Supreme Court of Missouri Decisions

Founded in 1820, the Missouri Supreme Court has the discretion to review appeals of cases that involve questions of general interest or importance. It also may review an appeal if a lower court reaches a decision that conflicts with a pre-existing appellate decision, or if the Supreme Court finds that the law should be re-examined. The Court holds exclusive jurisdiction over appeals in certain types of cases, such as those involving the death penalty, challenges to the outcome of an election, or challenges to the validity of state or federal laws or provisions of the state constitution.

Of the seven members of the Missouri Supreme Court, only the Chief Justice is known as a justice, while the other six members are known as judges. Article V, Section 21 of the Missouri Constitution provides the qualifications for becoming a judge on the Court. A candidate must be at least 30 years old, a qualified voter in Missouri for at least nine years, a U.S. citizen for at least 15 years, and licensed to practice law in Missouri. A judge must retire when they reach the age of 70.

Judges are selected in a process known as the Missouri Plan. This involves a list of three candidates submitted by the Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission to the Governor of Missouri. The seven-member Commission consists of the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, three attorneys chosen by the Missouri State Bar, and three citizens of Missouri who are appointed by the Governor. If the Governor does not choose one of the candidates provided by the Commission, the Commission will choose one of them. A newly appointed judge must go through a retention election in the first general election that occurs at least one year after their appointment. If they win this election, they will serve a 12-year term. The judges on the Missouri Supreme Court elect the Chief Justice, who serves a two-year term.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Missouri

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Missouri
Graves v. Missouri Department of Corrections  
Date: October 5, 2021
Docket Number: SC98501

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court dismissing Petitioner's petition for declaratory judgment for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, holding t...

Allsberry v. Flynn  
Date: September 14, 2021
Docket Number: SC99257

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment declaring that the Honorable Patrick S. Flynn did not have authority, as the presiding judge of the 45th Judicial Circuit, to suspend Karla Allsberry, the circuit clerk of Lincoln...

State v. Bales  
Date: August 31, 2021
Docket Number: SC98376

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court sustaining Defendant's motion to suppress a cell phone and electronic data stored on that cell phone, holding that the circuit court did not err in sustaining the...

State ex rel. Johnson v. Blair  
Date: August 31, 2021
Docket Number: SC99176

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied Defendant's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, holding that Defendant was eligible for the death penalty because he failed to prove that he was intellectually disabled, and Defendant was not e...

Olofson v. Olofson  
Date: July 22, 2021
Docket Number: SC98043

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the circuit court's judgment on the pleadings dismissing Wife's Rule 74.06(b) motion to set aside, for fraud, the judgment of dissolution of her marriage to Husband or, alternatively, the proper...

City of De Soto v. Parson  
Date: July 22, 2021
Docket Number: SC98891

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of the Defendants and dismissing Plaintiffs' action seeking a declaratory judgment that Mo. Rev. Stat. 321.320 is an unconsti...

Ordinola Velazquez v. University Physician Associates  
Date: July 22, 2021
Docket Number: SC98977

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's reduction of a damages award in favor of Appellant in a medical negligence case against University Physician Associates (UPA) and various physicians (collectively, the Physi...

Doyle v. Tidball  
Date: July 22, 2021
Docket Number: SC99185

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the circuit court rejecting Plaintiffs' claims challenging the refusal by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide MO HealthNet coverage, h...

Gross v. Parson  
Date: June 29, 2021
Docket Number: SC98619

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the circuit court's judgment on the pleadings in favor of Governor Michael Parson and Michelle Hallford, the custodian of records for the governor's office (collectively, the Governor's Office)...

Staten v. State  
Date: June 29, 2021
Docket Number: SC98780

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the motion court overruling Appellant's Rule 24.035 amended motion seeking to set aside his guilty plea and vacate his judgment and sentence, holding that the motion court's fin...

Hefley v. State  
Date: June 29, 2021
Docket Number: SC98876

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the postconviction relief court overruling Appellant's Rule 24.035 motion for postconviction relief, holding that the mistaken belief held by Defendant regarding his sentencing,...

Holmes v. Steelman  
Date: June 15, 2021
Docket Number: SC97983

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the circuit court in favor of Michael Holmes on his claim that the state legal expense fund (SLEF) was obligated to pay his 2016 judgment against two former officers of the St. L...

State ex rel. Helms v. Honorable Joseph Alfred Rathert  
Date: June 15, 2021
Docket Number: SC98711

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of prohibition it issued ordering the circuit court to take no other action in this wrongful death action other than to dismiss Sergeant Dirk Helms and Chief Joe Edward...

Arrowhead Lake Estates Homeowners Ass'n, Inc. v. Aggarwal  
Date: June 15, 2021
Docket Number: SC98772

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court declining to award Arrowhead Lake Estates Homeowners Association, Inc. attorney's fees after awarding Arrowhead Lake injunctive relief, holding that the circui...

Hootselle v. Missouri Department of Corrections  
Date: June 1, 2021
Docket Number: SC98252

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the circuit court awarding a class of Missouri corrections officers $113 million plus post-judgment interest for breach of contract, holding that the...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.