CCS#2/HCS/SB 621 - This act modifies various provisions of law relating to judicial procedure.
THE PUBLISHING OF THE MISSOURI STATUTES BY THE REVISOR
Currently, the Revised Statutes of Missouri are required to be published at least every ten years. The act removes this ten year requirement and instead provides that the statutes shall be published only upon the adoption of a concurrent resolution by the General Assembly. Annotations and statutory supplements may printed without the adoption of a concurrent resolution (3.010).
Whenever a state or federal court issues a permanent order enjoining a bill or statute enacted by the General Assembly on procedural grounds, the Missouri Attorney General shall notify the Revisor of Statutes of such order and the Committee on Legislative Research is required to publish a footnote on the committee's official website to each affected section calling attention to the court ruling. The footnote shall remain until a final ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court or a federal court, at which time the footnote shall be removed or updated (3.066).
The Revisor of Statutes is required to publish the revised statutes on the official website of the Committee on Legislative Research. However, the online version of the revised statutes is not considered an official version of the revised statutes unless the Revisor so certifies. The Revisor must periodically update such website as new laws are enacted, including an update on the effective date of any section that becomes law (3.090).
These provisions are identical to HCS/HB 1350 (2014) and to provisions in the truly agreed and finally passed version of SB 643 (2014).
JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
The act creates a permanent joint committee of the General Assembly to be known as the Joint Committee on the Justice System. The Committee shall consist of members of the General Assembly and three ex officio members. The Committee is charged with reviewing of all aspects of the state's justice system and making any recommendations for legislative changes to the General Assembly. A permanent subcommittee of the Committee shall be established to periodically review the criminal code. An advisory committee is established to aid the subcommittee, consisting of representatives of the Missouri Supreme Court, the Attorney General, and other individuals known to be interested in the improvement of the state's criminal laws (21.880).
This provision is identical to provisions contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of HB 1231 (2014) and SB 575 (2014).
APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
The act provides that a special prosecutor appointed because the prosecutor and assistant prosecutor have a conflict of interest may not represent a party other than the state in a criminal case or proceeding in that circuit for the duration of the appointment. It also specifies that a special prosecutor is to be considered an appointed prosecutor for purposes of a statute making it a misdemeanor for a prosecutor to engage in such employment (56.110).
This provision is similar to SB 793 (2014) and provisions contained in HCS/HB 1448 (2014).
LAW ENFORCEMENT IMMUNITY
The act states that law enforcement officers shall have immunity from criminal and civil liability while conducting service of process at the direction of the court to the extent that the officers' actions do not violate clearly established rights of which a reasonable person would have known (57.095).
This provision is identical to the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of SB 672 (2014), HB 1231 (2014), and SB 615 (2014).
JEFFERSON COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT
The act modifies the county description of Jefferson County in provisions of law which allow Jefferson and Franklin Counties to prosecute violations of county orders in a county municipal court (67.320).
This provision is identical to provisions contained in HB 1921 (2014), HCS/SCS/SB 824 (2014), HCS/SCS/SB 854 (2014), HCS/SB 614 (2014), and the truly agreed to and finally passed version of SB 672 (2014).
INTEREST ON JUDGMENTS
The act provides a definition for the term "judgment balance" and states that post-judgment payments shall be applied first to post-judgment costs, then to interest, and then to judgment balance (408.040).
This provision is effective on January 1, 2015.
This provision is identical to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1612 (2014) and the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of HB 1231 (2014) and SB 672 (2014).
SAVINGS BONDS/UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
The act modifies the law relating to unclaimed property. United States savings bonds, which are unclaimed property, shall be deemed abandoned when they have remained unclaimed for more than 3 years after their date of maturity and shall escheat to the state 3 years after becoming unclaimed property. At least 180 days after the bonds escheat to the state, the treasurer shall bring a civil action to confirm that the bonds shall escheat to the state.
The treasurer shall retain records of the names associated with such bonds that shall be made available for public inspection (447.534, 447.560, 447.584).
There is an emergency clause for these provisions.
These provisions are identical to provisions contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of HB 1075 (2014) and HB 1693 (2014).
Currently, each court must mail a handbook created by the Office of State Courts Administrator to individuals involved in a dissolution of marriage proceeding involving minor children. This act specifies that the court must "provide" the handbook to each party to the dissolution rather than "mail" (452.556).
This provision is identical to provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of HB 1231 (2014) and SB 615 (2014).
NO-CONTEST CLAUSE IN WILLS AND TRUSTS
Currently, "no-contest" or "in terrorem" clauses are enforceable. These types of provisions in a trust or will generally provide that a beneficiary forfeits interest in the trust or will property if the beneficiary contests the trust or will.
This act provides that when an irrevocable trust contains a no-contest clause, as defined in the act, then an interested person may still file a petition with a court for a ruling on whether a particular claim for relief would trigger forfeiture. The petition for such a ruling may be filed either as a separate judicial proceeding or along with other claims for relief. The act specifies that when ruling on the petition, the court shall consider the text of the clause, and the context of the terms of the trust and factual allegations in the petition. The court shall not accept evidence beyond what is provided in the pleadings and the trust instrument.
The act states that the judgment on the application of a no-contest clause is appealable. Following the ruling, if claims are subsequently filed in which differing facts are asserted from those which the no-contest clause judgment was based upon, then the party in whose favor the judgment was rendered shall have no protection from enforcement of the no-contest clause provided under this act.
The act also provides the types of circumstances in which a no-contest clause is not enforceable such as objections to venue or a claim for relief concerning an accounting error. In these situations the court may award attorneys' fees and costs (456.4-420).
Similar to a trust, the act states that if a will contains a no-contest clause an interested person may file a petition with the court for determination on whether a court action would trigger the application of the no-contest clause or trigger forfeiture (474.395).
This provision is identical to HCS/SB 499 (2014), HB 1429 (2014), and to provisions contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of HB 1231 (2014) and SB 500 (2014).
JUDICIAL RESOURCES AND JUDICIAL CONFERENCE
Current law states that it is the purpose of certain listed sections of law to provide the General Assembly and the Supreme Court with the mechanisms to obtain a comprehensive analysis of judicial resources and an efficient method for identifying problems and allocating personnel and resources within the judicial system. This act adds and repeals specific sections of law from this list of sections (476.001).
The act removes commissioners of the Supreme Court as members of the Judicial Conference. Under the act, the Conference shall meet every odd numbered year (476.320, 476.330, 476.340).
JUDGES ASSIGNED TO PRELIMINARY HEARING AND TRIAL
The act states that a presiding judge of a circuit may assign a judge to hear both the preliminary hearing and the trial of a felony case if the defendant agrees on the record (478.240.2(2)).
This provision is similar to HCS/HB 1448 (2014) and SB 793 (2014).
This act repeals provisions of law which state that when a judicial weighted workload indicates for three consecutive years that a judicial circuit with a population of one-hundred thousand or more is in need of four or more full-time judicial positions, then there shall be one additional associate circuit judge position in such circuit(section 478.320).
Currently, the twenty-first judicial circuit has nineteen circuit judges. This act provides that the twenty-first circuit shall have twenty circuit judges which shall sit in twenty divisions. The twenty-first circuit shall also have an additional associate circuit judge which shall be in addition to the associate circuit judges provided for under the current statutory formula (478.437).
Currently, the sixteenth judicial circuit has nine associate circuit judges with five of the judges located in Kansas City and four of the judges located in independence. The act states that the sixteenth judicial circuit shall have ten associate circuit judges, which shall sit in divisions numbered 25 through 34. The 34th division shall sit in a location determined by the court en banc. This tenth associate circuit judge position shall not be included in the statutory formula for authorizing additional associate circuit judgeships under current law (478.464).
The act provides the thirty-first judicial circuit with an additional associate circuit judge, and specifies that the additional associate circuit judges awarded in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 shall not be included in the statutory formula for authorizing additional associate circuit judgeships under current law (478.513).
The act states that in the eleventh judicial circuit there shall be an additional associate circuit judge position. This position shall be elected in 2016, and shall not be included in the statutory formula for authorizing additional associate circuit judgeships under current law (478.600).
The thirty-eighth circuit shall have two circuit judges. The circuit judge in division two shall be elected in 2016, and such position shall not be considered vacant until January 1, 2017. The judge in division one shall be elected in 2018 (478.740).
There is an emergency clause for these provisions.
These provisions are identical to provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of HB 1231 (2014) and SB 615 (2014).
THIRTEENTH CIRCUIT DRUG COURT COMMISSIONER
The act reinstitutes the thirteenth circuit's authority to appoint a drug court commissioner (478.610).
This provision is identical to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1448 (2014) and the truly agreed to and finally passed version of HB 1231 (2014).
THIRTY-FIRST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT SURCHARGE
This act provides that a surcharge of up to ten dollars may be collected in all criminal proceedings filed in the Thirty-First Judicial Circuit if the surcharge was authorized by a county or municipal order, ordinance, or resolution.
The moneys collected from the surcharge must be use for the costs associated with the land assemblage, construction, maintenance and operation of any county or municipal judicial facility (488.2206).
This provision is identical to provisions contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of HB 1231 (2014), HB 1238 (2014), and SB 615 (2014), and similar to SB 915 (2014) and SCS/HB 1553 (2014).
Under the act, clerks of circuit courts are authorized to collect a surcharge of up to ten dollars when processing garnishments and money from the surcharge is to be used to maintain and improve case processing and record preservation (488.305).
The act adds language which provides that notice of garnishment shall have the effect of attaching all personal property at the time of service or in the case of a continuous wage garnishment, until the judgment is paid in full, or until the employment relationship is terminated.
Garnishments which would otherwise have equal priority shall have priority according to the date of service, and when wages have been attached by more than one writ of garnishment then the employer must inform the inferior garnisher of the other garnishments (525.040).
When applicable, a garnishee may discharge himself by paying the money or giving the property owed to the defendant to the attorney for the party on whose behalf the order of garnishment was issued, when applicable. Additionally, the court may order the delivery of the defendant's property possessed by the garnishee to the attorney for the party on whose behalf the order of garnishment was issued (525.070, 525.080).
The act allows the garnishee to deduct up to twenty dollars, or a fee previously agreed upon between the garnishee and judgment debtor when the garnishee is a financial institution, for expenses in answering interrogatories and withholding the funds. The garnishee may also file a motion with the court to obtain additional costs incurred in answering the interrogatories (525.230).
The act modifies provisions relating to the issuance of a writ of sequestration. Under current law, the wages of state government employees are not subject to direct garnishment, and instead must be collected under a process called sequestration. This act provides that the government employer shall have the same duties as a private employer when served with a garnishment order. The act repeals language requiring a writ of sequestration when the judgment debtor is a government employee, and provides that all garnishments against such employees shall proceed in the same manner as any other garnishment proceedings (525.310).
These provisions regarding garnishments are effective on January 1, 2015.
These provisions are similar to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1612 (2014), HB 204 (2013), and SS/SCS/HCS/HB 374 & 434 (2013), and identical to provisions contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of SB 672 (2014) and SB 621 (2014).
SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS
The act provides that a conviction in this state or any other jurisdiction for a sexually violent offense can be considered when determining if a person is a sexually violent predator for the purposes of confinement and treatment (632.480, 632.483, 632.484).
These provisions are identical to HB 1741 (2014) and provisions contained in HCS/HB 1231 (2014).
CYBER CRIME INVESTIGATION FUND
Currently, the Cyber Crime Investigation Fund and its disbursement program expired on June 5, 2012. This act reauthorizes the existence of the fund and the program and sets the expiration date at December 31, 2024. The act repeals the provision of law requiring three million dollars to be appropriate to the fund each year (650.120).
This provision is similar to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1448 (2014) and HB 1906 (2014), and identical to provisions contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed versions of SB 575 (2014) and HB 1231 (2014).
COSTS IN CRIMINAL CASES
The act repeals provisions of law requiring the state to pay the costs of a capital case when imprisonment is the sole punishment and the defendant is acquitted, and that in all other trials on indictments the costs shall be paid by the county if the defendant is acquitted (550.040).
The act also repeals a provision of law which provides that the prosecutor or the person on whose oath the prosecution was commenced to be liable for all the court costs in any case where a person must be committed or recognized to answer for a felony and no indictment is issued against the person (550.060).
These provisions are identical to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1448 (2014) and the truly agreed to and finally passed version of SB 615 (2014), and similar to SB 793 (2014).
The act contains an emergency clause for certain sections.