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Court of Appeals, Western District

Dec 30, 2019

Criminal Law: Post-Conviction Relief-Mailbox Rule-Active Interference Exception

Where a defendant challenged the dismissal of her pro se motion for post-conviction relief as untimely, the defendant was denied a critical piece of evidence proving the date on which her motion was mailed because the clerk failed to fulfill a mandatory duty to preserve the envelope in which the motion was mailed as required […]

Dec 30, 2019

Criminal Law: Expungement-Eligibility-Time-Period Requirements

Where appellant challenged the dismissal of his petition for expungement of his 1970 conviction for felony possession of a stimulant drug, the trial court erred by finding that the appellant was ineligible for expungement based on a subsequent felony conviction because the court improperly interpreted the time-period requirements. Judgment is reversed and remanded. J.A. v. […]

Dec 30, 2019

Criminal Law: Child Pornography-Double Jeopardy

Defendant was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography arising from a recorded video on his cell phone. On appeal, defendant argued that his conviction violated double jeopardy because possession of child pornography was a lesser-included offense of sexual exploitation of a minor. Where there was no requirement to show […]

Dec 30, 2019

Criminal Law: Assault-Evidence of Prior Criminal Convictions

Defendant appealed from his conviction for first-degree assault and armed criminal action, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion for mistrial because the state inadvertently had revealed to the jury, in response to a venireperson’s statement, that defendant had prior criminal convictions. Where the prosecutor’s statement was an accurate representation of fact […]

Dec 30, 2019

Civil Practice: Dismissal of Party-FLSA-Economic-Realities Test

Where appellant challenged a trial court order dismissing respondent as a party in a dispute involving corporate assets and liability, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the state’s minimum-wage law required the application of the economic realities test and the Fields test, and not the corporate veil-piercing analysis as applied by the court, so the […]

Dec 26, 2019

Landlord-Tenant Law: Commercial Lease-Alterations to Premises-Attorneys’ Fees

Where a tenant in a commercial-lease agreement challenged an adverse judgment for the landlord on the landlord’s breach of lease and guaranty claims, under the lease provisions the parties clearly intended rents from reletting to offset any damages owed by the tenant pursuant to its term lease only through the terms of that lease. The […]

Dec 26, 2019

Insurance: Equitable Garnishment-Ambiguity

Where insurers challenged a partial summary judgment to respondent awarding an equitable garnishment of more than $5 million to respondent in a dispute arising from respondent’s claims of malicious prosecution and civil-rights violations against a city and police defendants, the trial court did not err in finding that the policy language unambiguously provided coverage for […]

Dec 26, 2019

Criminal Law: Tampering With Evidence-Sufficiency of Evidence

Where defendant challenged his convictions including one for felony tampering with physical evidence, the defendant voluntarily admitted to the crime during his testimony and closing argument, so he was bound by the judicial admissions, and the state’s improper “acquittal first” arguments did not have a determinative effect on the verdict or result in manifest injustice […]

Dec 26, 2019

Criminal Law: Batson Challenge-Text Messages-Expectation of Privacy

1)Where a defendant, who was convicted of charges including voluntary manslaughter, challenged the denial of his Batson challenge, the state gave appropriate, race-neutral reasons for striking an African American venireperson, and in a reverse-Batson issue, the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s peremptory challenge was harmless error. 2)Where a defendant argued that the trial court [&hel[...]

Dec 26, 2019

Consumer Law: MMPA-Punitive Damages-Attorneys’ Fees

Where appellants, who brought an action against their landlord alleging damages from a bedbug infestation, challenged the denial of their motion to amend the judgment to award them attorneys’ fees on their claims under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motion, so the motion is reversed and […]

Dec 26, 2019

Administrative: Licensing-Denial of Application-Contested Case

Where the Department of Commerce challenged a trial court’s conclusion that the Administrative Hearing Commission’s denial of a non-resident title insurance producer license was arbitrary and capricious, and the court ordered a hearing on the application, the applicant erroneously characterized the challenged licensing decision as a contested case and the trial court proceeded on that [&hellip[...]

Nov 22, 2019

Real Property: Partition Action-Allocation of Proceeds-Home Equity Line

Where appellant challenged the judgment in an action to partition property jointly held with her partner, the trial court did not err in finding that the appellant’s contribution of a down payment toward the purchase of a home and additional mortgage payments from her salary were done with donative intent, so she was not entitled […]

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