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Work group releases report on municipal courts

The Supreme Court of Missouri today received a final report of the Municipal Division Work Group, which addresses:

Ø  potential conflicts of interest regarding judges and attorneys serving in multiple roles in the municipal courts;

Ø  issues relating to warrants, incarceration, pre-existing warrants and bonds;

Ø  issues relating to enforceability of municipal court judgments and remedies for nonpayment of fines;

Ø  the authority of the Supreme Court of Missouri regarding consolidation of municipal courts and referral of municipal cases to the associate division of the circuit court; and

Ø  other specific issues relating to the municipal courts.

Created last year by the Supreme Court of Missouri, the work group, which is comprised of nine members, was charged with reviewing all matters pertaining to the state’s municipal court divisions, with ensuring public input and with making recommendations to improve the municipal court divisions statewide in response to recent events that have raised concerns about practices in some municipal courts.

Reuben Shelton, 2014-15 president of The Missouri Bar and lead litigation counsel for Monsanto Corporation, and Karl A.W. DeMarce, associate circuit judge in Scotland County and municipal judge for Memphis, Missouri, served on the working group as representatives of The Missouri Bar.

Judge DeMarce will oversee implementation of those reforms the Supreme Court adopts after reviewing the report.

A full copy of the report is available on the Court’s website.

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