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June 2015 Archives

Whats new in the law for the week


No Contested Case Review for Non-Contested Case
Circuit court had no authority over decision under statutes addressing judicial review of a contested case because decision was not the result of a contested case. It was the result of non-contested case because the only pre-decision hearing required no formality and did not determine any legal right, duty, or obligation. "[N]ot every case requiring a hearing is a contested case." Remanded to circuit court to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
450 N. Lindbergh Legal Fund, LLC, et al., Appellants, vs. City of Creve Coeur, Missouri, et al., Respondents
(Overview Summary)
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District - ED102404

Whats new in the law for the week


Record Required for Review of Contested Case
Procedure before agency required a hearing with some degree of formality, so it was a contested case. Judicial review only rarely includes the admission of more evidence. "In the absence of [a] circuit court's determin[ation] that the [administrative] record [i]s incomplete, it should not . . . [even] schedule[] a hearing." On appeal of circuit court judgment to Court of Appeals, party aggrieved by agency decision is the appellant, just as it was in circuit court, because Court of Appeals reviews agency decision just like circuit court, and seldom addresses circuit court error. "Thus, we find ourselves now facing an appeal of the wrong decision (the circuit court's judgment) by the wrong party (the party that prevailed before the agency), and we have only a sparse and incomplete record for purposes of reviewing the [agency]'s decision, with no real challenge made to that decision." Remanded to circuit court to either review agency decision on the record or remand to agency for the making of a record.
Larry Johnston and Gloria Gay Johnston vs. Livingston County Commission
(Overview Summary)
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District - WD78197 

Whats new in the law for the week


Personal Vindication No Exception to Mootness
In juvenile action, circuit court's jurisdiction has "continuing jurisdiction during the adjudication and dispositional phases [but] only as long as the child is in the custody of the division." "In determining mootness, the appellate court may consider facts outside the record" like a ruling that undoes judgment appealed from. Judgment restored custody to appellant, which is the relief sought on appeal, and ended circuit court jurisdiction. Mootness requires dismissal, and facts supporting an exception render dismissal discretionary, and do not require appellate review. No exception exists for collateral consequences to a party. Personal vindication is not a matter of general importance, especially where the need for vindication is speculative.
In the Interest of: J.T.S.; Juvenile Officer vs. H.J.S. (Mother)
(Overview Summary)
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District - WD77713

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Affordable Legal Services of Thomas Sandifer
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