by
The Supreme Court made permanent preliminary writs of prohibition preventing the circuit court from taking any further action other than to sever Michael Blaes’ claims from the separate claims made by multiple plaintiffs in the underlying case pending in St. Louis City and to transfer Blaes’ claims to St. Louis County, holding that venue was proper in St. Louis County. In the Swann action, Plaintiffs filed suit against Relators in St. Louis City alleging that they or their decedents developed ovarian cancer from using products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson with talc provided by Imerys Talc America, Inc. Blaes, whose wife died of ovarian cancer, was named as a plaintiff in the first amended petition. The circuit court subsequently designated Blaes’ claims for a separate trial. Relators renewed previously filed motions to sever and transfer for improper venue, which the circuit court overruled. Relators then sought writs of prohibition arguing venue in St. Louis City was improper and seeking to compel the circuit court to transfer Blaes’ separate claims to the proper venue in St. Louis County. The Court issued writs of prohibition, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion in overruling Relators’ motions to sever Blaes’ claims and transfer the to St. Louis County, where Blaes’ wife was first injured. View "State ex rel. Johnson & Johnson v. Honorable Rex M. Burlison" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court dismissing Mary Doe’s second amended petition seeking to enjoin the enforcement of a portion of the Missouri Informed Consent Law, Mo. Rev. Stat. 188.027 - which she alleged required her to read a booklet, have an ultrasound, and wait seventy-two hours before having an abortion - for failure to state a claim, holding that the circuit court did not err in dismissing the petition. In her petition, Doe claimed that requiring her to read the booklet violated her rights under the Establishment Clause and that reading the booklet and requiring her to have an ultrasound violated her rights under the Missouri Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Mo. Rev. Stat. 1.302.1. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Doe’s request for injunctive relief, holding (1) the informed consent law does not adopt any religious tenant but requires those seeking an abortion be offered a booklet that repeats two principles set out in Mo. Rev. Stat. 1.205; (2) the informed consent law does not require a pregnant woman to read the booklet or to have an ultrasound; and (3) Doe did not allege how the seventy-two hour waiting period conflicts with her religion or that it was an undue burden. View "Doe v. Parson" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court made permanent the preliminary writ of mandamus directing Respondent, the Honorable Jodie Asel, to enter a judgment in Jennifer Henderson’s case against the Business Loop Community Improvement District, Tom May, and Carrie Gartner (collectively, Defendants), holding that a writ of mandamus is an appropriate remedy to compel Respondent to sign and file a judgment resolving Henderson’s claims. Henderson filed suit against Defendants asserting claims challenging the results of a sales tax election. Respondent sustained Defendants’ motion to dismiss and dismissed the cause without prejudice. Henderson then filed a motion for Respondent to denominate the dismissal order a “judgment” so she could appeal. The motion was overruled. Henderson later petitioned the court of appeals for a writ directing Respondent to denominate the dismissal order a judgment. The court of appeals denied the petition, and Henderson then petitioned the Supreme Court for the same relief. The Court issued a preliminary writ of mandamus, which it made permanent, holding that because the dismissal order was intended to resolve all of Henderson’s claims against Defendants it was a judgment and must be denominated as such. View "State ex rel. Henderson v. Honorable Jodie Asel" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
The Supreme Court held in these two cases that a probationer may not be discharged from probation as a result of Earned Compliance Credits (ECCs) accrued under Mo. Rev. Stat. 217.703 unless she has paid the full amount of any court-ordered restitution because Mo. Rev. Stat. 559.105.2, which prohibits such a discharge if the probationer has failed to pay the full amount of court-ordered restitution, takes precedence over section 217.703.7. In the case of Nettie Pallai, the judge sustained Pallai’s motion for discharge from probation, and the prosecutor, Kevin Hillman, petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of prohibition. In the case of Erica Long, the judge overruled Long’s motion to be discharged from probation. Both Pallai and Long accrued sufficient ECCs to be discharged under section 213.703.7 but failed to pay restitution. The Supreme Court made permanent the preliminary writ of probation in Hillman’s case and quashed the preliminary writ of prohibition in Long’s case, holding that a probationer may accrue ECCs under section 217.703.3, but she may not be discharged from probation by applying those ECCs to shorten her term of probation under section 217.703.7 unless she pays any court-ordered restitution in full pursuant to section 559.105.2. View "State ex rel. Hillman v. Honorable John D. Beger" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court overruling Unifund CCR Partners Assignee of Citibank (South Dakota) N.A.’s motion for revival of judgment on grounds it was filed out of time, holding that the motion was timely filed. On June 28, 2005 the circuit court entered a default judgment in favor of Unifund and against William Abright. Unified served garnishments on Abright’s employer, who paid the garnished funds into the circuit court registry, and the last payment into the registry was made July 26, 2007. On July 17, 2017, Unifund filed a motion for revival of the judgment against Abright. The circuit court overruled the motion as untimely. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Unifund’s July 17, 2017 motion to revive the judgment was timely filed within ten years of the last prior revival of the judgment on July 26, 2007. View "Unifund CCR Partners, Assignee of Citibank (South Dakota) N.A. v. Abright" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of prohibition to prevent the circuit court from taking any further action other than ordering Plaintiffs’ legal malpractice action to be transferred from St. Louis City to St. Charles County, holding that the circuit court exceeded its authority in issuing a ruling on Relators’ motion to transfer after the statutory ninety-day period expired. Plaintiffs filed a legal malpractice action against Relators and alleged venue was proper in St. Louis City. Relators moved to transfer for improper venue, contending that Plaintiffs were first injured in St. Charles County. The circuit court overruled Relators’ motion. Relators filed a writ of prohibition with the Supreme Court seeking to compel the circuit court to transfer the cause to St. Charles County. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ of prohibition, ordering the circuit court to take no further action in this matter. The Supreme Court then made permanent the writ, holding that the circuit court lacked authority to do anything other than transfer the cause to St. Charles County because the circuit court’s failure to rule upon Relators’ motion to transfer within the ninety-day period under Mo. Rev. Stat. 508.010.10 resulted in Relators’ motion being deemed granted. View "State ex rel. HeplerBroom, LLC v. Honorable Joan L. Moriarty" on Justia Law

by
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

by
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

by
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

by
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