SB 0001 Changes laws on judges, jurors and civil and criminal procedure
LR Number:L0493.13S Fiscal Note:0493-13
Last Action:07/13/99 - Signed by Governor Journal page:
Title:CCS HS HCS SS SCS SBs 1, 92, 111, 129 & 222
Effective Date:August 28, 1999
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Current Bill Summary

CCS/HS/HCS/SS/SCS/SB 1, 92, 111, 129 & 222 - This act makes various changes to the statutes pertaining to judges and court procedures.

JUDGES - Appellate judges may receive mileage and travel from the courthouse in their home county to where the court sits. Current law disallows travel and mileage expenses.

The pay formula in Section 476.682, RSMo, for senior judges is changed. Senior judges and senior commissioners will now receive, for each day of service after retirement, 50% of the current daily salary of the office from which they retired, in addition to their retirement. The total of the daily pay plus the daily retirement shall not be less than 100% of the current day's pay. Under current law, the end amount paid is a full day's pay. This act caps the total yearly compensation earned by senior judges or senior commissioners at the current annual salary of the office from which they retired. Current law caps the salary per day.

The change in language will not affect those senior judges or senior commissioners who work enough days to receive the total current salary as the cap is still "current annual salary". It will affect those senior judges or senior commissioners who are paid less than the total. They will now be able to receive a half day's pay plus their retirement pay.

A requirement is added to this provision that prior to service as a senior member, the person must have served at least 2 years as a judge, but this provision is only applied prospectively to judges retiring after August 28, 1999.

The financial conflict of interest provision for judges in Section 105.464, RSMo, is removed.

The Commission on Judicial Resources' membership is expanded to include a municipal judge appointed by the Supreme Court. Section 476.415 also provides that other judge members of the commission will be elected by their same level peers. Current law provides for appointment by the Supreme Court.

For certain retirement benefits, the definition of "judge" is expanded to include deputy commissioners.

Pursuant to Section 478.268, RSMo, in Greene County, the probate commissioner shall receive the same retirement benefits as an associate circuit judge. The powers and duties of the commissioner shall be the same as a circuit judge.

Section 478.320, RSMo, authorizing associate circuit judges, is changed so that counties with a population over 100,000 receive 3 associate circuit judges instead of 2. Population is determined, after the year 2000, by annual population estimates with adjustments to judgeships after 3 consecutive years of necessary population changes.

This act adds one circuit court judge in Cole County, to be elected in 2002. There shall be one less associate circuit judge as of January 1, 2003.

COURT FEES - The party applying for a writ, subpoena, or other process from the Court must pay for the sheriff's costs for the transportation and safekeeping of any property to be seized before the seizure occurs. This section shall not apply to garnishment proceeds.

Section 57.130, RSMo, requiring the sheriffs to collect fines will expire on July 1, 2002.

Current law allowing for a $25 "family access fee" for filing a family access motion is deleted in Section 452.400 and 452.401, RSMo. Family access motions (challenging child custody) will be now assessed standard court costs.

A $3 surcharge is to be applied to all actions filed in the circuit division of the Circuit Court. Current law requires a $10 surcharge in all divisions but limited to only divorce cases. There shall be a waiver of the county surcharge for divorce actions if no court costs are charged, or if they are waived or paid by the state, county or municipality.

The county surcharge on filing fees is reduced from $10 to $2 and the court surcharge imposed in county criminal cases and earmarked for shelters for victims of domestic violence is raised to $2. It was previously set at a maximum of $1.

Court costs associated with change of venue shall be paid to the county receiving the case.

The statement of criminal costs in county courts payable by the state is revised so that the cost statement will now only include the costs payable to the county, instead of all costs.

The Domestic Relations Resolution Fund's purposes, pursuant to Section 452.554, RSMo, are expanded to include creation of education programs for families, alternative dispute resolution programs and other similar programs.

The fines set by the Supreme Court under Section 476.385, RSMo, are expanded to include violations of Section 210.104, RSMo, the child restraint provision. Section 210.104, RSMo, currently sets the fine at no more than $25.

The money paid by defendants for substance abuse programs and collected by drug courts are not considered court fees or penalties.

JURORS - Jury duty pay is increased only if the county contributes at least $6. If so, then the State will contribute an additional $6, bringing the total to $18.

The jury supervisor, in accordance with the circuit court's guidelines, to postpone a prospective juror's service to a later date. The act prohibits jurors from attending court for prospective jury service for more than two days unless the juror is selected to serve on a panel for jury service under Section 494.420.2, RSMo, or in one particular case. (Section 494.445)

Section 495.485 is expanded to give the court the power to decide how many alternate jurors to empanel. Current law limits alternates to four.

CIVIL PROCEDURE - The act simplifies family law civil procedure by: (1) providing that a parent need not be served with a termination of parental rights petition if the parent has filed a consent to the termination in court; and (2) deleting the provision that a termination order is not final for thirty days from the date of its entry for purposes of appeal.

Section 452.310, RSMo, is expanded to allow the parenting plan to be filed either jointly or individually within 30 days after service or appearance, whichever occurs first. Current law requires submission, within 30 days of service, of a motion to modify. Section 2 also requires a parenting plan, as provided in 452.310, to be filed upon a finding of paternity.

Section 452.340, RSMo, adds an extension to child support if the support order requires further support, or up to the age of 22. This section also requires the termination of support upon emancipation, filed by the custodial or non-custodial parent, without further court action. Disputed emancipation is provided for, and orders terminating support do not require a court appearance by either party.

Court costs and expenses may be waived in civil cases brought by indigent persons upon certification by the legal aid society representing them.

Allows for partition actions for personal property including boats and vessels. Current law exempts boats and vessels, but provides no other solution concerning their partition.

Section 536.053, RSMo, provides standing for a member of the General Assembly to challenge agency rules in circuit court. Legislators would not be required to exhaust administrative remedies and they would be considered a "nonstate" party for purposes of Section 536.050, RSMo.

Judgments and transcripts may be kept by "record", thus allowing computerization. Current law requires them to be kept in a "book".

Section 211.031, RSMo, is expanded to grant the juvenile court jurisdiction over instances of minors in possession of tobacco products.

A requirement that civil commitment hearings on sexually violent predator be held in a circuit court is removed. The act now refers only to "court".

If an action filed by a political subdivision against a gun manufacturer or dealer is found to be frivolous, the political subdivision shall be liable for all costs, attorney's fees and applicable sanctions.

Class action lawsuits must comply with applicable federal and state rules of civil procedure, in addition to the statute in current law.

Protection orders for adult abuse issued out-of-state will be given full faith and credit without registration and a court finding, if the foreign order is certified. Current law requires registration and a court finding.

Expands 455.045 regarding ex parte orders of protection to include places the petitioner occupies. Current law only allows for restraint from premises "owned, leased or rented". Ex parte orders will also take effect when entered and remain until a hearing on the motion. Failure of service does not affect the order, but the act clarifies that criminal penalties wouldn't apply without service.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE - In intra-family criminal actions, transfer to family court will now be made only when the judge of the circuit court, and the administrative judge of the family court approve. Current law requires the defendant to waive a jury trial, and both the victim and defendant must consent to the transfer.

MISCELLANEOUS - Inconsistent language regarding the power of the Supreme Court to adjust court costs is removed.

The Prison Inmate Litigation Reform Act is simplified, by providing that installment payments of court costs shall be payable to the Department of Corrections, which shall then pay the fees directly to general revenue rather than to the courts. An initial decision that an inmate shall pay by installments is binding until final judgment.

Changes the residency requirement of condemnation commissioners who appraise real estate in city condemnation proceedings. Current law provides that the commissioners shall be residents of the city. This act requires the commissioners to be residents of the county in which the real estate is located.

The cost of the St. Charles family court commissioner is shifted from the county to the state.

Any subsidies available to adoptive parents are also available to grandparents, aunts, uncles or adult siblings who are legal guardians of a child.

Disputes arising due to the provision of office space between a county or St. Louis City and the public defender will be submitted to the Judicial Finance Commission. The Judicial Resources Commission will study the office space issue and report to the general assembly.

Sections 3-7 restricts the sale or transfer of the payments for damages in a tort claim unless such transfer is court approved. Approval requires a disclosure statement from the transferee to the payee; establishing that the transfer is in the best interest of the payee; notice to the payor and court; and the payee must appear in person in court.

The payee may not contract to pay damages or fees to parties to the transfer. Choice of venue provisions are also unenforceable. The provisions of sections 3-7 apply to all such transfers occurring subsequent to the act's effective date.

An interested county or municipality may bring action against the St. Louis Boundary Commission, contesting a boundary change or other action.

Extends repeal date of sections 351.025 and 354.065, allowing for conversion of a not-for-profit health services corporation to a for-profit business corporation from August 31, 1999, to August 31, 2000.

Some sections of this act are similar to some sections of SB 614 (1998), SB 92, SB 129, SB 222, SB 142, SB 252, SB 128, SB 112, HCS/HB 488, 206 & 357, HB 389 and SB 71.