SB 0869 Standardized Court Costs System
LR Number:L3201.09T Fiscal Note:3201-09
Last Action:07/10/96 - Signed by Governor (w/EC)
Title:HS/HCS/SS/SCS/SB 869
Effective Date:August 28, 1996
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Current Bill Summary

HS/HCS/SS/SCS/SB 869 - This act repeals various court costs that are not related to the administration of the court system and recodifies all remaining court costs into one chapter of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

ASSESSMENT OF COURT COSTS - Any court may adopt, by local rule, a system where circuit clerks collect all court costs except for cases pending in the municipal divisions of the circuit court. The revisor of statutes is directed to recodify all sections of law imposing court costs and fees related to the administration of the court system into one chapter. No clerk shall collect any surcharge authorized by local ordinance or order where such surcharge is to take effect on or after January 1, 1997.

The Supreme Court shall, by rule, determine the total amount of court costs to be paid in a particular case. On or before July 1, 2000, the clerk of each circuit court shall disburse court costs collected into a special fund established by the State Courts Administrator. Certain charges that are currently collected shall remain in effect until adjusted by the Court. The Supreme Court may adjust any cost or fee to the extent of increases or decreases in the collections from such cost or fee, to a maximum of 4% from the previous year. After moneys from this fund are paid out to those who provide services to the courts and refunds, 80% of the remainder of such moneys shall be paid into the State Treasury, and 20% to each county's treasury for expenses incurred in administering the court system.

Court costs are to be paid prior to the time services are rendered. If such costs are not paid when due, the court may do any of the following: 1) dismiss the action; 2) refuse to enter a judgment in favor of the defaulting party; 3) inform the Office of Administration at which point such office may deduct such amount from any state check due the defaulting party; or 4) exert its contempt powers.

CENTRALIZED FINE SYSTEM - The Supreme Court shall establish a schedule of fines for traffic, fish and game, and boating violations. The judges of each Circuit Court may establish and maintain a schedule of fines for municipal violations when such violations are heard in Associate Circuit Courts. A centralized bureau is created by Supreme Court rule to accept the payment of fines and not guilty pleas for state violations. If the person pleads not guilty, the bureau shall inform the Circuit Court of such plea so the court may set a date for trial. A person who receives a notice of violation but fails to dispose of the notice by payment of fine or plea shall be guilty of failure to appear and, if such violation is a driving violation, such person's driver's license may be suspended. Certain violations, including DWI and violations involving property damage, may not be disposed of through the centralized bureau.

CRIMINAL LAW - It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to file a nonconsensual common law lien, unless such person is a filing officer acting in the scope of employment. No such officer shall be liable for any damages as a result of filing such lien. A person who knowingly files an invalid lien is subject to civil damages up to $5,000.

A filing officer may refuse to file or record any nonconsensual common law lien, unless such lien is shown to be authorized. A person whose lien is rejected may petition the Circuit Court for an order to file such lien pending a hearing. A person who has an interest in property on which a lien has been filed may file a motion in the court to have such lien declared void.

A probation revocation hearing is considered a separate hearing from a plea bargain proceeding or trial.

This act includes corrected reallocation language that has been Truly Agreed To in HCS/SB 769.

MISCELLANEOUS - Two sections are repealed that allowed for the appointment of deputy court reporters and stenographers in homicide cases and in magistrate courts (Sections 485.130 and 485.150).

The following provisions are included in this act: 1) adding a new Circuit Judge to Platte County when a new jail is built in such county; 2) renumbering the Court Divisions in Jackson County; 3) adding an Associate Circuit Judge in Jackson County when construction of two courtrooms are completed in such county; 4) establishing a Drug Commissioner in Jackson County; 5) authorizing a Probate Commissioner in Greene County; and 6) authorizing a $10 surcharge to establish a juvenile detention facility for the 30th Judicial Circuit.

No municipal judge shall serve after he reaches age 75. Current law prohibits a municipal judge from serving beyond age 70. This is taken from SB 596.

Law enforcement officials shall have access to Department of Mental Health reports in cases of possible abuse or neglect.

A State Court Administration Revolving Fund is established. This fund shall be used for the training and education of court personnel.

The Supreme Court shall establish guidelines to ensure that an ex-parte order of protection may be filed on holidays, evenings and weekends. If an allegation of abuse is established, an order of protection shall be valid for at least 180 days and not more than one year.

The number of jurors in any civil action before a circuit judge or an associate circuit judge may be set at eight upon agreement by the parties.

EFFECTIVE DATE - A delayed effective date of July 1, 1997 is imposed for certain sections.