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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the circuit court’s judgment in favor of Emilee Williams in this medical malpractice action brought against Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities and Dr. Elene Pilapil, holding that the circuit court improperly deprived Williams of the full value of the jury’s award and erred in striking post-judgment interest. After a jury returned a verdict in favor of Williams the circuit court entered judgment on the verdict for a total amount of $28,911,000. The court then allocated a portion of the future medical damages to periodic payments in accordance with Mo. Rev. Stat. 538.220.2. The Supreme Court remanded the case for entry of a new judgment in accordance with this opinion, holding (1) the application of section 538.220.2 was unconstitutional as applied to Williams because it deprived Williams of the full value of the award and violated her due process rights; and (2) the circuit court did not have the authority to amend the judgment to remove post-judgment interest. View "Williams v. Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the administrative hearing commission finding Myron Green Corporation liable for sales tax on food sold to employees of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in the bank’s on-site cafeteria, holding that the cafeteria regularly served food to the public within the context of Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.020.1(6) and that the bank’s sales tax exemption did not extend to its individual employees. The primary issue on appeal was whether a third-party operator of a company cafeteria is liable for sales tax on food purchased by employees of a tax-exempt organization in that cafeteria when the organization sets the cafeteria’s hours, influences pricing, and subsidizes the cost of food in the cafeteria. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment below, holding that there was substantial and competent evidence supporting the commission’s finding that (1) Myron Green’s sales in the bank’s cafeteria were taxable because the cafeteria regularly served meals and drinks to the public, and (2) Myron Green sold food to individual customers instead of to the bank. View "Myron Green Corp. v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court finding the board of regents of Harris-Stowe State University liable on Dr. Shereen Kader’s claims of national origin discrimination and retaliation under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), holding that the circuit court’s jury instructions were erroneous and prejudicial. The jury returned a verdict in Dr. Kader’s favor on her claims of national original discrimination and retaliation, awarding $750,000 in actual damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages. The circuit court entered judgment on the jury’s verdict. On appeal, Harris-Stowe argued that the circuit court’s disjunctive jury instructions Nos. 8 and 9 misled and confused the jury, thereby resulting in prejudice. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the circuit court’s jury instructions were erroneous and prejudicial because they included at least one alternative that did not constitute actionable conduct under the MHRA. View "Kader v. Board of Regents of Harris-Stowe State University" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court quashed a preliminary writ of prohibition and denied Petitioner’s petition for a writ of prohibition seeking to prohibit the Honorable Brian May from proceeding with any action other than vacating an order denying Petitioner’s application for change of judge pursuant to Rule 32.07, holding that Petitioner did not timely file his application for change of judge. Rule 32.07(b) requires the applicable for change of judge to be filed within ten days of the initial plea in a criminal case or within ten days of the designation of the trial judge. Petitioner filed an application for change of judge pursuant to Rule 32.07 in the underlying criminal case. When Respondent denied the application, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding (1) Petitioner did not file his application for change of judge within ten days of the initial plea in his criminal case, and the fact that Petitioner waived arraignment on new charges in a superseding indictment did not negate the fact that he previously entered the initial plea in his criminal case approximately two years earlier; and (2) Petitioner’s application for change of judge was not filed within ten days of the designation of Respondent as the trial judge for Petitioner’s criminal case. View "State ex rel. Mario Richardson v. Honorable Brian H. May" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part the final judgment of the trial court dissolving Husband’s marriage to Wife, holding that the trial court’s retroactive award of maintenance was erroneous but the judgment was otherwise proper. In 2013, the trial court entered an interlocutory judgment entry for dissolution of marriage dissolving the marriage, dividing marital property, and ordering Husband to pay Wife $1,500 per month in maintenance, retroactive to November 1, 2011. The interlocutory judgment was twice modified by the court. On April 16, 2016, the trial court entered its final judgment entry and dissolution of marriage dividing the remainder of the parties’ property and awarding maintenance in accordance with its interlocutory judgment. On appeal, the Supreme Court held (1) the need for and amount of maintenance was erroneously determined prior to the final disposition of property, but the error was not material because the final division of property did not make any significant change in the award of property to the parties; (2) the trial court did not misapply the law in determining the need for and amount of maintenance; but (3) a retroactive maintenance award is not authorized under Mo. Rev. Stat. 452.335. View "Archdekin v. Archdekin" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s decision overruling Defendant’s motion suppress evidence found during a warrantless search and seizure of a bag that the police seized from the back seat of the vehicle in which Defendant had been riding, holding that no prejudice resulted from the suppression motion being overruled. On appeal, Defendant argued that under Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332 (2009), and State v. Carrawell, 481 S.W.3d 833 (Mo. banc 2016), the evidence should have been suppressed because, contrary to the ruling of the circuit court, the drugs and drug paraphernalia in the bag were not within his possession or control when the bag was seized. The Supreme Court affirmed without reaching the issue of whether Gant or Carrawell required the suppression of the evidence, holding that any error was not prejudicial because other unchallenged evidence fully supported the judgment reached by the circuit court. View "State v. Hughes" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court denying Appellants’ motion to compel arbitration pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. 435.440.1, holding that the circuit court erred in refusing to compel arbitration on the basis that the arbitration agreement signed by the parties contained a delegation provision mandating that the arbitrator had exclusive authority to decide threshold questions of arbitrability, holding that the delegation provision was valid and enforceable. Appellant asserted in the circuit court that both the delegation provision and the agreement as a whole lacked mutual obligations and that there was no consideration for either the agreement or the delegation provision. The circuit court agreed with Appellants. The Supreme Court did not, holding that the delegation provision was a mutual promise to arbitrate any threshold questions of arbitrability which may arise, and therefore, the delegation clause was bilateral in nature, and consideration was present. View "Soars v. Easter Seals Midwest" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission finding Appellant’s claim for refund of sales tax untimely under Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.190.2, holding that the refund claim was untimely because it was filed more than three years after the tax return was due and more than three years after the date Appellant paid the tax. On appeal, Appellant conceded that it filed its refund request more than three years after remitting the sales tax. Appellant, however, asserted that the request was timely because 12 C.S.R. 10-102.016(2)(A) provides that a refund claim should also be considered timely if filed within three years of the date the tax return was due and that Appellant filed the refund request within three years of the latter date. The Supreme Court affirmed without reaching the issue of whether 12 C.S.R. 10-102.016(2)(A) is valid and consistent with section 144.190.2, holding that, even if 12 C.S.R. 10-102.016(2)(A) is applicable, Appellant was incorrect about when its return was due, and therefore, Appellant’s refund request was untimely. View "Crescent Plumbing Supply Company v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent its preliminary writ of prohibition barring Respondent, Judge Bryan E. Round, from enforcing his order disqualifying the entire Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO) in the underlying post-conviction case, holding that Respondent’s order failed to comply with the Supreme Court’s holding in State v. Lemasters, 456 S.W.3d 416 (Mo. banc 2015), and will cause irreparable harm if relief is not granted. Jeanette Wolpink of the Missouri Public Defender System (MPDS) was appointed to represent on appeal Defendant in the underlying case. After Defendant’s convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal, but before his amended post-conviction motion was filed, Wolpink left the MPDS and was hired by the PAO. After Defendant filed his amended post-conviction motion, he moved to disqualify the entire PAO because Wolpink represented him in his direct appeal. Respondent sustained the motion and disqualified the entire PAO. Relator, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters-Baker, then sought this writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that Wolpink’s conflict is not imputed to the entire PAO under the appearance of impropriety test, and by disqualifying Relator, Respondent infringed upon Relator’s ability to carry out her duties as a public officer. View "State ex rel. Jean Peters-Baker v. Honorable Bryan E. Round" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent its preliminary writ of prohibition barring Respondent, Judge Timothy J. Boyer, from enforcing his order disqualifying the entire City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (CAO) in the underlying case, holding that Respondent’s order failed to comply with the Supreme Court’s holding in State v. Lemasters, 456 S.W.3d 416 (Mo. banc 2015), and will cause irreparable harm if relief is not granted. Defendant in the underlying case was charged with several offenses. Officer A.F. resorted to the use of deadly force to apprehend Davis and, consequently, Relator, City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, initiated an investigation into Officer A.F.’s use of force against Defendant. Prior to Defendant’s preliminary hearing, Officer A.F. moved to disqualify the CAO. Respondent disqualified the CAO from prosecuting Defendant’s case, concluding that there was an appearance of impropriety because the CAO was actively prosecuting Defendant while simultaneously reviewing the conduct of the officer upon whom it was relying to effectuate the prosecution. Relator then sought this writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that Respondent failed to recognize the limitations placed on his authority to disqualify counsel and that Respondent’s order unnecessarily interfered with Relator’s duty to represent the interests of the public. View "State ex rel. Gardner v. Honorable Timothy J. Boyer" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law