Summary of the House Committee Version of the Bill


SPONSOR:  Wheeler (Byrd)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Judiciary
by a vote of 16 to 0.

This substitute changes the laws regarding court procedures and
court personnel.  In its major provisions, the substitute:

(1)  Specifies that the Joint Committee on Legislative Research
annually collate, index, print, and bind all laws and resolutions
passed or adopted by the General Assembly;

(2)  Revises the requirements for the publication and
distribution of all laws and resolutions by the joint committee;

(3)  Requires that each edition of the Revised Statutes of
Missouri and its annotations be produced in an electronic format
and allows the Revisor of Statutes to distribute the revised
statutes in the electronic version or the bound version, or both;

(4)  Specifies that the State Legal Expense Fund is available for
health care providers who serve in county jails and any attorney
licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri who practices
law at a non-profit community social services center qualified as
exempt from federal taxation, or through any federal, state, or
local government agency;

(5)  Specifies that the juvenile court has concurrent
jurisdiction with the municipal court over any child who is
alleged to have violated a municipal curfew ordinance;

(6)  Requires the juvenile officer to make a risk and needs
assessment, which will be written on a standardized form approved
by the Office of State Courts Administrator;

(7)  Specifies the form for verified pleadings in proceedings
under Chapter 452, RSMo;

(8)  Allows the court to issue a direct payment order for
guardian ad litem fees in a dissolution or separation proceeding;

(9)  Specifies that the filing of a parenting plan for a child
over the age of 18 is not required in a proceeding involving the
establishment or modification of custody, visitation, or support;

(10)  Revises the definitions of "stalking" and "course of
conduct" and adds definitions for "repeated" and "alarm" as they
relate to the adult abuse and child order of protection statutes;

(11)  Allows the court to retain jurisdiction over a full order
of protection for its entire duration and schedule regular
compliance reviews.  The terms of an order of protection are
enforceable by all remedies available at law for the enforcement
of a judgment;

(12)  Specifies that the clerk and other non-judicial personnel
of the probate division of the circuit court of any city not
within a county will be appointed by the judge of the probate
division with the consent of the court en banc, unless otherwise
provided by local court rule;

(13)  Establishes an exception to the current requirement that a
person is disqualified from serving as a juror if that person is
unable to read, speak, and understand English, when the
disability is due to a vision or hearing impairment which can be
adequately compensated for through the use of auxiliary aids or

(14)  Allows court clerks to collect a fee for processing
passport applications and allocates part of the fee to the county
where the application was processed;

(15)  Removes a provision that exempted municipal judges and
court personnel in Jackson County from the court management and
case docketing rules of the Jackson County circuit court;

(16)  Requires the judge of the court to make the decision as to
whether the juror can be excused for physical or financial
hardship reasons and specifies when an exemption for extreme
physical or financial hardship is warranted or when individuals
may request a postponement of their jury service.  A person who
fails to appear for jury service and has failed to obtain a
postponement is in civil contempt of court and the court may
impose a fine not exceeding $500 and order the prospective juror
to complete a period of community service;

(17)  Specifies that an employee is not required to use vacation,
sick, or personal leave for jury duty and requires a court to
reschedule the service of a summoned juror of an employer with
five or fewer employees if another employee has been summoned to
appear during the same period;

(18)  Increases the maximum number of small claims cases that a
party can file in one year from eight to 12;

(19)  Allows law library fees to be used for courtroom renovation
and for debt service on bonds in any county not on the
nonpartisan court plan;

(20)  Allows Cass County to assess a $10 surcharge in criminal
cases to fund the operation of the county judicial facility;

(21)  Adds certain types of property to the list of property that
is exempt from attachment and execution;

(22)  Provides that in rent and possession actions pursuant to
Chapter 535, the strict notice requirements for termination of
month-to-month tenancies in Section 441.060 are not applicable;
and cases will be heard by a court without a jury;

(23)  Allows for an appeal of denials of class action

(24)  Revises provisions relating to trial de novo in small
claims court and landlord tenant actions;

(25)  Allows injunctions to be granted by a circuit judge or an
associate circuit judge;

(26)  Revises the provisions relating to the public notice of a
name change for individuals who are victims of a crime involving
domestic violence or child abuse;

(27)  Removes the requirement that the notice in landlord tenant
proceedings be made by certified mail;

(28)  Revises the statute of limitations for a civil action for
recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual
abuse from five to 10 years after the victim reached the age of
21 or within three years of when the victim discovered that the
injury or illness was caused by childhood sexual abuse;

(29)  Allows for the application and issuance of search warrants
and arrest warrants by facsimile or other electronic means;

(30)  Adds documents of historical significance with a fair
market value of $500 or more to the items specified in Section
570.030, relating to stealing;

(31)  Revises the definition of "library" and the crime of
library theft;

(32)  Specifies that certain records of investigations by peace
officers must be made available to hiring law enforcement

(33)  Increases the number of officers on the Peace Officer
Standards and Training Commission from nine to 11 and provides
that two members of the commission must be rank-and-file peace

(34)  Revises provisions relating to the Crime Victims'
Compensation Fund;

(35)  Allows the release of law enforcement incident and
investigative reports to family members if the person involved is
deceased or incompetent;

(36)  Allows court-appointed legal counsel in electroconvulsive
therapy cases to be awarded reasonable attorney fees;

(37)  Requires the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court to
designate 10 circuits with the lowest number of filings per judge
each year.  Court reporters in these circuits may be assigned to
prepare transcripts from other circuits; and

(38)  Allows real estate licensees to be immune from civil
liability for statements made by engineers, surveyors,
geologists, and inspectors in certain situations.

An emergency clause applies to the provisions relating to the
publication of laws and resolutions passed by the General

FISCAL NOTE:  Estimated Cost on General Revenue Fund of $1,500 to
Unknown in FY 2005, FY 2006, and FY 2007.  Estimated Effect on
Other State Funds of a cost of Unknown to an income of More than
$1,463,244 in FY 2005, a cost of Unknown to an income of More
than $1,762,944 in FY 2006, and a cost of Unknown to an income of
More than $1,762,944 in FY 2007.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that the bill will simplify the
process for landlords taking action against tenants who are
delinquent in their rent and eliminates the requirement to send
certified mail.  The bill will save circuit courts time and

Testifying for the bill were Senator Wheeler; Judicial Conference
of Missouri; Office of State Courts Administrator; Missouri
Association of Realtors; and Associate Circuit Judge Association.

OPPONENTS:  There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Amy Woods, Legislative Analyst

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
92nd General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated September 23, 2004 at 11:16 am