SB 297 - This act establishes a provision of law relating to time requirements for court proceedings, orders, and judgment. The act requires orders and judgments on motions, hearings, and trials for cases filed in circuit courts to be in writing and entered by the court within 30 days after the matter is fully briefed, submitted to the court, and concludes any hearings or trial. However, the court, by written order citing good cause, may extend time for entry for an additional 30 days and up to a maximum of 90 days from the date the matter, motion, hearing, trial, verdict, or case was taken under submission.
Within 10 days after the court receives a request from a party for a hearing date on a motion for a hearing on the record or a request for a trial date, the court shall set a fixed date and time for a hearing. This act provides that no hearing or trial date shall be continued generally, but the court shall continue the hearing or trial to a date certain, which is not greater than 90 days from the previous trial or hearing. Within 60 days after service of process, the court shall determine a track, as set forth in this act, for each case. The court may reassign a case to a different track upon consultation with the parties.
The Supreme Court of Missouri shall establish case processing time standards to ensure the prompt and fair disposition of cases filed in the circuit courts. This act provides that the rule shall fix the maximum amount of time by which a court shall enter written rulings, orders, and judgments and the maximum time by which a case shall be disposed of after filing and final judgment. The rules may modify the time standards set forth in this act.
A party may seek to compel issuances of an order or judgment and the setting of a hearing or trial upon a failure, refusal, or neglect of a judge or commissioner of the court to comply with the time standards set forth in this act or as established by the Missouri Supreme Court. Additionally, this act provides that any judge or commissioner who violates the time standards shall be fined $100 per day for each day in violation unless exceptional circumstances are shown. For multiple violations, a judge or commissioner shall be subject to removal, suspension, fine, or other forms of discipline for willful neglect of duty. Any interested party, official, or member of the public may notify the Commission on Retirement, Removal, and Discipline for such noncompliance with this act. The Commission, upon notification by a clerk of a writ of mandamus issued by the Missouri Court of Appeals or by the Missouri Supreme Court, shall determine penalties for willful neglect of duty. Upon a finding against the judge or commissioner, the Commission shall recommend a payment of $100 per day for each day in violation of the time standards which shall be deposited into the state school moneys fund. The Commission shall also recommend that the removal, suspension, fine, or discipline of a judge or commissioner who is guilty of multiple violations.
This act is identical to SB 722 (2022), HB 853 (2023), HB 2882 (2022), and SB 270 (2021) and is similar to HB 523 (2023), HB 1870 (2022), HB 236 (2021), HB 2406 (2020), and HB 1119 (2019).