument that the Springfield law conflicts with the state's clean air act. He says a provision in the state law allows smoking in bars...

breahn / Flickr

A life sciences jobs bill signed into law last year but blocked this year was heard today by the Missouri Supreme Court . The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, or MOSIRA, would use a funding mechanism to draw more high-tech jobs to Missouri. Known then as Senate Bill 7, it included language tying its passage to that of a tax credit bill (Senate Bill 8), which did not pass during the 2011 special legislative session . Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed the MOSIRA bill, anyway, but Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green (R) ruled it unconstitutional in February because of the language tying it to the dead bill. Solicitor General Jim Layton argued for the state before the High Court, saying that the MOSIRA bill can be legally severed from the other bill.

(Tim Bommel / Mo. House Communications office)

Judge William Ray Price, Jr. served on the Missouri Supreme Court for 20 years including two terms as chief justice. Price left the high court earlier this month to return to private practice. During his time on the Supreme Court, Price was a staunch supporter of Missouris drug courts and argued the state puts too many non-violent offenders in prison. St. Louis Public Radios Maria Altman spoke with the judge about why its important to seek alternatives to prison and other issues facing Missouri courts.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

Updated 6:03 p.m. with reaction The Missouri Supreme Court will not set execution dates for six death row inmates until a court case over the states new execution protocol is resolved. The state Department of Corrections announced on May 15 that it was switching from the standard three-drug cocktail to a protocol that used just one drug - the anesthetic propofol. Two days later , attorney general Chris Koster asked the state to set execution dates for 19 inmates. In June, that new protocol...

The Supreme Court of Missouri
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Well, the Missouri Supreme Court has certainly done its part for the news cycle today with an array of decisions. Heres a quick taste of what happened, and links to our separate stories so you can dig in to find out more about each. Mo. Supreme Court throws out caps on medical malpractice This is going to set off a powder keg of uncertainty in the professional liability insurance market. To be candid, it just conjures up ominous specter of a lawsuit crisis like the one the gripped the state...

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The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a judge should not have appointed a public defender to a client after the public defenders alerted the courts they had too many cases. The court handed down the 4-3 decision Tuesday. The case goes back to July 2010 when a Christian County judge appointed a public defender despite their limited availability status. Christian County prosecutor Amy Fite says its hard on victims and defendants when cases are held up. She says the high court also offered...

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Updated 4:33 p.m. with reporting by KCURs Elana Gordon. Missouris Supreme Court has effectively overturned state caps on non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. The court ruled today in favor of Deborah Watts, who filed suit against Cox Medical Centers in Springfield for injuries her son suffered at birth in 2006. A jury had previously awarded Watts over $1 million in non-economic damages for the injuries, but state legislation enacted the year before, limited...

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the authority of the state auditor to write financial summaries for ballot initiatives. Opponents of three initiatives - a cap on interest rates for payday loans, an increase in the minimum wage, and an increase in the state tobacco tax - alleged that the section of Missouris election law requiring the financial summaries violated the state constitution by imposing duties on the auditor that were not related to the supervising and...

The Supreme Court of Missouri
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Judge William Ray Price, Jr. vacates the Missouri Supreme Court effective Aug. 1 , so someone will need to replace him. Today, the the Appellate Judicial Commission released the names and demographic information of those vying for the position. Interviews will begin Oct. 10, and from these 18 applicants, the Commission will select three people to recommend to Gov. Nixon. The public is allowed to view the interviews in October. The applicants, by their demographics: There are 18 applicants for...

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Court upholds election for earnings tax The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a legal challenge to a law that requires residents in St. Louis and Kansas City to vote on their earnings tax every five years. Two leaders in Kansas City challenged the voter-approved measure , arguing that it forces an election without providing adequate funding, and improperly amended Kansas Citys charter. The states high court unanimously rejected those arguments in an opinion released yesterday. Voters in...

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Six lawsuits involving three ballot initiatives were heard Monday by the Missouri Supreme Court . At stake are ballot questions that would raise Missouris cigarette tax, raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour, and cap interest rates on payday loans. The fate of all three may turn on whether the State Auditor has the authority to estimate the financial impact of citizens petition initiatives. Attorney Ronald Holliger argued that the High Court should uphold a lower court ruling supporting the State Auditors authority.

With the United States Supreme Courts decision on healthcare expected to come on Thursday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon broke with his party on Monday over a key part of the legislation. Speaking with reporters in St. Louis, Governor Nixon sounded more like a Republican when asked about the impending decision. Referring to the Affordable Care Act as the Washington Healthcare Law Nixon spoke out against the key ingredient of President Obamas signature legislationthe so-called individual mandate...

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Mo. Supreme Court to decide fate of November ballot initiatives The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning to determine the fate of several ballot initiatives. Election officials still have yet to determine if supporters of increasing the minimum wage and tobacco tax, and capping the rate of payday loans, have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. But that could be a moot point. The court is trying to sort out conflicting rulings on whether the state...

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Updated 4:34 p.m. with comments from Rep. Sylvester Taylor. Usually, the residency requirement for political candidates is just another box to check, but two cases involving St. Louis-area office-seekers have not been so clearly defined - until today. The Missouri Supreme Court has handed down decisions today on two residency-requirement cases . In both cases, state legislative districts were redrawn following the results of the 2010 U.S. Census. Democratic State Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray of...

Will be updated. Updated 4:42 with Prices full resignation letter. Updated 4:10 p.m. statement from Gov. Nixon Missouri Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price, Jr. is to resign, according to Supreme Court Communications Counsel Beth Riggert. The resignation will become effective Aug. 1. Price says he will return to the private practice of law. Prices most recent term on the states high court began in Nov. 2006 and was set to end on Dec. 31, 2018. He served as chief justice from July 1999...

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Updated 4:04 p.m. with Diehls comments. The Missouri Supreme Court has released its judgment on a challenge to the recent redistricting of the states new Congressional districts. The Court has upheld the new districts, finally providing certainty for candidates in the August primary elections. The court ruled Friday that the eight new U.S. House districts comply with a constitutional requirement that they be as compact... as may be. The ruling upholds a February decision by Cole County...

Monday's "St. Louis on the Air" will cover the pressing legal issues of the day.
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Updated 4: 14 p.m. Missouri senators have endorsed changes in the procedure for nominating candidates for the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. A seven-member commission screens applicants for vacancies on the states high court and the three districts of the Court of Appeals. The panel recommends three finalists, from which the governor makes the appointment. The commission is currently made up of a judge, three lawyers and three people selected by the governor. A proposed...

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt/file photo)

The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to overturn the conviction of Kenneth Baumruk, who was sentenced to die for killing his wife and wounding four others in a 1992 St. Louis County Courthouse shooting rampage. It wasnt clear if the Missouri Attorney Generals office would seek an execution date following the ruling on Tuesday. A spokeswoman declined comment. Baumruks attorney did not return a message seeking comment. At 73, Baumruk is the oldest man on Missouris Death Row. Baumruk was...

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Will be updated. The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld new boundaries for state House districts based upon the 2010 census. The high court issued a one-line ruling Tuesday upholding the new districts and saying a longer opinion would be issued sometime in the future. The ruling came about three hours before Tuesdays 5 p.m. deadline for candidates to file for this years elections. A lawsuit had claimed that the new map drawn by a special appellate commission violated state constitutional...

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