Missouri Court of Appeals

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Missouri Court of Appeals
Court information
Judges:   31
Salary:   $135,000[1]
Judicial selection
Method:   Assisted appointment
Term:   12 years

The Missouri Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the state of Missouri.

The Court of Appeals handles appeals from the circuit courts. In Missouri, the appellate court system is divided into three districts: Eastern, Western and Southern.[2]


The judges of the Court of Appeals are selected under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, which includes selection by the Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission based on merit, gubernatorial appointment, and retention by the voters at the ballot box. All judges serve 12-year terms.[3]

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, is the state's largest appellate court, with offices located in the historic Old Post Office building in downtown St. Louis. The Court is composed of fourteen judges who handle approximately fifty percent of the intermediate appellate caseload in Missouri, covering twenty-five counties and the City of St. Louis. Oral arguments are regularly conducted in St. Louis, Clayton, Hannibal, Cape Girardeau and other locations within the Eastern District.[4]

Based on the number of counties in its jurisdiction (forty-five), the Western District is the state's largest intermediate appellate court, and is located in its own courthouse in downtown Kansas City. The court is composed of 11 judges, and handles almost 40% of the appellate caseload in Missouri. Oral arguments are normally conducted in Kansas City, but are also conducted in Jefferson City, Colombia, St. Joseph, Kirksville, and other western district locations.[5]

The Southern District has offices in Springfield, MO, and maintains a courthouse and chambers in Poplar Bluff. Oral arguments are regularly conducted in both locations. The Court is composed of seven judges and its jurisdiction covers forty-four counties in southern Missouri.

JudgeTermAppointed by
Chief judge Lisa White Hardwick2001-12/31/2026
Judge Clifford Ahrens1991-2016
Judge Patricia Cohen2003-2016
Judge Robert Dowd1994-2020
Judge Mary Kathryn Hoff1995-2010
Judge Lawrence Mooney1998-2024
Judge Glenn Norton2002-2016
Judge Roy Richter2006-2020
Judge Sherri Sullivan1999-2024
Judge Kurt Odenwald2007-2020
Judge Joseph Ellis1993-2008
Judge Victor Howard1996-2010
Judge Thomas Newton1999-2024
Judge Alok Ahuja2007-2022
Judge James Edward Welsh2007-2022
Judge Gary Lynch2006-2020
Judge Jeffrey Bates2003-2018
Judge Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer2001-12/31/2026
Judge Don Burrell2007-2022
Judge Mark Pfeiffer2009-2022
Judge Daniel Scott2006-2020Gov. Matt Blunt
Judge Karen Mitchell2009-2022Gov. Jay Nixon
Judge Gary Gaertner Jr.2010-2024Gov. Jay Nixon
Judge Gary Witt2010-2024Gov. Jay Nixon
Judge Anthony Rex Gabbert2013-12/31/2026Gov. Jay Nixon
Judge Angela T. Quigless2012-12/31/2026Gov. Jay Nixon
Judge Lisa Van Amburg2012-12/31/2026Gov. Jay Nixon
Judge Mary Sheffield (Missouri)12/2012-12/31/2026Gov. Jay Nixon
Chief judge William W. Francis, Jr.2010-2024Gov. Jay Nixon
Chief judge Robert M. Clayton, III2011-2024Gov. Jay Nixon
Judge Cynthia Lynette Martin2009-2024
Judge Philip M. Hess2014-2016Gov. Jay Nixon
Map of Missouri Appellate Districts

Former judges

[6] [7] [8] [9]


The Court of Appeals handles all appeals except those in the Supreme Court's exclusive jurisdiction: challenges to the validity of a United States statute or treaty, the validity of a state constitutional provision or statute, cases requiring construction of revenue laws, the title to state office, and cases where the death penalty is imposed.

Court of Appeals cases may be appealed to the Supreme Court, however, historically less than ten percent of appeals are heard by the Supreme Court. Thus, for the vast majority of appeals, the Court of Appeals decision is final.[10]


In an appeal, a record of what occurred in the circuit court is filed. Each side generally files a brief stating its arguments and the basis for them, such as past court decisions and laws. These briefs are open to the public.

The Court of Appeals may hear oral argument from each side, in which each side answers the judges' questions. Like any appellate court, there are no juries or witnesses; the parties argue their cases before the judges, who then determine whether there were prejudicial mistakes made at the trial below. The public may attend.

The Court considers the briefs, oral arguments, and the transcripts, pleadings and exhibits from the trial in researching, deciding, and writing its opinions. The Court must decide the case based on the Constitution and laws, regardless of the judge's personal preference, politics, and any other outside influence. The Court's opinions are public and appear on this website as they are issued.[10]

Notable decisions

See also

External links



JudgeElection Vote
HardwickLisa White Hardwick 66.8% ApprovedA
SheffieldMary Sheffield (Missouri) 69.2% ApprovedA
QuiglessAngela T. Quigless 61.1% ApprovedA
AmburgLisa Van Amburg 67.3% ApprovedA
GabbertAnthony Rex Gabbert 65.1% ApprovedA
RahmeyerNancy Steffen Rahmeyer 68.2% ApprovedA


CandidateIncumbencyDivisionPrimary VoteElection Vote
MartinCynthia Lynette Martin   ApprovedAYesWestern District   ApprovedA
Gaertner Jr.Gary Gaertner Jr.   ApprovedAYesEastern District   ApprovedA
WittGary Witt   ApprovedAYesWestern District   ApprovedA
MooneyLawrence Mooney   ApprovedAYesEastern District   ApprovedA
Clayton, IIIRobert M. Clayton, III   ApprovedAYesEastern District   ApprovedA
SullivanSherri Sullivan   ApprovedAYesEastern District   ApprovedA
NewtonThomas Newton   ApprovedAYesWestern District   ApprovedA
Francis, Jr.William W. Francis, Jr.   ApprovedAYesSouthern District   ApprovedA
MissouriMissouri Supreme CourtMissouri Court of AppealsMissouri Circuit CourtsMissouri Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of MissouriUnited States District Court for the Western District of MissouriUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of MissouriUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of MissouriUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitMissouri countiesMissouri judicial newsMissouri judicial electionsJudicial selection in MissouriMissouriTemplate.jpg