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   The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned 30 years of precedent with a ruling that gives greater legal protections to injured workers who are fired from their jobs.
   In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that employees no longer have to prove that workers' compensation claims were the exclusive factor for their dismissal in order to win lawsuits claiming retaliation.
   Instead, the court said employees must show only that workers' compensation claims were a contributing factor in their subsequent dismissal from their job.
   State law does not explicitly set forth a standard of proof in such lawsuits, but the exclusive cause standard had been adopted by the state Supreme Court in 1984. Since then, all of the judges on the Supreme Court have changed.
 
Published in Local News

 ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it will not hear the cases of three cities whose red-light camera laws were challenged in lower courts.

The Post Dispatch reports that the high court denied transfer requests from the cities of Creve Coeur and Kansas City, and red-light camera vendor American Traffic Solutions Inc.

The state Supreme Court has not yet addressed more recent appeals court rulings in cases involving challenges to the Ellisville and Arnold photo enforcement ordinances.

Published in Local News
   The fate of former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley, Jr. will be in the hands of a three member state disciplinary panel.  The Missouri office that oversees lawyers has refused a plea agreement regarding Bosley's mishandling of client funds.  
   The former mayor admitted in court last month to charges that he failed to keep adequate records, combined personal and client funds and even used client funds to pay personal expenses.  
   Alan Pratzel of the Missouri Supreme Court's Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that documents Bosley filed to clear up a settlement dispute were "insufficient."  So today, Bosley and state prosecutors must submit punishment recommendations to the panel which will decide his fate.
   Punishment can range from a reprimand up to disbarment.
   Bosley served one term as mayor of St. Louis in the mid 1990s.
 
Published in Local News
Friday, 27 December 2013 13:54

Adoptive parents win long legal battle

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a Guatemalan woman seeking to overturn the adoption of her biological child by a Carthage couple. Encarnacion Romero sought to challenge a Missouri Court of Appeals decision terminating her parental rights to the child who was adopted by Seth and Melinda Moser. The Mosers have raised the child, who is now 7, since he was 1 year old. Legal battles have gone on since 2008.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has again upheld a law requiring unaccredited school districts to pay for students who chose to attend elsewhere.

The court's unanimous decision Tuesday applies to the Kansas City School District and its suburban neighbors. A similar ruling earlier this year dealt with St. Louis area schools.

A 1993 Missouri law requires unaccredited school districts to cover the costs for students to attend nearby accredited schools.

Kansas City's school district has been unaccredited since 2012, but student transfers have been on hold because of the legal challenge.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an assertion that the student transfer law amounted to an unfunded mandate that violated the state constitution.

 

Published in Local News

   ST. LOUIS (AP) - An Arizona company that installs and operates red-light cameras across Missouri has hired a former state Supreme Court chief justice to lead an appeal before that court.

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports former justice Michael Wolff will spearhead an appeal sought by American Traffic Solutions Inc. and Ellisville of a ruling earlier this month that said Ellisville's red-light camera ordinance is not enforceable.

   The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern Division said in a Nov. 5 opinion that state law requires points to be assessed for moving violations, which can be committed only by a driver or pedestrian.

   Many cities ticket the owner of a vehicle caught running a red light, regardless of who was driving, and do not report the infraction to the state to have points assessed.

 
Published in Local News

   Red light camera tickets could become a thing of the past in Missouri.  That's because of a state appeals court ruling Tuesday of this week.  

   The Eastern District court in St. Louis overturned it's own precedent when it found Ellisville's red light camera ordinance was in conflict with state law because the tickets are issued to the vehicle owner and not the driver.  

   Two years ago the court had upheld a similar Creve Coeur law, but now says that ruling is "no longer good law."  

   The Arizona-based company that operates the cameras in Ellisville and several other municipalities says it will appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court.

Published in Local News

The Missouri Supreme Court issued a decision yesterday denying the long-term, same-sex partner of a Missouri Highway patrolman survivor pension benefits.  

Cpl. Dennis Engelhard died on Christmas Day in 2009 when he was struck by a vehicle while investigating a traffic accident on Interstate 44 in Eureka.

Missouri offers a payment to the surviving spouse of a Highway Patrol officer killed in the line of duty.

But the statute governing survivor benefits defines marriage as between a man and woman. Missouri also has a prohibition on same-sex marriage in the state Constitution.

Engelhard's partner, Kelly Glossip, did not receive the benefit and argued that the state violated the equal-protection clause of the state constitution.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-2 ruling, concluded Glossip is ineligible for survivor benefits because the two were not married — not because Glossip is gay.

The ruling states that the fact the two could not be married in Missouri is not relevant. 

Published in Local News

   Are the cookies and loaves of bread baked inside a Schnucks Supermarket sold for immediate consumption in the same way as those sold at a restaurant or convenience store?  That's the question the Missouri Supreme Court will have to answer in a case that begins today. 

   Schnucks is asking the high court to allow the company to take advantage of a 2007 utility sales tax refund law.  The Department of Revenue says a bakery that creates goods "for sale directly to the public or through retailers" is eligible, but goods baked at a restaurant and sold for immediate consumption are not.  

   Last year, the court found two Casey's stores were not eligible for tax refunds on the energy used to bake donuts and pizza bites they sold in individual servings.  But Schnucks argues that it isn't the same thing since there's no evidence Schnucks bakeries are restaurants.  

 

Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A former St. Louis mayor is accused of mishandling clients' funds through his law firm.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Freeman Bosley Jr. is facing disciplinary action from the Missouri Supreme Court.

A complaint was filed with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel in June but just made public. The counsel investigates allegations of misconduct by lawyers.

Bosley was St. Louis' first black mayor, elected in 1993. He lost a 1997 re-election bid and went into private law practice.

Bosley's attorney, Michael Downey, says the allegations involve money-management issues related to the trust account of Bosley's firm. He says Bosley accepts responsibility for the mistakes, but says none of Bosley's clients were deprived of any money due to them.

 

Published in Local News
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