Missouri Supreme Court | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Supreme Court

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Missouri Supreme Court cleared the way for developer Paul McKee to use $390 million in tax increment financing to redevelop two square miles of north St. Louis.

The court ruled unanimously that St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert H. Dierker Jr. erred when he ruled in 2010 that the St. Louis ordinances authorizing the huge project did not set out a “defined development project.”

(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.

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.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

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 means that home care workers can begin negotiations on a union contract with the state.

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.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

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 16th 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 University of Chicago Law School. He lives in Kirkwood, Mo.

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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 and taverns, which overrides the Springfield law.
 

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 sessionGovernor 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 Missouri’s drug courts and argued the state puts too many non-violent offenders in prison.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman spoke with the judge about why it’s 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 state's new execution protocol is resolved.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

Well, the Missouri Supreme Court has certainly done its part for the news cycle today with an array of decisions.

Here's a quick taste of what happened, and links to our separate stories so you can dig in to find out more about each.

s_falkow |Flickr

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 it’s hard on victims and defendants when cases are held up.

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

Updated 4:33 p.m. with reporting by KCUR's Elana Gordon.

Missouri’s 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.

(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.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

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.

(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.

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