Supreme Court of Missouri Decisions 2015

Blanchette v. Blanchette  
Date: December 22, 2015
Docket Number: SC95053

Justia Opinion Summary: The circuit court registered Kelly Blanchette and Steven Blanchette’s foreign judgment of dissolution and two subsequent judgments modifying custody visitation and support, all issued in West Virginia. Kelly had asked th...

Greer v. Sysco Food Servs.  
Date: December 8, 2015
Docket Number: SC94724

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits against Employer and the Second Injury Fund for an ankle injury. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) determined that Employee was entitled to temporary total disabi...

State ex rel. Clemons v. Larkins  
Date: November 24, 2015
Docket Number: SC90197

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the murders to two sisters. Petitioner was sentenced to death for the murders. Petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Cour...

Geier v. Missouri Ethics Comm’n  
Date: November 24, 2015
Docket Number: SC94951

Justia Opinion Summary: Gerald Geier, an accountant, was the treasurer of Stop Now!, a Missouri political action committee (PAC). Geier was required to register the PAC with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC). Stop Now! became inactive after...

Strake v. Robinwood W. Cmty. Improvement Dist.  
Date: November 10, 2015
Docket Number: SC94842

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant filed suit against Robinwood West Community Improvement District, alleging that Robinwood violated the Sunshine Law by not disclosing various public records, including those relating to Robinwood’s settlement o...

S.C. v. Juvenile Officer  
Date: November 10, 2015
Docket Number: SC95049

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, a juvenile, was convicted of first-degree attempted rape. The juvenile court ordered that Appellant register on the juvenile sex offender registry. Appellant appealed, arguing that ordering him to register as...

State v. Meacham  
Date: October 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC94668

Justia Opinion Summary: Father was charged with criminal nonsupport in violation of Mo. Rev. Stat. 568.040. Father filed a motion to dismiss the information and to declare section 568.040.1 unconstitutional as a violation of his due process rig...

Lang v. Goldsworthy  
Date: October 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC94814

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed a wrongful death action alleging that the negligent chiropractic services of Defendants caused the death of their relative. Plaintiffs filed an affidavit stating that they obtained the written opinion of...

New Garden Restaurant, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue  
Date: October 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC94897

Justia Opinion Summary: New Garden Restaurant, Inc. received “estimated audit assessments” from the Department of Revenue notifying New Garden that it owed $43,738 in unpaid sales tax. New Garden claimed it never received final assessment notic...

Cox v. Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Inc.  
Date: September 22, 2015
Docket Number: SC94462

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was sixty-one years old when his employment with the Kansas City Chiefs was terminated. Plaintiff was replaced by a younger worker. Plaintiff filed a petition in the circuit court alleging a single act of age d...

In re: Eric Alexander Farris, Respondent.
Date: September 8, 2015
Docket Number: SC94418
McNeal v. McNeal-Sydnor  
Date: September 8, 2015
Docket Number: SC94435

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, who was incarcerated, sought a dissolution of his marriage to his wife. The circuit court entered an order dismissing Appellant’s petition. Appellant appealed, challenging the constitutional validity of the ap...

Boland v. Saint Luke's Health Sys., Inc.  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SC93906

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from five separate but essentially identical wrongful death claims brought by Plaintiffs against Hospital. The petitions alleged that a former employee of the hospital intentionally administered a letha...

State ex rel. Beisly v. Hon. Perigo  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SC94030

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, the State charged Bob Beisly with the 2009 death of Belinda Beisley. Wilma Jean Irwin subsequently filed a wrongful death action against Beisly. Beisly moved to dismiss Irwin’s action, arguing that her claim was...

City of Moline Acres v. Brennan  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SC94085

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with violating the City of Moline Acres Ordinance 395.010. Defendant moved to dismiss the charge, arguing that the Ordinance and the City’s Notice of Violation contradicted state law and/or violated...

State v. Merritt  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SC94096

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the unlawful possession charges, claiming that the felon-in-possession law violates the Missouri Constituti...

Tupper v. City of St. Louis  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SC94212

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs each received notices that they had violated ordinance 66868, the City of St. Louis’s red light camera ordinance. Plaintiffs filed suit challenging the validity of the ordinance and seeking a declaratory judgm...

City of St. Peters v. Roeder  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SC94379

Justia Opinion Summary: The City of St. Peters enacted ordinance 4536 to authorize the use of an automated red light enforcement system. The ordinance creates an offense when a person fails to comply with the City Traffic Code and the violation...

Pasternak v. Pasternak  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SC94488

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother and Father dissolved their marriage pursuant to a judgment of dissolution that granted Mother and Father joint legal and physical custody of their two minor children. Mother later announced her intent to relocate...

State v. McCoy  
Date: August 18, 2015
Docket Number: SC94564

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm. Defendant appealed, arguing that the felon-in-possession law violates the Missouri Constitution’s protection of his right to bear arms. Whi...

Miss. Municipal League v. State  
Date: August 4, 2015
Docket Number: SC94493

Justia Opinion Summary: The Missouri Municipal League (MML) filed this lawsuit challenging the validity of Mo. Rev. Stat. 302.341.2, as enacted in House Bill 103 (HB103), claiming that HB103 violated the bill-passage requirements in article III...

State v. Taylor  
Date: August 4, 2015
Docket Number: SC94503

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of one count of possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to sixteen years in prison as a prior and persistent drug offender. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment,...

State v. Randle  
Date: August 4, 2015
Docket Number: SC94646

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first-degree trespass, second-degree assault, and armed criminal action. The trial court sentenced Defendant to six months in jail for trespass and seven years each in priso...

State v. Roberts  
Date: August 4, 2015
Docket Number: SC94711

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of second-degree domestic assault and witness tampering. Defendant was sentenced to consecutive sentences of five years imprisonment for second-degree assault and two years for...

Stewart v. Partamian  
Date: July 21, 2015
Docket Number: SC94120

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent filed a medical negligence lawsuit alleging that Appellants negligently failed to timely drain Respondent’s prostate abscess, causing the abscess to rupture. After a trial, the jury returned a verdict in Respo...

State ex rel. ISP Minerals, Inc. v. Labor & Indus. Relations Comm’n  
Date: July 21, 2015
Docket Number: SC94478

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits arising out of a work-related pulmonary condition. Employer and Employee entered into a settlement that expressly left “future related pulmonary med[ical] care op...

Dunivan v. State  
Date: July 21, 2015
Docket Number: SC94641

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1993, Respondent pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sex abuse, which required him to register as a sex offender. In 2012, Respondent filed a petition to be removed from Missouri’s sex offender registry and t...

State ex rel. Richardson v. Hon. Daniel R. Green  
Date: July 21, 2015
Docket Number: SC94716

Justia Opinion Summary: Larry Welch pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault. Defendant was driving while intoxicated at the time of the offenses. Welch was sentenced to two c...

Copeland v. Wicks  
Date: July 21, 2015
Docket Number: SC94804

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother was charged with felony child abuse after an investigation by Detective. Mother was ultimately acquitted. Mother subsequently brought this action against Detective for malicious prosecution and for violating 42 U....

VisionStream, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: SC94441

Justia Opinion Summary: VisionStream, Inc., a Missouri corporation that designed and constructed trade show exhibits and displays, filed for a refund of Missouri sales taxes it remitted for its sale of trade show displays that it produced and s...

Dotson v. Kander  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: SC94482

Justia Opinion Summary: In this original proceeding, Plaintiff challenged the sufficiency and fairness of the ballot title for a proposal modifying the right to bear arms in the state constitution. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether...

Shoemyer v. Kander  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: SC94516

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed an election contest challenging the summary statement in the ballot title of a proposed constitutional amendment, arguing that the ballot title was insufficient and unfair. At issue in this case, like Do...

State v. Claycomb  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: SC94526

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of felony criminal nonsupport. Defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support a finding of guilt of criminal nonsupport. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Stat...

Arbors at Sugar Creek Homeowners Ass’n v. Jefferson Bank & Trust Co., Inc.  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: SC94693

Justia Opinion Summary: Evolution Development LLC purchased land to create the Arbors at Sugar Creek through loans provided by Jefferson Bank & Trust Company. Evolution recorded an “Indenture” to run with the land. Evolution subsequently declar...

Bate v. Greenwich Ins. Co.  
Date: June 16, 2015
Docket Number: SC94256

Justia Opinion Summary: Charles and Deborah Bate were both seriously injured in a head-on vehicle collision. After obtaining a judgment against the driver of the opposing vehicle the Bates sued Greenwich Insurance Company seeking underinsured m...

Airport Tech Partners, LLP v. State  
Date: June 16, 2015
Docket Number: SC94269

Justia Opinion Summary: Airport Tech Partners, LLP and Stentor Company, LLC (collectively, Airport Tech) brought a declaratory judgment action against the State, arguing that section 137.115.1 violates the uniformity clause of the Missouri Cons...

State v. Amick  
Date: June 16, 2015
Docket Number: SC94324

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree arson. The trial court sentenced Defendant to life imprisonment for the murder. Before the jury began deliberating, the trial court ex...

Anderson v. Union Elec. Co.  
Date: June 16, 2015
Docket Number: SC94372

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff brought this action against Union Electric Company (UE) for wrongful death after her two children drowned in the Lake of the Ozarks, an impoundment created by Bagnell Dam. Both the Lake and the dam are owned by...

Missouri Pub. Serv. Comm’n v. Office of Pub. Counsel  
Date: June 16, 2015
Docket Number: SC94470

Justia Opinion Summary: Liberty Energy (Midstates) Corp. (Liberty), a public utility and a gas corporation, requested an increase to its Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS). After an evidentiary hearing, the Missouri Public Servi...

State v. Coleman  
Date: June 16, 2015
Docket Number: SC94554

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was convicted of second-degree robbery. Defendant was sentenced as a persistent offender to ten years’ imprisonment. Defendant appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence t...

State ex rel. Strong v. Griffith  
Date: June 7, 2015
Docket Number: SC95043

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2003, Appellant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to death. In 2015, Appellant filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that he should not be executed because he was severe...

Eaton v. CMH Homes, Inc.  
Date: May 26, 2015
Docket Number: SC94374

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff purchased a manufactured home from Defendant. The contract between Plaintiff and Defendant included an arbitration clause. Plaintiff later sued Defendant alleging fraud, negligence, breach of contract, and negl...

State ex rel. Hodges v. Hon. Asel  
Date: May 26, 2015
Docket Number: SC94886

Justia Opinion Summary: Relator pleaded guilty to one count of driving while intoxicated as a chronic offender and was sentenced to five years imprisonment and participation in a long-term substance abuse treatment program. After successfully c...

State ex rel. Mammen v. Hon. Chapman  
Date: May 26, 2015
Docket Number: SC94913

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Relator was found guilty of driving while intoxicated and sentenced to ten years imprisonment and participation in a long-term substance abuse treatment program. After Relator successfully completed t...

Gateway Taxi Mgmt. v. Div. of Employment Sec.  
Date: May 12, 2015
Docket Number: SC94464

Justia Opinion Summary: Geteway Taxi Management, d/b/a Laclede Cab Company (Laclede), operated a taxi service in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The Division of Employment Security determined that Laclede was liable for unemployment tax becaus...

Spalding v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co.  
Date: May 12, 2015
Docket Number: SC94580

Justia Opinion Summary: Randy Spalding filed suit against Stewart Title Guaranty Company, alleging breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay in regard to a title insurance policy. After a jury trial, the circuit court entered an amended j...

State ex rel. Hewitt v. Hon. Kerr  
Date: April 28, 2015
Docket Number: SC93846

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a former employee of the St. Louis Rams Partnership, filed an action claiming age discrimination against the Partnership and three of its affiliates. The Rams moved to compel arbitration, citing an arbitration...

Ambers-Phillips v. SSM DePaul Health Ctr.  
Date: April 28, 2015
Docket Number: SC94322

Justia Opinion Summary: Shonda Ambers-Phillips and her husband, Richard Phillips, filed a medical malpractice action against SSM DePaul Health Center for leaving foreign objects in Ambers-Phillips’s abdomen nearly fourteen years earlier. The tr...

Piatt v. Ind. Lumbermen's Mutual Ins. Co.  
Date: April 28, 2015
Docket Number: SC94364

Justia Opinion Summary: Linda Nunley was killed while working for a charcoal manufacturer. Plaintiffs, Nunley’s three children and her mother, obtained a judgment for wrongful death against Junior Flowers, the company’s sole owner, director, an...

Labrayere v. Bohr Farms, LLC  
Date: April 14, 2015
Docket Number: SC93816

Justia Opinion Summary: Bohr Farms owned and operated a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) that accommodated more than 4,000 hogs. Cargill Pork, LLC owned the hogs. Appellants, several landowners and other individuals, brought this ac...

Moore v. State  
Date: April 14, 2015
Docket Number: SC94277

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of second-degree assault of a probation and parole officer. The court of appeals affirmed. Appellant subsequently filed a pro se Mo. R. Crim. P. 29.15 motion. The motion court...

State ex rel. Cole v. Griffith  
Date: April 9, 2015
Docket Number: SC94880

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, and two counts of armed criminal action. Petitioner was sentenced to death for the murder. The convictions were affir...

State v. Driskill  
Date: March 31, 2015
Docket Number: SC93882

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of forcible rape, one count of forcible sodomy, and five counts of armed criminal action. Defendant received two death senten...

LeBeau v. Comm’rs of Franklin County  
Date: March 31, 2015
Docket Number: SC94348

Justia Opinion Summary: After the General Assembly enacted HB 1171, which amended Mo. Rev. Stat. 67.320 to permit any first-class county within a certain population range to establish a county municipal court division, the Franklin County Commi...

State ex rel. Clayton v. Griffith  
Date: March 14, 2015
Docket Number: SC94841

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Cecil Clayton was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. After unsuccessfully pursuing an appeal and post-conviction relief, Clayton filed a federal petition for a writ of habeas...

State v. Sisco  
Date: March 10, 2015
Docket Number: SC93785

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree, and two counts of armed criminal action. On the day of trial, after the trial court denied the state’s request to reconsider granting a...

Taylor v. Bar Plan Mut. Ins. Co.  
Date: March 10, 2015
Docket Number: SC94250

Justia Opinion Summary: Client retained Attorney to handle various legal claims pertaining to the management of a trust. Attorney later came to represent Client and his wife in matters of their own estate planning and administration. Upon Attor...

State v. Smith  
Date: March 10, 2015
Docket Number: SC94313

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and two counts of armed criminal action. Defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the jury’s verdict, assert...

Andra v. Left Gate Prop. Holding, Inc.  
Date: February 24, 2015
Docket Number: SC93984

Justia Opinion Summary: Issiah Andra, a Missouri resident, filed a petition against Texas-based Left Gate Property Holding, Inc. after Andra purchased on eBay a vehicle from Left Gate that did not meet Andra’s expectations. The circuit court di...

Five Delta Alpha, LLC v. Dir. of Revenue  
Date: February 24, 2015
Docket Number: SC94224

Justia Opinion Summary: Five Delta Alpha, LLC (FDA) purchased an aircraft and immediately leased it to JetSelect, LLC. After paying Missouri use tax under protest, FDA filed a use tax refund claim with the Director of Revenue, asserting that th...

Barkley v. McKeever Enters., Inc.  
Date: February 24, 2015
Docket Number: SC94253

Justia Opinion Summary: When two of Price Chopper’s employees saw Deborah Barkley head for the store’s exit without paying for certain items, they confiscated the items and detained her at the store’s security office on suspicion of shoplifting...

Tatson, LLC v. Dir. of Revenue  
Date: February 24, 2015
Docket Number: SC94260

Justia Opinion Summary: Custom Built, a personal training company, paid Powerhouse Gym of Joplin (Powerhouse), a fitness facility, rental fees covering the lease of office space and the opportunity to market and sell personal training services...

State v. Lemasters  
Date: February 24, 2015
Docket Number: SC94295

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of one count of first-degree statutory sodomy. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by (1) denying his motion to disqualify the entire Newton County Prosec...

Earth Island Inst. v. Union Elec. Co.  
Date: February 10, 2015
Docket Number: SC93944

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, the General Assembly passed a senate bill that was codified as Mo. Rev. Stat. 393.1050, a statute exempting electric utilities that met a certain renewable energy target on a certain date from any solar energy r...

In re Marriage of M.S.  
Date: February 10, 2015
Docket Number: SC94101

Justia Opinion Summary: This case centered on a petition to dissolve a same-sex marriage. The circuit court, sua sponte, dismissed the action on grounds that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and constitutional and statutory authority to di...

Williams v. Hubbard  
Date: February 3, 2015
Docket Number: SC93853

Justia Opinion Summary: Eric Williams, the second cousin of Betty Reynolds, sued attorney Kenneth Nelson and his wife, Sandra Nelson. Kenneth had been retained by Reynolds to advise her in achieving her estate planning objectives. Williams clai...

State v. Hosier  
Date: February 3, 2015
Docket Number: SC93855

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree murder, armed criminal action, first-degree burglary, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Defendant was sentenced to death for the murder charge...

Stevens v. Markirk Construction, Inc.  
Date: February 3, 2015
Docket Number: SC94074

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2000, Plaintiff purchased a lot in a subdivision being developed by Markirk Construction, Inc., of which Kirk Jones was president. The next year, Plaintiff completed construction of a home on the lot. In 2009, Plainti...

Dutton vs. American Family Mut. Ins. Co.  
Date: February 3, 2015
Docket Number: SC94075

Justia Opinion Summary: Barbara Hiles purchased two American Family Mutual Insurance policies on two vehicles she owned, a Nissan and a Ford. While driving her Nissan, Hiles was involved in a motor vehicle accident that injured Adam Dutton. Dut...

State v. Churchill  
Date: February 3, 2015
Docket Number: SC94226

Justia Opinion Summary: The juvenile officer for the 10th Judicial Circuit filed an Emergency Petition for Protective Custody in the juvenile division of the circuit court after Mother denied the existence of her five-year-old son, JC. At an in...

Garland v. Ruhl  
Date: February 3, 2015
Docket Number: SC94230

Justia Opinion Summary: After Mother applied for child support enforcement services, the Family Support Division (FSD) issued an administrative child support order stating the proposed rights and obligations of Mother and Father. Mother disagre...

Campbell vs. County Comm’n of Franklin County  
Date: February 3, 2015
Docket Number: SC94339

Justia Opinion Summary: The Labadie Environment Organization and several individuals (collectively, Appellants) filed a writ of certiorari challenging the legality of the Franklin County Commission’s adoption of zoning amendments allowing Amere...

State v. Ess  
Date: January 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC93745

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, two counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, and one count of attempted first-degree child molestation. The Supreme Court rever...

Alberici Constructors, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue  
Date: January 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC93771

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, Alberici Constructors, Inc. sought a use tax refund for use taxes paid on out-of-state crane and welder rentals it used to install and construct manufacturing equipment at a new cement manufacturing plant in Mis...

Southwestern Bell Tel. Co. v. Dir. of Revenue  
Date: January 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC93900

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company ("SWBT") created Southwestern Bell Texas Holdings, Inc., ("Holdings") a new Delaware corporation, which created Southwestern Bell Telephone Texas LLC. SWBT then converted to a...

In re Foreclosure Liens for Delinquent Taxes by Action in rem  
Date: January 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC93982

Justia Opinion Summary: Beemer Construction Company and Seal-O-Matic Paving Company moved to set aside a tax sale of certain real property to Realty Acquisition, LLC, arguing that they had mechanic’s liens on the property and that the Director...

Fred Weber, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenue  
Date: January 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC94109

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent was a Missouri corporation that sold rock base and asphalt from its quarries and asphalt plants to paving companies to be used to construct and resurface roads and parking lots. Respondent petitioned the Direc...

Ben Hur Steel Worx, LLC v. Dir. of Revenue  
Date: January 13, 2015
Docket Number: SC94209

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant in this case was a subcontractor that purchased steel beams and other steel components that were used to fulfill Appellant's contracts to construct steel frames for large-scale commercial buildings and structur...

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