missouri supreme court

Mo. Supreme Court denies Franklin's appeal

Nov 19, 2013
Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

5:00pm, 11/19/13 : UPDATE: A federal judge granted Franklin a stay of execution. We'll have the latest here.

The Missouri Supreme Court has denied appeals on behalf of white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, hours before his scheduled execution.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The attorney for convicted killer Joseph Paul Franklin has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to halt Franklin's execution, citing concerns about the state's plan to use a drug obtained from a compounding pharmacy.

Attorney Jennifer Herndon, in a document filed Tuesday, wrote that the use of pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy puts Franklin at risk for a painful execution.

Franklin is scheduled to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 20 at the prison in Bonne Terre, Mo., for the sniper killing of 42-year-old Gerald Gordon outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

Updated at 10:05 a.m. Wednesday to correct Judge Teitelman's first name.

Updated with comments from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a gay man whose longtime partner, a state trooper who was killed in the line of duty, is not eligible for the trooper's survivor benefits because the two were never married.

Mo. Supreme Court hears case concerning Second Injury Fund

Oct 8, 2013
Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case involving the state’s long-ailing Second Injury Fund. The case centers on the children of a deceased worker and whether they should receive money from the fund for the rest of their lives.

David Spradling was injured on the job in 1998 and died from unrelated circumstances in 2005.  He had filed a Second Injury Fund claim, which his three children pursued after his death, and in 2011 were awarded disability payments from the Fund for life.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court again is considering a court challenge to a law permitting students to transfer from unaccredited school districts to other districts nearby.

The court upheld the law earlier in a case from the St. Louis area. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court's focus turned to Kansas City, which has been unaccredited since 2012.

Taxpayers from five surrounding districts filed suit and contend the transfer law is an unfunded mandate violating the Missouri Constitution.

Mo. Supreme Court rules for governor in budget battle

Oct 1, 2013
Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled for Gov. Jay Nixon in a budget battle with State Auditor Tom Schweich.

The court ruled Tuesday that Schweich lacked legal standing at the time to challenge about $170 million of spending cuts announced by Nixon in June 2011. The court said the challenge amounted to a pre-audit of state spending, which it said the auditor cannot do.

Schweich said the ruling is merely technical and he will consider suing again after doing a new audit of the governor's office.

Nixon said the ruling affirms his authority to balance the budget.

Flickr / steakpinball

Missouri's judiciary is making plans to do more business electronically.

Chief Justice Mary Russell says the state court system will be expanding the availability of electronic filing for attorneys and the ability of the public to view those documents.

Electronic filing already is used in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the trial courts in 15 counties and the city of St. Louis. Russell says 12 more counties will start using electronic document filing later this year, and 30 others should join next year.

Mo. Supreme Court upholds $1.5M tobacco judgment

Sep 10, 2013
Joe Gratz / Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a $1.5 million punitive damages judgment for a Kansas City area family in a long-running lawsuit against a tobacco company.

The court's ruling Tuesday affirmed the 2009 judgment against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. for the family of Barbara Smith. The Independence woman was a longtime smoker and died of a heart attack in 2000.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court is considering whether laws restricting actions by sex offenders and felons can be applied to people who were convicted before the laws were enacted.

syringe of propofol
Nottingham Vet School / Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court's decision to move ahead with two executions this year is being questioned by some death penalty observers and opponents.

The state High Court on Wednesday set execution dates for condemned killers Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin. Missouri plans to become the first-ever state to use the anesthetic propofol for lethal injection. Propofol was used in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a law that raised the state's licensing fees on animal shelters.

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States and two other animal shelters was moot. The court noted the suit challenged the procedure by which a 2010 licensing law was passed, but that lawmakers had changed the law again in 2011.

John Murden / Flickr

Two troubled St. Louis-area school districts could pay a combined $23 million to cover tuition and transportation costs for students opting to attend accredited districts.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that nearly 1,700 students in the Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts have applied to transfer. That follows a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling requiring unaccredited districts to pick up those costs for students who want to attend better schools.

The home districts must cover the tuition costs, and must pay for transportation to at least one school district.

Judge Mary Russell is set to become Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court next week.

The Hannibal native has sat on the state's highest court since 2004, and previously served on the Appeals court for Missouri's Eastern District.  Russell lists the expansion of specialty courts as one of her top priorities for her two-year term.

Legislation to redefine the relationship between liquor distributors, wholesalers and retailers has stalled in the Missouri Senate.

Tony Webster / Flickr

Missouri prosecutors advising police on undercover investigations now have greater legal protection that their conduct won't violate ethical rules.

stopnlook / FLICKR

Missouri lawmakers are trying again to re-impose local taxes on vehicles bought from out-of-state dealers or through person-to-person sales.

The state Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that local sales taxes cannot be charged on vehicles purchased outside Missouri or in private transactions. Instead, the high court said a local "use tax" could be charged if approved by local voters.

Lawmakers have passed two measures during the past two years that have sought to reverse the court ruling. Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed both, including the most recent one last month.

Efforts in Missouri to restore caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits are in limbo.

Taxes sign
401(K)2013 / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers have sent legislation to Gov. Jay Nixon that would levy local sales taxes on vehicles purchased in other states with voters’ approval.  The Governor vetoed a similar bill last year because it did not give local voters a say in whether they wanted such a tax.

monochrome / FLICKR

Voters in more than a dozen Missouri counties have approved local taxes that can be applied to out-of-state purchases.

Figures from the Missouri Association of Counties show use taxes passed in 13 of 18 counties where it appeared on Tuesday's ballots. In November, use tax proposals were defeated in six of eight counties.

Results from Tuesday for cities seeking use taxes were mixed.

State prosecutors seeking a Chillicothe man's third murder conviction in his neighbor's 1990 death will have to pursue the case without vital ballistics evidence.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a decision striking down a 2011 law that created an incentive fund for science and technology-based businesses.

In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, the court said the law was unconstitutional because the Legislature linked it to an unrelated bill about tax credits. That separate bill ultimately did not pass during a 2011 special session.

File photo / KBIA

Missouri House members have given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at helping child sex abuse prosecutions.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Supreme Court is examining whether the governor has wide discretion to cut spending, even when revenues aren't running short.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The state Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments this week in cases involving school transfers and survivor's benefits for the gay partner of a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper.

Both cases are to be argued before the high court Wednesday.

Cpl. Dennis Engelhard was killed in 2009 while investigating a Christmas Day accident on Interstate 44 southwest of St. Louis. His partner sued for survivor's benefits, but their 15-year relationship is not recognized by the state.

Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Teitelman sang the praises of the state's drug court system during his annual State of the Judiciary Address Wednesday.

He told lawmakers that 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the state’s drug courts, which provide treatment options for non-violent drug offenders.

Flickr / steakpinball

Governor Jay Nixon announced today that Paul C. Wilson will be the newest member of the Missouri Supreme Court. Wilson will fill the vacant spot left by William Ray Price Jr.

The Camerons

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a state law aimed at allowing veteran St. Louis firefighters to live outside the city limits.

A union representing 13,000 workers who provide in-home care to the disabled says it hopes a decision by the Missouri Supreme Court can clear the way for negotiations with the state on a contract.

The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear an appeal of a May ruling upholding a vote by the workers to be represented by the Missouri Home Care Union. The union says that clears the "last legal obstacle delaying negotiations" on its first contract.

The workers are paid by the state to help the disabled in their homes with daily tasks such as bathing and cleaning.

File Photo / Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a criminal defendant may be forced to pay cash to be released from jail before trial.

A St. Louis County set a $75,000 cash-only bail for a man accused of invading people's privacy by using a concealed camera in a massage therapy business. The defendant, Kirk Jackson, challenged the cash bail order.

Brian Turner / Flickr

A state nominating commission has selected a Columbia attorney as one of the three finalists to fill a vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court.