Articles Posted in Missouri Supreme Court

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Respondent filed a declaration of candidacy to run for the position of Director of Community Fire Protection District (Community Fire). Community Fire accepted Respondent's declaration of candidacy, but Respondent was subsequently disqualified because his financial interest statement had not been timely filed. Fire Chief Charles Coyne filed a petition requesting the circuit court enter an order directing Respondent to show cause why his name should not be stricken from the ballot. The trial court ruled that Respondent was disqualified from running for the position and ordered that his name be removed from the ballot. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in its judgment, as (1) Chief Coyne had capacity to bring this action on behalf of Community Fire, which had standing to bring the action; (2) Respondent received adequate notice of his obligation to file a financial interest statement; and (3) the statutory financial interest statement notice requirements are constitutionally valid. View "Coyne v. Edwards" on Justia Law

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The appeals consolidated in this opinion arose from lawsuits challenging three proposed initiatives - a tobacco tax initiative, a minimum wage initiative, and a payday loan initiative. The underlying suits sought to prevent the initiatives from appearing on Missouri's ballot for the November 2012 election. Each of the cases challenged the constitutional validity of Mo. Rev. Stat. 116.175, which directs that the state auditor "shall assess the fiscal impact of" any proposed initiative petition and prepare a fiscal note and fiscal note summary. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's judgment in the tobacco initiative case, affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment in the minimum wage case, and affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment in the payday loan initiative cases, holding (1) section 116.175's statutory directives do not conflict with Mo. Const. art IV, 13, which provides that no duty shall be imposed on the state auditor by law which is not related to the supervising and auditing of the receipt and expenditure of public funds; and (2) the secretary of state's summary statements and the auditor's fiscal notes and fiscal note summaries for the proposed initiatives were fair and sufficient View "Brown v. Carnahan" on Justia Law

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Appellants challenged the amendments to the state earnings tax statutes, Mo. Rev. Stat. 92.105 through 92.125, raising several arguments. The trial court dismissed Appellants' second amended petition with prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the amendments did not violate Mo. Const. art. III, 51, as the initiative was not used for a de facto appropriation of money to pay the election costs to continue the earnings tax; (2) the requirement to hold recurring elections without providing state funds did not constitute an unfunded mandate in violation of the Hancock Amendment; and (3) Appellants did not state a claim for violation of an amendment to the city charter of Kansas City because the initiative process did not amend Kansas City's charter, and therefore, the constitutional requirements of Mo. Const. art. VI, 20 regarding amendments to a city's charter were not applicable. View "Dujakovich v. Carnahan" on Justia Law

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Jamilah Nasheed appealed from the trial court's judgment in favor of Robin Wright-Jones on Wright-Jones' petition challenging the qualifications of Nasheed to run for election in the Democratic Party primary for state senator for the 5th district. The trial court found the residency requirement of the Missouri Constitution was ambiguous and Nasheed did not satisfy that requirement to run in the 5th district. An exception in Mo. Const. art. III, 6 provides that if the repportionment of the districts is less than one year before the general election, candidates may reside in any district from which a portion was incorporated into the new district where the candidate seeks office, even if the candidate does not reside in that incorporated portion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Nasheed was eligible to run in the 5th district because the exception did not require Nasheed to live within the boundaries of the reapportioned senate district she sought to represent. View "Wright-Jones v. Nasheed " on Justia Law

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Rochelle Gray appealed from the judgment of the trial court in favor of Sylvester Taylor on Gray's petition challenging the qualifications of Taylor to run for election in the Democratic Party primary for state representative in the 75th district. The trial court held that although Taylor did not reside within the boundaries of the new district, the Missouri Constitution required only that he have resided for one year in the county or any of the district from which the new district was created through reapportionment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, in the context of reapportionment within one year of a general election, the Constitution requires that a candidate satisfies the one-year residency requirement by residing in the county or any district from which a portion was incorporated in the new district where the candidate seeks office, even if the candidate does not reside in that portion. View "Gray v. Taylor" on Justia Law

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Two groups of plaintiffs filed declaratory judgment actions to challenge the constitutional validity of the congressional redistricting map in H.B. 193, claiming that it failed to meet the constitutional requirements for compactness. The trial court ruled that Plaintiffs failed to prove the map violated Mo. Const. art III, 45 and entered judgments in favor of Defendants, the attorney general and secretary of state, as well as the intervenors, members of the General Assembly. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in its interpretation of the constitutional compactness standard; and (2) Plaintiffs did not meet their burden of proving that the trial court's judgment was against the weight of the evidence. View "Pearson v. Koster" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, Missouri citizens and voters, filed a declaratory judgment action against the State and secretary of state to challenge the constitutionality of the redistricting plan for the Missouri House of Representatives filed by the nonpartisan reapportionment commission. The trial court permitted three current members of the House of Representatives to intervene in the lawsuit. The court subsequently entered judgment in favor of Defendants, concluding (1) Plaintiff failed to prove that the plan did not meet the constitutional requirements for population, contiguity, and compactness; and (2) the nonpartisan reapportionment commission did not violate the "sunshine law." The court subsequently entered judgment in favor of Defendants. Plaintiffs appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in finding that Plaintiffs failed to prove the House reapportionment map was unconstitutional and in permitting intervention by the three House members; an (2) the trial court properly found that the nonpartisan reapportionment commission did not violate the sunshine law. Affirmed. View "Johnson v. State" on Justia Law

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Herschel Young was sworn in as presiding commissioner of Cass County in 2011. Teresa Hensley, the prosecuting attorney for the county, subsequently filed a quo warranto action in reliance upon Mo. Rev. Stat. 115.350, alleging that Young usurped the office of presiding commissioner because he was not qualified to be a candidate for elective public office due to a 1995 felony conviction. The circuit court granted Hensley's petition and ordered Young's ouster from office. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 115.350, as applied to Young, did not operate retrospectively in violation of the state constitution; (2) quo warranto was the appropriate remedy, and the petition was based on applicable law; and (3) section 115.350 does not violate the equal protection clause of the state constitution because it had a rational basis under the law. View "State ex inf. Hensley v. Young" on Justia Law

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Respondents, Legends Bank and John Klebba, filed a declaratory judgment action asserting that S.B. 844 (the Bill), which the Legislature passed in 2010, (1) violated the single subject requirement and original purpose requirement of the Missouri Constitution, and (2) violated the First Amendment insofar as it barred political action committees from receiving money from state chartered banks but allowed political action committees to receive money from other entities and individuals. The trial court sustained Respondents' motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding (1) procurement was the original controlling purpose of the Bill, (2) the Bill was enacted in violation of the single subject requirement of the state Constitution, and (3) the Bill violated the First Amendment. The court then voided S.B. 844 except for the procurement provisions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Bill violated Mo. Const. art III, 21, which prohibits changes in the original purpose of a bill, as (1) the original purpose of the Bill related to procurement, and (2) the vast majority of the provisions in the final version related to ethics and campaign finance, which were not germane to the original purpose of the Bill. View "Legends Bank v. State" on Justia Law

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Molly Teichman, as a citizen and qualified voter, filed a petition for permanent writs of prohibition and mandamus to prevent the secretary of state from holding an election based on either the original or revised Senate plan and map submitted by the nonpartisan senate reapportionment commission. The Supreme Court sustained the petition and directed that a writ of prohibition issue to the secretary of state, holding (1) the commission had no authority to revise the reapportionment process on its own volition even if a majority of the members of the commission recognized a constitutional infirmity in the plan and map that had been unanimously signed and filed; (2) the original plan and map violated a clear and express constitutional limitation regarding the splitting of counties and was, therefore, invalid; and (3) Mo. Const. art. III, 7 compelled the legislative process to be redone in accordance with its terms. Remanded. View "State ex rel. Teichman v. Carnahan" on Justia Law