Justia Missouri Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court declaring section 11.800 of House Bill No. 2011 (HB2011) invalid, holding that there was a direct conflict between the language of Mo. Rev. Stat. 208.153.2 and 208.152.1(6), (12) requiring the MO HealthNet Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services to pay its authorized providers for covered physicians' services and family planning provided to Medicaid-eligible individuals and the language of section 11.800 prohibiting MO HealthNet from doing so. Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood (Planned Parenthood) was an authorized provider of physicians' services and family planning because it had an agreement with MO HealthNet to do so. MO HealthNet informed Planned Parenthood that it could not reimburse Planned Parenthood for those services during the fiscal year 2019 due to section 11.800, which stated that "No funds shall be expended to any abortion facility...." The circuit court concluded that section 11.800 of HB2011 violated Mo. Const. Art. III, 23 because it amended substantive law. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 11.800 was invalid because article III, section 23 prohibits using an appropriation bill to amend a substantive statute; and (2) the circuit court properly severed that provision from the remainder of HB2011. View "Planned Parenthood of St. Louis Region v. Department of Social Services, Division of Medical Services" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the clean water commission approving Trenton Farms' permit to establish a twin concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), holding that House Bill No. 1713 (HB 1713) does not violate the original purpose, single subject, or clear title requirements of the Missouri Constitution and that there was sufficient evidence regarding the CAFO's protection from a 100-year flood. The clean water commission affirmed the department of natural resource's issuance of a permit to Trenton Farms to establish a CAFO. Hickory Neighbors United, Inc. appealed, arguing (1) HB 1713, which amended Mo. Rev. Stat. 644.021.1 to change the criteria for members of the commission, violated Missouri Constitution article III's original purpose requirement and single subject and clear title requirements; and (2) there was insufficient evidence that CAFO's manure containment structures would be protected from inundation or damages in the event of a 100-year flood, a requirement of 10 C.S.R. 20-8.300. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) HB 1713 is constitutionally valid; and (2) there was sufficient evidence that CAFO structures met regulatory requirements. View "In re Trenton Farms RE, LLC Permit No. MOGS10520" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) that certain equipment purchased by Dreyer Electric Co. was exempt from sales tax because it was "replacement equipment" "used directly in the manufacturing process," as those terms are used in Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.030.2(5), holding that the AHC erred. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the AHC correctly applied the three-factor "integrated plant doctrine" test set out in Floyd Charcoal Co. v. Director of Revenue, 599 S.W.2d 173 (Mo. banc 1980), to determine whether the subject replacement parts and equipment were "used directly in manufacturing"; but (2) the AHC erred in making specific findings as to some parts and then grouping all the parts together, including those it had not mentioned specifically in its decision, to find they were collectively integral to the electrical system that powered the machinery. The Court remanded the case for application of the integrated plant test to each type of replacement part or equipment purchased. View "Dreyer Electric Co., LLC v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) holding that The Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Inc. (the team) was the "purchaser" of certain items used in the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium and its related facilities and was, therefore, liable for sales and use tax on those items, holding that the AHC erred in determining that the team was the purchaser of the items. After the renovation was complete, the Director of Revenue conducted a sales and use tax audit and determined that the team was liable for sales and use tax on seven categories of contested items purchased from the nine vendors at issue in this appeal. The team appealed to the AHC, which found the team liable for sales tax and use tax on the items. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the team was not the source of the consideration for the contested items and, therefore, was not the purchaser of the items, as that term is used in Missouri's sales and use tax statutes. View "Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Inc. v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission denying Employee's workers' compensation benefits on the grounds that she failed to prove her work injury was the prevailing or primary factor causing any permanent disability and denying Employee's claim against the Second Injury Fund as moot, holding that the Commission did not err. Employee was exposed to cypermethrin, an insecticide, while working for Employer. When Employee was at the doctor's office for testing, another patient's dog got loose and tripped Employee. Employee fell and allegedly sustained permanent injuries to her knees, lower back, hip and neck. Employee filed a claim for workers' compensation asserting that, in addition to cypermethrin exposure, she sustained injuries from being tripped while walking out of the doctor's office. An ALJ awarded Employee benefits. The Commission reversed, concluding that Employee failed to meet her burden of proving her exposure to cypermethrin was the prevailing or primary factor in causing any alleged injury from being tripped accidentally. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Employee was not entitled to workers' compensation for any injury sustained from her accidental tripping; and (2) because Employee's accidental tripping did not arise out of and in the course of her employment, the Fund was not implicated. View "Schoen v. Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission determining that DI Supply I, LLC's room furnishing sales to the Drury Hotels were not exempt from sales tax under the resale exemption in Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.010.1(11), holding that DI Supply failed to meet its burden to prove that the items it sold to Drury Hotels were resold by the hotels. An audit determined that DI Supply failed to remit sales tax on more than $11 million in taxable sales of room furnishings to Drury Hotels during the audit period. DI Supply contested the tax liability, arguing that the items of tangible personal property were purchased for resale to hotel guests and not subject to Missouri local sales or use tax. The Commission upheld $613,159 of the assessment for sales tax and interest. On appeal, DI Supply contested its sales tax liability for sales of room furnishings to Drury Hotels. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that DI Supply failed to show that Drury Hotels transferred title or ownership of the room furnishings and, therefore, failed to show the applicability of the resale exemption by clear and unequivocal proof. View "DI Supply I, LLC v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission denying Appellant's claim for workers' compensation benefits for injuries she suffered when she fell while entering her workplace, holding that Appellant failed to prove that her injury arose out of and in the course of her employment. An administrative law judge denied Appellant any workers' compensation benefits, concluding that Appellant did not meet her burden of showing that her fall was the prevailing factor causing the conditions of which she complained. The Commission affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to establish that her injury arose out of her employment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant's claim was noncompensable because she failed to prove her injury arose out of and in the course of her employment because the hazard or risk involved was one Appellant was equally exposed to in her regular, nonemployment life. View "Annayeva v. SAB of the TSD of the City of St. Louis" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's judgment holding that the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners violated the sunshine law, Mo. Rev. Stat. 610.010 et seq., in refusing to produce absentee ballot applications and envelopes to David Roland, holding that St. Louis absentee ballot applications have ceased being protected from disclosure by law. The circuit court declared that the election board had violated the sunshine law by withholding the absentee ballot applications and ballot envelopes and then taxed costs against Roland in regard to the election board's defense of Roland's assertion that the election board's violation was purposeful or knowing. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in declaring that the ballot applications were subject to disclosure, and ballot envelopes are open to the public after the voted ballot is removed; and (2) the election board was not entitled to costs under either the sunshine law or the general law governing the award of costs. View "Roland v. St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court affirming the decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC), which found cause to discipline Appellant's license as a peace officer, and the subsequent order of the Missouri Director of the Department of Public Safety, which permanently revoked Appellant's license, holding that Mo. Rev. Stat. 590.080 is valid. On appeal, Appellant argued that section 590.080, under which the AHC may find that cause for discipline exists of the licensee has committed a criminal offense, whether or not a criminal charge has been filed, violates principles of separation of powers embodied in Mo. Const. art. II, 1. Appellant further argued that the order of the Director revoking his license was not supported by competent and substantial evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) nothing in section 590.080 violates the separation of powers provision; and (2) there was ample competent and substantial evidence for the Director to conclude that continuing to license Appellant as a peace officer would not adequately protect the public. View "O'Brien v. Department of Public Safety" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the administrative hearing commission (AHC) reversing the denial of the director of the department of revenue of David and Jill Kehlenbrinks' application for a sales tax refund, holding that the AHC erroneously decided that the Kehlenbrinks were entitled to a refund of all the sales tax they paid after their purchase of a new vehicle. On appeal, the director claimed that, in calculating the sales tax owed on the Kehlenbrinks' newly purchased vehicle, Mo. Rev. Stat. 144.025.1 allowed the Kehlenbrinks to credit the sale proceeds of only one vehicle against the purchase price of the new vehicle. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the AHC erroneously decided that the Kehlenbrinks were entitled to a refund of all the sales tax they paid because it mistakenly allowed credit for four vehicles the Kehlenbrinks sold within 180 days of their purchase of a new vehicle. View "Kehlenbrink v. Director of Revenue" on Justia Law