SS#2/SCS/HCS/HB 111 - This act enacts and modifies various provisions of law relating to the judiciary.
CONTINGENCY FEE CONTRACTS
(Sections 34.376, 34.378, and 34.380)
This act prohibits the state and any of its agents from entering into a contingency fee contract with a private attorney, unless the Attorney General makes specific written findings. The Attorney General is required to request written proposals from private attorneys, unless the Attorney General makes a written determination that requesting proposals is not feasible. If the Attorney General requests proposals from private attorneys, the Attorney General is required to choose the lowest and best bid or request the office of administration establish an independent panel to evaluate the proposals and choose the lowest and best bid.
A private attorney who is representing the state on a contingency fee basis is required to maintain records about their expenses for at least four years after the contract terminates. The attorney general's office is required to respond to requests to make these records available to the public under the sunshine law.
The Attorney General is required to post certain information about the contingency fee arrangement on their website. The Attorney General is also required to submit an annual report regarding the use of contingency fee contracts.
These provisions are similar to SCS/SB 432 (2011) and HB 872 (2011).
HOSPITAL DISTRICT SALES TAX
(Sections 144.032 and 205.205)
This act authorizes hospital districts located within Iron County to abolish their existing property tax levies and, upon voter approval, impose a sales tax of up to one percent to fund the district. The hospital district sales tax will be imposed upon all retail sales made within the district and all sales of metered water services, electricity, electrical current and natural, artificial or propane gas, wood, coal, or home heating oil for domestic use.
These sections contain an emergency clause.
This act is identical to SCS/SB 117 (2011).
ELECTRONIC MONITORING OF CERTAIN OFFENDERS
(Sections 221.025, 544.455, 544.470, and 557.011)
This act allows a judge to release a person before trial on electronic monitoring or order a person serve part or all of a sentence of confinement on electronic monitoring unless the judge finds that the person cannot afford to pay the costs associated with the electronic monitoring. All costs associated with the electronic monitoring shall be charged to the person on house arrest.
The judge may, in his or her discretion, credit any period on electronic monitoring, against any period of confinement or incarceration ordered, except that those who have committed multiple intoxication-related traffic offenses may not be placed on electronic monitoring as an alternative to confinement, community service, or a court-ordered treatment program involving community service. A period of electronic monitoring will not be considered confinement in a correctional center, private or county jail for purposes of determining responsibility for the health care of the individual.
The circuit court may adopt a local rule allowing for the pretrial release on electronic monitoring in lieu of confinement for anyone charged with a crime who can afford to pay the costs of electronic monitoring.
This section is substantially similar to SCS/SB 387 (2011).
PUNISHMENTS FOR CERTAIN CRIMES
(Sections 302.020, 302.321, 303.025, and 311.325)
These provisions modify the punishments for several crimes, including operating a vehicle without a valid license, operating a motorcycle without passing an examination for the operation of a motorcycle, operating a vehicle with another person's license, driving while revoked, failing to maintain financial responsibility, and purchasing, possessing, or being intoxicated when a person is under twenty-one. These provisions also specify that prior guilty pleas and findings of guilt in criminal cases for these crimes must be plead and proved in the same way that prior convictions are plead and proved when a criminal defendant is found to be a prior offender, persistent offender, dangerous offender, persistent sexual offender, or predatory sexual offender.
These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 253 (2011).
BOARD MEETINGS OF CORPORATIONS
This act allows actions required to be taken at corporate committee meetings to be taken without a meeting of the board or committee members if after setting forth the action to be taken, all the board or committee members consent by electronic transmission. Such transmissions shall be filed with the minutes of the corporate meetings.
This act is similar to HB 1741 (2009), and SB 833 (2010).
FULL ORDERS OF PROTECTION
This provision allows appeals of expired orders of protection, by requiring that the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine be applied to these appeals.
This section is similar to HCS/HB 253 (2011), and HB 1406 (2010).
(Sections 475.060, 475.061, 475.501, 475.502, 475.503, 475.504, 475.505, 475.506, 475.521, 475.522, 475.523, 475.524, 475.525, 475.526, 475.527, 475.528, 475.529, 475.531, 475.532, 475.541, 475.542, 475.543, 475.544, 475.551, 475.552, 475.555)
These provisions modify what information is required in a petition for guardianship for a minor or an incapacitated person and adopt the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA).
A petition for guardianship of a minor will be required to state the location and value of any real property owned by the minor outside of Missouri and the name and address of the trustees of any trust of which the minor is a qualified beneficiary and the purpose of the trust, in addition to the information the petition was previously required to state.
In addition to the information currently required to be included in a petition for guardianship of an alleged incapacitated person, the petition will also be required to state the three most recent addresses at which the incapacitated person lived in the three years before the filing of the petition, the location and value of any real property owned by the incapacitated person outside of Missouri, the name and address of the person's closest known relatives, the name of any adults living with the person, in some situations the name and address of the person's siblings and of their siblings' children, and the name and address of any agent of the person and of any trustee of any trust that the person is a beneficiary of, as well as the purpose of the power of attorney and the purpose of the trust.
The UAGPPJA deals with issues that arise when several states are involved with an adult who lacks the ability to care for their own needs or property. The UAGPPJA includes provisions regarding communication between courts in different states, requests for assistance from a court to a court of another state, and taking testimony in other states. The UAGPPJA allows a Missouri court to treat foreign countries as other states for the purposes of the provisions allowing communication among courts, determining jurisdiction, and transferring a guardianship or conservatorship.
The UAGPPJA establishes procedures for determining which state has jurisdiction over guardianship and conservator proceedings for an incapacitated adult. These procedures establish three levels of priority for a court to follow in deciding whether it has jurisdiction; the adult's home state, followed by states where the adult has significant connections, and then other states. Regardless of the level of priority, the UAGPPJA allows a court in the state where the person is present to appoint a guardian in an emergency, and a court in the state where the person has property has jurisdiction to issue orders regarding the property. If a court determines that it acquired jurisdiction based on unjustifiable conduct, the act allows the court to remedy the situation and assess fees and expenses against the person who engaged in the unjustifiable conduct.
The UAGPPJA also specifies a procedure for transferring a guardianship or conservatorship from one state to another state. This procedure requires the court in the state transferring the guardianship or conservatorship to issue a provisional order transferring the case after making certain findings. The guardian or conservator is required to petition the state that would accept the case and, after holding a hearing, that court is required to grant the transfer, unless someone objects to the transfer and establishes that the transfer would not be in the interest of the incapacitated person, or the guardian or conservator is not eligible to be appointed a guardian or conservator in that state.
The UAGPPJA also creates a procedure for registering orders in Missouri from other states that appointed a guardian or a conservator to manage an incapacitated adult's property. After registration of the guardianship or protective order in Missouri, the guardian or conservator may exercise all the powers authorized in the original states's order, except for powers that are illegal in Missouri.
The provisions of the act regarding transferring guardianship or conservatorship proceedings from one state to another state and that deal with enforcement of guardianship and protective orders in other states apply to proceedings begun before August 28, 2011.
These provisions are identical to SCS/SB 213 (2011), and similar to HB 130 (2011), and HCS/HB 253 (2011).
This act allows a public administrator to request the court to transfer any guardianship or conservatorship case to another county. If the other county meets the venue requirements and the public administrator of the other county consents to the transfer, the court is required to transfer the case. The court with jurisdiction over the other county is required to appoint the public administrator of that county as the person's new guardian or conservator without holding a hearing.
The public administrator is required to file a final settlement of their conservatorship within thirty days of the court transferring the case. This final settlement will be filed in the court with jurisdiction over the original conservatorship and forwarded to the receiving county upon audit and approval.
This act is identical to HB 88 (2011), SCS/HB 142 (2011), HCS/HB 253 (2011), HCS/HB 889 (2011), HCS/SB 145 (2011), and substantially similar to HCS/SCS/SB 57 (2011) and similar to HB 1676 (2010).
BASIC CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUND
This act extends the expiration date on the Basic Civil Legal Services Fund from December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2018.
This provision is identical to SB 165 (2011) and SCS/HB 256 (2011).
EQUAL PARENTING/CHILD SUPPORT
The court shall award child support in amount that provides up to a fifty percent adjustment below the basic child support amount for custody awards of joint physical custody where the child or children spend equal or substantially equal time with both parents. Section 452.340.11
The Missouri Supreme Court is directed to amend the child support guidelines, to address instances where there is an award of equal or substantially equal joint physical custody. The directions, comments and any tabular representations of the directions and comments shall reflect the ability to obtain up to a fifty percent adjustment or credit below the basic child support amount for joint physical custody or visitation in accordance with the act. 452.340.8
This provision is similar to SB 35 (2011).
GUARDIAN AD LITEM STANDARDS
This act requires that the September 1996 Missouri Supreme Court standards for representation by guardians ad litem be updated.
This act is identical to SB 237 (2011) and HB 165 (2011).
This act requires that in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and Jackson County at least one of the three commissioners appointed by the court in condemnation proceedings be either a licensed real estate broker, or a licensed or certified real estate appraiser.
This act is identical to the perfected SB 61 (2011) and similar to HB 625 (2011), SB 776 (2010), and HB 1973 (2010)
SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A STUDENT
Under current law, a person commits the crime of sexual contact with a student while on public school property if he or she is affiliated in certain ways with the school and he or she has sexual contact with a student while on any public school property.
This act removes the requirement that the contact occur on public school property and adds elected and appointed officials of the public school district to the types of people who may not have sexual contact with a student.
Under current law, volunteers of the school or an organization working with the school may not have sexual contact with a student. This act provides that the law only applies to volunteers who are not also students at the school.
This section is identical to SCS/SB 400 (2011) and similar to HB 599 (2011) and HB 743 (2011).
REQUIREMENTS FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF SEXUAL OFFENSES
(Sections 566.147 and 589.040)
Under current law, sexual assault offenders imprisoned by the Department of Corrections must complete all treatment, education, and rehabilitation programs provided by the Department of Corrections. This act requires the offender to complete such programs before being eligible for probation or conditional release.
Current law prohibits certain sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of public and private schools, and child-care facilities as that term is defined under section 210.201. This amendment provides that the prohibition applies to any child-care facility that is licensed under chapter 210. Also added to the prohibition is any license-exempt child-care facility that is subject to state regulations regarding fire, safety, health, and sanitation inspections that holds itself out to be a child-care facility.
These provisions are identical to provisions of CCS#2/HCS/SB 250 (2011) and HB 384 (2011).
Under this section, a person commits criminal nonsupport if he or she knowingly fails to provide adequate support for his or her spouse or child as legally obligated. Currently, such an act is criminal if the person did so without good cause.
This section is identical to SB 261 (2011).
RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY
This act specifies that receiving stolen property is a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property or services exceeds $500, the property has been physically taken from the person of the victim, or if the property is of a certain description. In those cases, the offense is a Class C felony. Receiving stolen property is a Class B felony if the value of the property or services equals or exceeds $25,000.
The receipt of any item, property, or services which exceeds $500 may be considered a separate felony and be charged in separate counts.
A person who commits the crime of receiving stolen property who has a prior conviction involving livestock or captive wildlife, when the value of the stolen property exceeds $3,000, is guilty of a Class B felony. Such a person must serve a minimum prison term of not less than 80 percent of his or her sentence before being eligible for probation, parole, conditional release, or other early release.
This section is identical to SCS/SB 425 (2011) and similar to HB 693 (2011).
FAILURE TO RETURN LEASED OR RENTED PROPERTY
This act modifies the crime of failing to return leased or rented property and changes the name of the crime to stealing leased or rented property.
The following actions are added to the list of offenses that constitute the crime if the person commits the offense with the intent to deprive the owner of the property: aiding or abetting the concealment of leased or rented property; selling, encumbering, conveying, pawning, loaning, abandoning, or giving away the leased or rented property or any part thereof, without the written consent of the lessor or informing the person who receives the property that it is subject to a lease; and failing to pay lease charges after returning the property with the intent to deprive the lessor of the agreed upon charges.
Current law provides that it is evidence of the crime when a person who has leased or rented property, other than a motor vehicle, fails to return the property ten days after the owner has sent written demand by certified or registered mail to the address provided in the lease agreement. Such demand must include a statement that the failure to return the property may subject the person to criminal prosecution.
Under this act, evidence of intent to commit the crime is established if the lessee uses a false, fictitious, or not current name, address, or place of employment in obtaining the property or if the lessee fails to return the property or pay the lease charges within seven days after written demand sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address provided in the lease agreement or the person's last known address.
Currently, failure to return leased or rented property is a Class A misdemeanor unless the property is valued at $500 or more, in which case it is a Class C felony. This act increases the property value cutoff so that the crime becomes a Class C felony if the property is valued at $1,000 or more.
This act is similar to SB 399 (2011) and HB 1448 (2010).
REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORT TO AND FROM MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES
This act allows a sheriff to receive reimbursement for the actual costs of transporting a person to and from a mental health facility from a public or private hospital, a non-profit charitable organization, the state, or a political subdivision. Reimbursement from the state for actual costs, except for allowable mileage shall be subject to appropriations.
This section is similar to SB 428 (2011) and HB 775 (2011).