Supreme Court of Missouri

Supreme Court of Missouri

Established 1821
Country Missouri Missouri, United States United States
Location Jefferson City, Missouri
Authorized by Missouri Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Website Official website
Chief Justice
Currently Patricia Breckenridge
Since July 2015
Lead position ends June 2017
Jurist term ends December 31, 2020
Missouri State Supreme Court building across from state capitol in Jefferson City

The Supreme Court of Missouri is the highest court in the state of Missouri. It was established in 1820 and is located in Jefferson City, Missouri. Missouri voters have approved changes in the state's constitution to give the Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction- the sole legal power to hear – five types of cases on appeal. Pursuant to Article V, Section 3 of the Missouri Constitution, these cases involve:

Unless their case involves one of those five issues, people who want a trial court's decision reviewed must appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals. Most of these cases involve routine legal questions and end there. The Court of Appeals is divided geographically into the Eastern District, Western District and Southern District.

Certain cases, however, can be transferred to the Supreme Court – at the Court's discretion – if it determines that a question of general interest or importance is involved, that the laws should be re-examined, or that the lower court's decision conflicts with an earlier appellate decision. This is similar to the process the United States Supreme Court uses in accepting cases. In addition, the Court of Appeals may transfer a case to the Supreme Court after an opinion is issued, either upon application of one of the parties or at the request of one of the judges on the appellate panel.

Judicial selection

Judges of the court are selected through the non-partisan plan, nationally known as the Missouri Plan. Under the plan, the Appellate Judicial Commission submits the names of three nominees to the Governor. If the Governor fails to make an appointment with 60 days of the nominees being named, the Commission shall make the appointment. Once the judge has served for at least a year, he or she is placed on the general election ballot for a retention vote of the people. If retained, judges serve a term of 12 years.

Notable cases

The following is a list of notable cases decided by the Supreme Court of Missouri or which came to the Supreme Court of the United States from the Supreme Court of Missouri. Since 1973, the Supreme Court of Missouri has heard all cases en banc (before all seven judges). Before that many cases were heard by panels of three judges. Cases heard en banc are cited as "Mo. banc"; older cases heard by a panel are cited as "Mo."

Current judges

Paul C. Wilson is the latest appointee to the Court, having taken office in December 2012. The judges rotate the two-year term of Chief Justice among themselves. The Chief Justice is Constitutionally empowered to preside over the court and to be the "chief administrative officer" of the state judicial system.[1] The current Chief Justice is Patricia Breckenridge, whose term began July 1, 2015 and will serve through June 2017.[2]

Judge Date appointed Appointed by
Laura Denvir Stith 2001 Bob Holden
Mary Rhodes Russell 2004 Bob Holden
Patricia Breckenridge 2007 Matt Blunt
Zel Fischer 2008 Matt Blunt
George W. Draper, III 2011 Jay Nixon
Paul C. Wilson 2012 Jay Nixon
VACANT (death of Richard Teitelman on Nov. 29, 2016)[3] 2017 Eric Greitens (Gov.-elect)

Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri

The Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri is responsible for a wide range of duties, including the supervision of the internal administrative function of the Court itself as well as the planning and administrative direction of the Missouri Judicial Conference, the organization of all the state's judges. As of October 1, 2012, the clerk is Bill L. Thompson.


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.