Article V, Missouri Constitution

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Missouri Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIII
Article V of the Missouri Constitution is entitled Judicial Department and consists of 34 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Judicial Power--Constitutional Courts

The judicial power of the state shall be vested in a supreme court, a court of appeals consisting of districts as prescribed by law, and circuit courts.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Supreme Court--Controlling Decisions--Number of Judges--Sessions

The supreme court shall be the highest court in the state. Its jurisdiction shall be coextensive with the state. Its decisions shall be controlling in all other courts. It shall be composed of seven judges, who shall hold their sessions in Jefferson City at times fixed by the court.[1]

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

The supreme court shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction in all cases involving the validity of a treaty or statute of the United States, or of a statute or provision of the constitution of this state, the construction of the revenue laws of this state, the title to any state office and in all cases where the punishment imposed is death. The court of appeals shall have general appellate jurisdiction in all cases except those within the exclusive jurisdiction of the supreme court.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.
  • Amended with the approval of Missouri Measure 10 (1982) on November 2, 1982.

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Superior Courts to Control Inferior Courts--Courts Administrator, Salary--Reapportionment Commission, Appointment

1. The supreme court shall have general superintending control over all courts and tribunals. Each district of the court of appeals shall have general superintending control over all courts and tribunals in its jurisdiction. The supreme court and districts of the court of appeals may issue and determine original remedial writs. Supervisory authority over all courts is vested in the supreme court which may make appropriate delegations of this power.

2. The supreme court may appoint a state courts administrator and other staff to aid in the administration of the courts, and it shall appoint a clerk of the supreme court and may appoint other staff to aid in the administration of the business of the supreme court. Each such appointee shall serve at the pleasure of the court. The clerk’s and administrator’s salary shall be fixed by law. All other appointees shall have salaries fixed by the court within the legislative limits of the appropriation made for that purpose.

3. In the event that six commissioners of the supreme court are not available to sit as a reapportionment commission as provided in sections 2, 3 and 7 of article III of the constitution of this state, a commission composed of six members appointed by the supreme court from among the judges of the court of appeals, shall serve in lieu of the commissioners of the supreme court. No more than two members of any division of the court of appeals shall be appointed to the commission.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Rules of Practice and Procedure--Duty of Supreme Court--Power of Legislature

The supreme court may establish rules relating to practice, procedure and pleading for all courts and administrative tribunals, which shall have the force and effect of law. The rules shall not change substantive rights, or the law relating to evidence, the oral examination of witnesses, juries, the right of trial by jury, or the right of appeal. The court shall publish the rules and fix the day on which they take effect, but no rule shall take effect before six months after its publication. Any rule may be annulled or amended in whole or in part by a law limited to the purpose.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Assignment of Judges--Authority of Supreme Court--Eligible Judges

The supreme court may make temporary transfers of judicial personnel from one court or district to another as the administration of justice requires, and may establish rules with respect thereto. Any judge shall be eligible to sit temporarily on any court upon assignment by the supreme court or pursuant to supreme court rule.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Supreme Court and Court of Appeals May Sit in Divisions

The supreme court may sit en banc or in divisions as the court may determine. Any district of the court of appeals may sit at such places within the district and in divisions as the judges of such district may determine. Each division of the supreme court or of the court of appeals shall be composed of not less than three judges, at least one of whom shall be a regular judge of the court. A majority of a division shall constitute a quorum thereof, and all orders, judgments, and decrees of a division, as to causes and matters pending before it, shall have the force and effect of those of the court.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Chief Justice and Chief Judges, Election, Terms--Authority of Chief Justice

The judges of the supreme court shall elect from their number a chief justice to preside over the court en banc, and the judges of the court of appeals in each district shall elect from their number a chief judge of the district. The terms of the chief justice and chief judges shall be fixed by the courts over which they preside. The chief justice of the supreme court shall be the chief administrative officer of the judicial system and, subject to the supervisory authority of the supreme court, shall supervise the administration of the courts of this state.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Transfer of Causes to Supreme Court En Banc

A cause in the supreme court shall be transferred to the court en banc when the members of a division are equally divided in opinion, or when the division shall so order, or on application of the losing party when a member of the division dissents from the opinion therein, or pursuant to supreme court rule.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Transfer of Cases from Court of Appeals to Supreme Court--Scope of Review

Cases pending in the court of appeals shall be transferred to the supreme court when any participating judge dissents from the majority opinion and certifies that he deems said opinion to be contrary to any previous decision of the supreme court or of the court of appeals, or any district of the court of appeals. Cases pending in the court of appeals may be transferred to the supreme court by order of the majority of the judges of the participating district of the court of appeals, after opinion, or by order of the supreme court before or after opinion because of the general interest or importance of a question involved in the case, or for the purpose of reexamining the existing law, or pursuant to supreme court rule. The supreme court may finally determine all causes coming to it from the court of appeals, whether by certification, transfer or certiorari, the same as on original appeal.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Want of Jurisdiction, Effect--Tranfers

In all proceedings reviewable on appeal by the supreme court or the court of appeals, appeals shall go directly to the court or district having jurisdiction, but want of jurisdiction shall not be ground for dismissal, and the proceeding shall be transferred to the appellate court having jurisdiction. An original action filed in a court lacking jurisdiction or venue shall be transferred to the appropriate court.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Judicial Opinions--Filing and Publication--Memorandum Decisions and Orders

The opinions of the supreme court and court of appeals and all divisions or districts of said courts shall be in writing and filed in the respective causes, and shall become a part of the records of the court, be available for publication, and shall be public records. The supreme court and the court of appeals may issue memorandum decisions or dispose of a cause by order pursuant to and as authorized by supreme court rule.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Court of Appeals, Districts, Judges

The court of appeals shall be organized into separate districts, the number, not less than three, geographical boundaries, and territorial jurisdiction of which shall be prescribed by law. Each district of the court of appeals shall be composed of such number of judges, not less than three, as may be provided by law.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 4, 1970.
  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Circuit Courts--Jurisdiction--Sessions

(a) The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction over all cases and matters, civil and criminal. Such courts may issue and determine original remedial writs and shall sit at times and places within the circuit as determined by the circuit court.

(b) Procedures for the adjudication of small claims shall be as provided by law.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Judicial Circuits--Establishment and Changes--General Terms and Division--Judges--Presiding Judge--Court Personnel

1. The state shall be divided into convenient circuits of contiguous counties. In each circuit there shall be at least one circuit judge. The circuits may be changed or abolished by law as public convenience and the administration of justice may require, but no judge shall be removed from office during his term by reason of alteration of the geographical boundaries of a circuit. Any circuit or associate circuit judge may temporarily sit in any other circuit at the request of a judge thereof. In circuits having more than one judge, the court may sit in general term or in divisions. The circuit judges of the circuit may make rules for the circuit not inconsistent with the rules of the supreme court.

2. Each circuit shall have such number of circuit judges as provided by law.

3. The circuit and associate circuit judges in each circuit shall select by secret ballot a circuit judge from their number to serve as presiding judge. The presiding judge shall have general administrative authority over the court and its divisions.

4. Personnel to aid in the business of the circuit court shall be selected as provided by law or in accordance with a governmental charter of a political subdivision of this state. Where there is a separate probate division of the circuit court, the judge of the probate division shall, until otherwise provided by law, appoint a clerk and other nonjudicial personnel for the probate division.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Associate Circuit Judges, Selection

Each county shall have such number of associate circuit judges as provided by law. There shall be at least one resident associate circuit judge in each county. Associate circuit judges shall be selected or elected in each county. In those circuits where the circuit judge is selected under section 25 of article 5 of the constitution the associate circuit judge shall be selected in the same manner. All other associate circuit judges shall be elected in the county in which they are to serve.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Associate Circuit Judges, Jurisdiction

Associate circuit judges may hear and determine all cases, civil or criminal and all other matters as now provided by law for magistrate or probate judges and may be assigned such additional cases or classes of cases as may be provided by law. In probate matters the associate circuit judge shall have general equitable jurisdiction.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Judicial Review of Action of Administrative Agencies--Scope of Review

All final decisions, findings, rules and orders on any administrative officer or body existing under the constitution or by law, which are judicial or quasi-judicial and affect private rights, shall be subject to direct review by the courts as provided by law; and such review shall include the determination whether the same are authorized by law, and in cases in which a hearing is required by law, whether the same are supported by competent and substantial evidence upon the whole record. Unless otherwise provided by law, administrative decisions, findings, rules and orders subject to review under this section or which are otherwise subject to direct judicial review, shall be reviewed in such manner and by such court as the supreme court by rule shall direct and the court so designated shall, in addition to its other jurisdiction, have jurisdiction to hear and determine any such review proceeding.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

Terms of Judges

Judges of the supreme court and of the court of appeals shall be selected for terms of twelve years, judges of the circuit courts for terms of six years, and associate circuit judges for terms of four years.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 20

Text of Section 20:

Salaries and Compensation of Judges--Provision Against Other Special Compensation and Practice of Law--Travel and Other Expenses

All judges shall receive as salary the total amount of their present compensation until otherwise provided by law, but no judge’s salary shall be diminished during his term of office. No judge shall receive any other or additional compensation for any public service. No supreme, appellate, circuit or associate circuit judge shall practice law or do law business. Judges may receive reasonable traveling and other expenses allowed by law.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 21

Text of Section 21:

Judges--Qualifications--Age Requirements--License to Practice Law

Judges of the supreme court and of the court of appeals shall have been citizens of the United States for at least fifteen years, and qualified voters of the state for nine years next preceding their selection. Such judges shall be at least thirty years of age. Except as provided by section 6, judges of the court of appeals shall be residents of the court of appeals district in which they serve. Circuit judges shall have been citizens of the United States for at least ten years, and qualified voters of this state three years next preceding their selection, and be not less than thirty years of age and residents of the circuit for at least one year. Associate circuit judges shall be qualified voters of this state and residents of the county, at least twenty-five years old, and have such other qualifications as may be provided by law. Every supreme, appellate, circuit, and associate circuit court judge shall be licensed to practice law in this state.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 22

Text of Section 22:

Court of Appeals Clerks and Personnel--Salaries

Each district of the court of appeals shall appoint a clerk of the court and other personnel to aid in the administration of the business of the court. Their salaries shall be within the limit of the legislative appropriation for that purpose.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 23

Text of Section 23:

Municipal Judges and Court Personnel--Selection--Terms--Compensation--Jurisdiction--Appeals--Role of Associate Circuit Judges

Each circuit may have such municipal judges as provided by law and the necessary non-judicial personnel assisting them. The selection, tenure and compensation of such judges and such personnel shall be as provided by law, or in cities having a charter form of government as provided by such charter. A municipal judge may be a part-time judge except where prohibited by ordinance or charter of the municipality. A municipal judge shall hear and determine violations of municipal ordinances in one or more municipalities. Until otherwise provided by law, or supreme court rule, the practice, procedure, right to and method of appeal before and from municipal judges shall be as heretofore provided with respect to municipal courts. Associate circuit judges shall hear and determine violations of municipal ordinances in any municipality with a population of under four hundred thousand within the circuit for which a municipal judge is not provided, or upon request of the governing body of any municipality with a population of under four hundred thousand within the circuit.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 24

Text of Section 24:

Retirement, Removal and Discipline of Judges, Commission on--Composition, Terms, Duties, Procedures, Reimbursement of Expenses--Additional Duties Prohibited

1. There shall be a commission on retirement, removal, and discipline, composed of two citizens who are not members of the bar, appointed by the governor, two lawyers appointed by the board of governors of The Missouri Bar, one judge of the court of appeals to be selected by a majority of the judges of the court of appeals, and one judge of the circuit courts to be selected by a majority of the circuit judges of this state. The commission shall receive and investigate all requests and suggestions for retirement for disability, and all complaints concerning misconduct of all judges, members of the judicial commissions, and of this commission. No member of the commission shall participate in any matter in which he has a personal interest. If a member is disqualified to participate in any matter before the commission, the respective selecting authority shall select a substitute to sit during such disqualification. Of the members first appointed, each of the citizen members shall be appointed for a term of two years and each of the lawyer members for a term of four years, and each of the judge members for a term of six years; and thereafter members shall be appointed for a term of six years.

2. Upon recommendation by an affirmative vote of at least four members of the commission, the supreme court en banc shall retire from office any judge or any member of any judicial commission or any member of this commission who is found to be unable to discharge the duties of his office with efficiency because of permanent sickness or physical or mental infirmity. A judge, except a municipal judge so retired shall receive one-half of his regular compensation during the remainder of his term of office. Where a judge subject to retirement under other provisions of law, has been retired under the provisions of this section, the time during which he was retired for disability under this section shall count as time served for purposes of retirement under other provisions of this constitution or of law.

3. Upon recommendation by an affirmative vote of at least four members of the commission, the supreme court en banc, upon concurring with such recommendation, shall remove, suspend, discipline or reprimand any judge of any court or any member of any judicial commission or of this commission, for the commission of a crime, or for misconduct, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency or any offense involving moral turpitude, or oppression in office. No action taken under this section shall be a bar to or prevent any other action authorized by law.

4. A judge is disqualified from acting as a judicial officer while there is pending an indictment or information charging him in any court in the United States with a crime punishable as a felony under the laws of Missouri or the United States, or a recommendation to the supreme court by the commission for his removal, or retirement, or after articles of impeachment have been voted by the house of representatives. A judge so disqualified shall continue to receive his salary.

5. On recommendation of the commission, the supreme court shall suspend a judge from office without salary when in any court in the United States he pleads guilty or no contest to, or is found guilty of, an offense punishable as a felony under the laws of Missouri or the United States, or of any other offense that involves moral turpitude. If he is suspended and his conviction becomes final the supreme court shall remove him from office. If his conviction is reversed and he is discharged from that charge by order of court or of the prosecuting officer, whether without further trial or after further trial and a finding of not guilty, his suspension terminates and he shall be paid his salary for the period of suspension.

6. Recommendations to the supreme court by the commission shall be made only after notice and hearing. Rules for the administration of this section and for the procedures thereunder shall be prescribed by supreme court rule unless otherwise provided by law.

7. Members of the commission shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

8. Additional duties shall not be imposed by law or supreme court rule upon the commission on retirement, removal and discipline.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 25(a)

Text of Section 25(a):

Nonpartisan Selection of Judges--Courts Subject to Plan--Appointments to Fill Vacancies

Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of judge of any of the following courts of this state, to wit: The supreme court, the court of appeals, or in the office of circuit or associate circuit judge within the city of St. Louis and Jackson county, the governor shall fill such vacancy by appointing one of three persons possessing the qualifications for such office, who shall be nominated and whose names shall be submitted to the governor by a nonpartisan judicial commission established and organized as hereinafter provided. If the governor fails to appoint any of the nominees within sixty days after the list of nominees is submitted, the nonpartisan judicial commission making the nomination shall appoint one of the nominees to fill the vacancy.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 25(b)

Text of Section 25(b):

Adoption of Plan in Other Circuits--Petitions and Elections--Form of Petition Ballots

At any general election the qualified voters of any judicial circuit outside of the city of St. Louis and Jackson county, may by a majority of those voting on the question elect to have the circuit and associate circuit judges appointed by the governor in the manner provided for the appointment of judges to the courts designated in section 25(a), or, outside the city of St. Louis and Jackson county, to discontinue any such plan. The question of whether the circuit and associate circuit judges of any such circuit shall be so appointed shall be submitted to the voters of each county in any circuit at the next general election whenever petitions therefore signed by ten percent of the legal voters of each county in the circuit voting for the office of governor at the last election thereof are filed in the office of secretary of state at least 90 days before such election. The question shall be presented as follows: “Shall the circuit and associate circuit judges of the . . . . . . . . judicial circuit be selected as provided in Section 25 of Article V of the Missouri Constitution? Yes ¨ No ¨ (Mark One)”. The provisions of law with respect to initiative petitions shall apply insofar as applicable relative to the certification of the petitions to local officials by the secretary of state, the preparation, printing, publishing and distribution of the judicial ballots required by this section, the holding and conduct of the election, and the counting, canvassing, return, certification, and proclamation of the votes. If a majority of the votes upon the question are cast in favor of the adoption in each county comprising the circuit, the nonpartisan selection of the circuit and associate judges shall be adopted in the circuit. The question of selection of circuit and associate circuit judges in the manner provided in section 25(a) shall not be submitted more often than once every four years. If any judicial circuit adopts the nonpartisan selection of the circuit and associate circuit judges under the provisions of this section, the question of its discontinuance shall not be submitted more often than once every four years and may be submitted at any general election and shall be proceeded upon insofar as may be applicable in like manner as prescribed in this section for the original adoption of the plan. The petition shall be in substantially the following form: To the Honorable Officials in general charge of elections for the county of . . . . . . . . . . . . . for the state of Missouri: We, the undersigned, legal voters of the state of Missouri, and of the county of . . . . . . ., respectfully demand that the question of the discontinuance of the nonpartisan selection of the circuit and associate circuit judges be submitted to the legal voters of the . . . . . . . . . . judicial circuit, for their approval or rejection, at the general election to be held on the . . . . . . . . . . day of . . . . . , A.D. 19. . . . . . . . The ballot shall provide as follows: “Shall the nonpartisan appointment by the governor of the circuit and associate circuit judges be discontinued in the . . . . . . . . . . . judicial circuit? ¨ Yes ¨ No (Place an “X” in one square.)” If a majority of the votes upon the question are cast in favor of such discontinuance in each county comprising the circuit, the nonpartisan selection of the circuit and associate circuit judges shall be discontinued in such judicial circuit. If the nonpartisan selection of the judges be discontinued in any such judicial circuit, other than the city of St. Louis and Jackson county, the selection of such judges therein shall be made as otherwise prescribed by law. This section shall be self-enforcing.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 25(c)(1)

Text of Section 25(c)(1):

Tenure of Judges-Declaration of Candidacy--Form of Judicial Ballot--Rejection and Retention

Each judge appointed pursuant to the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) shall hold office for a term ending December thirty-first following the next general election after the expiration of twelve months in the office. Any judge holding office, or elected thereto, at the time of the election by which the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) become applicable to his office, shall, unless removed for cause, remain in office for the term to which he would have been entitled had the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) not become applicable to his office. Not less than sixty days prior to the holding of the general election next preceding the expiration of his term of office, any judge whose office is subject to the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) may file in the office of the secretary of state a declaration of candidacy for election to succeed himself. If a declaration is not so filed by any judge, the vacancy resulting from the expiration of his term of office shall be filled by appointment as herein provided. If such declaration is filed, his name shall be submitted at said next general election to the voters eligible to vote within the state if his office is that of judge of the supreme court, or within the geographic jurisdiction limit of the district where he serves if his office is that of a judge of the court of appeals, or within the circuit if his office is that of circuit judge, or within the county if his office is that of associate circuit judge on a separate judicial ballot, without party designation, reading: “Shall Judge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Here the name of the judge shall be inserted) of the. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Here the title of the court shall be inserted) Art. V § 25(c)(1) CONSTITUTION OF MISSOURI 86 be retained in office? Yes ¨ No ¨ (Mark an “X” in the box you prefer.)” If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retaining him in office, upon the expiration of his term of office, a vacancy shall exist which shall be filled by appointment as provided in section 25(a); otherwise, said judge shall, unless removed for cause, remain in office for the number of years after December thirty-first following such election as is provided for the full term of such office, and at the expiration of each such term shall be eligible for retention in office by election in the manner here prescribed.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 25(c)(2)

Text of Section 25(c)(2):

Certification of Names upon Declaration--Law Applicable to Elections

Whenever a declaration of candidacy for election to succeed himself is filed by any judge or associate circuit judge under the provisions of this section, the secretary of state shall not less than thirty days before the election certify the name of said judge or associate circuit judge and the official title of his office to the clerks of the county courts, and to the boards of election commissioners in counties or cities having such boards, or to such other officials as may hereafter be provided by law, of all counties and cities wherein the question of retention of such judge in office is to be submitted to the voters, and, until legislation shall be expressly provided otherwise therefore, the judicial ballots required by this section shall be prepared, printed, published and distributed, and the election upon the question of retention of such judge in office shall be conducted and the votes counted, canvassed, returned, certified and proclaimed by such public officials in such manner as is now provided by the statutory law governing voting upon measures proposed by the initiative.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 25(d)

Text of Section 25(d):

Nonpartisan Judicial Commissions--Number, Qualifications, Selection and Terms of Members--Majority Rule--Reimbursement of Expenses--Rules of Supreme Court

Nonpartisan judicial commissions whose duty it shall be to nominate and submit to the governor names of persons for appointment as provided by sections 25(a)–(g) are hereby established and shall be organized on the following basis: For vacancies in the office of judge of the supreme court or of the court of appeals, there shall be one such commission, to be known as “The Appellate Judicial Commission; for vacancies in the office of circuit judge or associate circuit judge of any circuit court subject to the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) there shall be one such commission, to be known as “The . . . Circuit Judicial Commission”, for each judicial circuit which shall be subject to the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g); the appellate judicial commission shall consist of a judge of the supreme court selected by the members of the supreme court, and the remaining members shall be chosen in the following manner: The members of the bar of this state residing in each court of appeals district shall elect one of their number to serve as a member of said commission, and the governor shall appoint one citizen, not a member of the bar, from among the residents of each court of appeals district, to serve as a member of said commission, and the members of the commission shall select one of their number to serve as chairman. Each circuit judicial commission shall consist of five members, one of whom shall be the chief judge of the district of the court of appeals within which the judicial circuit of such commission, or the major portion of the population of said circuit is situated and the remaining four members shall be chosen in the following manner: The members of the bar of this state residing in the judicial circuit of such commission shall elect two of their number to serve as members of said commission, and the governor shall appoint two citizens, not members of the bar, from among the residents of said judicial circuit to serve as members of said commission, the members of the commission shall select one of their number to serve as chairman; and the terms of office of the members of such commission shall be fixed by law, but no law shall increase or diminish the term of any member then in office. No member of any such commission other than a judge shall hold any public office, and no member shall hold any official position in a political party. Every such commission may act only by the concurrence of a majority of its members. The members of such commission shall receive no salary or other compensation for their services but they shall receive their necessary traveling and other expenses incurred while actually engaged in the discharge of their official duties. All such commissions shall be administered, and all elections provided for under this section shall be held and regulated, under such rules as the supreme court shall promulgate.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 25(e)

Text of Section 25(e):

Payment of Expenses

All expenses incurred in administering sections 25(a)–(g), when approved by the supreme court, shall be paid out of the state treasury. The supreme court shall certify such expense to the commissioner of administration, who shall draw his warrant therefore payable out of funds not otherwise appropriated.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 25(f)

Text of Section 25(f):

Prohibition of Political Activity by Judges

No judge of any court in this state, appointed to or retained in office in the manner prescribed in sections 25(a)–(g), shall directly or indirectly make any contribution to or hold any office in a political party or organization, or take part in any political campaign.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 25(g)

Text of Section 25(g):

Self-Enforceability

All of the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) shall be self-enforcing except those as to which action by the general assembly may be required.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Section 26

Text of Section 26:

Retirement--Assignment as Senior Judge or Commissioner

1. All judges other than municipal judges shall retire at the age of seventy years, except as provided in the schedule to this article, under a retirement plan provided by law.

2. All judges may retire at an earlier age authorized by law and may participate in a retirement plan provided by law.

3. Any retired judge, associate circuit judge or commissioner, with his consent, may be assigned by the supreme court as a senior judge to any court in this state or as a special commissioner. When serving as a senior judge he shall have the same powers as an active judge.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

Schedule

Section 27

Text of Section 27:

Effective Date and Transition Provisions

Except as otherwise provided in this article, the effective date of this article shall be January 2, 1979.

1. All judges elected in 1978 shall be sworn into office on January 1, 1979.

2. All magistrate courts, probate courts, courts of common pleas, the St. Louis court of criminal correction, and municipal corporation courts shall continue to exist until the effective date of this article at which time said courts shall cease to exist. When such courts cease to exist:

a. The jurisdiction of magistrate courts shall be transferred to the circuit court of the circuit and such courts shall become divisions of the circuit court.

b. The jurisdiction of probate courts within the circuit shall be transferred to the circuit court and such courts shall become divisions of the circuit court.

c. The jurisdiction of St. Louis court of criminal correction and all courts of common pleas shall be transferred to the circuit court for the respective circuit and such courts shall become divisions of the circuit court. The provisions of law relating to practice and procedure of the courts of common pleas shall, until otherwise changed by law, remain in effect and the provision of law relating to practice, procedure, venue, jurisdiction, selection of jurors, election of clerk and provisions for deputies and all other provisions of law relating to the Hannibal Court of Common Pleas shall until otherwise changed by law, remain in effect as to such division of the Marion county circuit court and said division shall be known as division number 2 of the Marion county circuit court instead of the Hannibal Court of Common Pleas.

d. The jurisdiction of municipal courts shall be transferred to the circuit court of the circuit in which such municipality or major geographical area thereof shall be located and, such courts shall become divisions of the circuit court. When such courts cease to exist, all records, papers and files shall be transferred to the circuit court which may designate the place where such records may be maintained.

e. Divisions of the circuit court created by this subsection may be changed hereafter by law.

f. After the effective date of this article, in counties with a population of over thirty thousand and less than sixty-five thousand, the office expenses and salaries of associate circuit judges and their clerks who before the effective date of this article were probate judges shall continue to be paid by the counties.

g. After the effective date of this article, in all counties with a population of over sixty-five thousand and in any city not within a county, the office expenses and salaries of the circuit judges who before the effective date of this article were probate judges in said counties or city, shall be paid by the respective counties or city.

3. Until otherwise provided by law associate circuit judges shall hear all cases or matters, civil and criminal, as now provided by law for magistrates within the county and such additional cases or classes of cases as may be provided by law. Until otherwise provided by law, associate circuit judges shall hear all cases or matters as now provided by law for probate courts within the county, except that in the city of St. Louis, in all first class counties, and all second class counties with a population of over sixty-five thousand, the circuit judge of the probate division of the circuit court shall hear all cases and matters as now provided by law for probate courts within such circuits or counties. An associate circuit judge exercising probate jurisdiction shall, in connection therewith, possess general equitable powers. Associate circuit judges of the city of St. Louis shall hear all civil and criminal cases as now provided by law for magistrates and the St. Louis court of criminal correction including appeals and preliminary hearings in felony cases and such additional cases or classes of cases as may hereafter be provided by law. Until otherwise provided by law or supreme court rule the practice, procedure, filing fees and administration of causes heard by associate circuit judges within the jurisdiction of former magistrate and probate courts shall be and remain the same as in the court abolished.

4. a. In 1978, all probate judges except those selected under the nonpartisan selection of judges plan shall be elected as provided by law. On the effective date of this article the probate judge of the city of St. Louis and the probate judges of all first class counties and all second class counties with a population of over sixty-five thousand shall become circuit judges of their respective circuits and thereafter shall be selected or elected from the circuit as in the case of other circuit judges and be entitled to the same compensation as provided by law for circuit judges at the time of the effective date of this article until changed by law, and shall have the same powers and jurisdiction as judges of the circuit court. Each judge who served as probate judge and who is in office on the effective date of this article in such city and counties shall continue to serve in the capacity of judge of the probate division of the circuit court until his successor is selected and qualified, provided that with his consent any circuit or associate circuit judge in the circuit at his request may hear, try and dispose of any matter, case or classes of cases assigned to him by such judge of the probate division, and such judge of the probate division with his consent, may hear, try and determine any case within the jurisdiction of the circuit court. On the effective date of this article the probate judges of counties with a population of sixty-five thousand or less shall become associate circuit judges of their respective circuits and thereafter shall be selected or elected from the county as in the case of other associate circuit judges and shall be entitled to the same compensation as that to which they were entitled on the effective date of this article until changed by law.

b. On the effective date of this article, judges of the St. Louis court of criminal correction and judges of the courts of common pleas shall become circuit judges and be entitled to the compensation of circuit judges and shall have the same power and jurisdiction as circuit judges.

c. In 1978, all magistrates shall be elected as provided by law. On the effective date of this article all magistrates who are then in office shall become associate circuit judges and shall serve out the remainder of their terms as such. Each such judge shall be entitled to the same compensation as that to which he was entitled on the effective date of this article until otherwise changed by law.

5. The right to and method of review from a final judgment or appealable order of an associate circuit judge, or municipal judge, when so acting within the jurisdiction of cases heretofore within the jurisdiction of the former magistrate or municipal courts shall, until otherwise provided by law, be de novo before a circuit judge or another associate circuit judge within the circuit except that appeals from an associate circuit judge exercising probate jurisdiction in any circuit, and appeals from any cause from an associate circuit judge as provided by law shall be appealed to the appropriate district of the court of appeals upon a record as authorized by law or supreme court rule. Appeals in misdemeanor cases from the associate circuit judge from the city of St. Louis shall be as now provided until changed by law.

6. The costs of judicial proceedings as provided for in all courts existing before the adoption of this article shall remain in effect with respect to cases which would have been within the jurisdiction of those courts until such costs are otherwise changed by law. Until otherwise provided by law, if a cause could have been filed in more than one court before the effective date of this article, the lower cost structure shall be used in calculating costs; provided, however, that a party instituting a civil suit which would have been within the concurrent jurisdiction of the circuit and magistrate courts prior to the effective date of this article may designate the case as being one to be processed in accordance with procedures and rules appertaining before circuit judges, and the court costs heretofore applicable to such cases in circuit court shall apply.

7. Until the effective date of this article the courts of common pleas, the St. Louis court of criminal corrections, the magistrate courts, the probate courts and the munici- pal corporation courts shall continue to have the jurisdiction and power provided in the article repealed hereby and provided by the laws and rules enacted thereunder, and shall continue to follow the procedures as provided in such article, laws and rules.

8. Each judge who, on the effective date of this article, becomes a circuit or associate circuit judge in any circuit subject to the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) of this article shall be eligible for retention in office as a circuit or associate circuit judge respectively by filing in the office of the secretary of state a declaration of candidacy for election not less than sixty days prior to the holding of the general election next preceding the expiration of his term of office. If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retaining him in office, upon the expiration of his term of office, a vacancy shall exist which shall be filled by appointment as provided in section 25(a); otherwise, said judge shall, unless removed for cause, remain in office for the number of years after December thirty-first following such election as is provided for the full term of such office and at the expiration of each such term shall be eligible for retention in office by election in the same manner prescribed by section 25(c)(1). The secretary of state shall certify the name of such judges in accordance with law or in accordance with section 25(c)(2) of this article.

9. On the effective date of this article the judges of the magistrate court and the judges of the probate court in any circuit which selects judges under the nonpartisan selection of judges shall become nonpartisan judges. The judges of the probate courts of the city of St. Louis and all first class counties, and all second class counties with a population of over sixty-five thousand, when such courts cease to exist, and the judges of the St. Louis court of criminal corrections, shall become circuit judges and receive the compensation payable to circuit judges.

9. a. The judges of all municipal corporations courts in office at the time such courts cease to exist and who qualify for office under the provisions of section 21 of this article shall continue in office until the expiration of the terms to which they have been elected or appointed unless otherwise provided by law. When such courts cease to exist, the judges thereof who continue in office shall become municipal judges and shall serve as such until their terms expire or are otherwise removed. They shall receive the compensation now provided until otherwise changed by law. Such compensation shall be paid by the municipality or municipalities they serve. Upon the expiration of their terms, they shall become eligible for retention in office as municipal judges in the same manner as now provided for the selection of municipal judges in the municipality they serve until otherwise provided by law. In the event the municipal judge now serving shall fail, refuse or be disqualified from continuing in office, the municipality may elect or appoint a municipal judge in the same manner as is now provided in that municipality for selection of a municipal judge unless otherwise provided by law. All expenses incidental to the functioning of municipal judges, including the cost of any staff, and their quarters shall be paid and provided by the respective municipalities as now provided for municipal courts until otherwise provided by law. In municipalities with a population of under four hundred thousand which do not have a municipal judge or for which no municipal judge is provided by law, associate circuit judges shall hear and determine violations of municipal ordinances. No associate circuit judge shall, however, act as a municipal judge in any city with a population of four hundred thousand or more until otherwise provided by law.

10. a. 1. Until otherwise provided by law, circuit clerks in each circuit and county shall be selected in the same manner as provided by law on the effective date of this article, except that in counties having a charter form of government, the circuit clerk shall be selected in the manner as provided in the charter of such county.

2. Upon the expiration of the terms of office of the clerk of the circuit court for criminal causes of the city of St. Louis, and the term of the clerk of the St. Louis court of criminal correction, the offices of such clerks shall cease to exist and thereafter the clerk of the circuit court of the city of St. Louis shall have the powers and perform the duties and functions of such clerks and shall serve all divisions of the circuit court, except the courts presided over by an associate circuit judge, the judge of the probate division of the circuit court and by municipal judges.

3. In any division of the circuit court presided over by an associate circuit judge, in the probate division of the circuit court, and in any division presided over by a municipal judge, the clerks and their deputies of the respective divisions shall continue to be selected in the same manner as provided for by law on the effective date of this article until otherwise changed by law.

4. There shall continue to be an office of circuit clerk in each county of the circuit, until otherwise changed by law.

b. Upon the effective date of this article, the office of constable serving magistrate courts is abolished. The functions, powers and duties of such constables shall be transferred to and be performed by the sheriff of the county or the sheriff of the city of St. Louis.

c. Upon the effective date of this article the office of prosecuting attorney of the city of St. Louis shall be abolished and all the duties, powers, and functions of such office shall be transferred to the circuit attorney of the city of St. Louis who shall have such powers and perform such functions and duties as the prosecuting attorney of the city of St. Louis.

d. No election shall be held in 1978 for the offices which are abolished by this subsection 10.

11. The commissioners of the supreme court holding office on the effective date of this article shall continue to hold office as commissioners of the court until the end of their terms, and shall be eligible for reappointment thereafter from term to term under existing law until retirement, death, resignation or removal for cause. Upon the occurrence of such vacancy in the office of commissioner of the supreme court, such office shall cease to exist. Commissioners, in addition to their regular duties, shall be subject to temporary assignment for the performance of judicial duties as special judges of the supreme court, court of appeals, or circuit court on order of the supreme court. During such temporary assignments, commissioners sitting as special judges shall have the same powers, duties, and responsibilities as are vested by law in the regular judges of the courts to which they are assigned.

12. The boundaries and territorial jurisdiction of the districts of the court of appeals and of the judicial circuits as they exist on the effective date of this article shall be continued in effect until such time as changed by law.

13. The commission on retirement, removal and discipline and the nonpartisan appellate and circuit judicial commissions in existence on the effective date of this article shall continue to exist, and the terms of office for such commissions shall continue in effect.

14. “Judge” as used in sections 20, 24 and 26 of this article shall include commissioners of the supreme court.

15. Nothing in this article shall deprive any person of any right or privilege to retire and the retirement benefits to which he was entitled immediately prior to the effective date of this article.

16. A municipal corporation with a population of under four hundred thousand shall have the right to enforce its ordinances and to conduct prosecutions before an associ- ate circuit judge in the absence of a municipal judge and in appellate courts under the process authorized or provided by this article and shall receive and retain any fines to which it may be entitled. All court costs shall be paid to and deposited monthly in the state treasury. No filing fees shall be charged in such prosecutions unless and until provided for by a law enacted after the adoption of this article.

17. Until otherwise provided by law, the circuit courts shall continue to have jurisdiction to review administrative decisions, findings, rules, and orders in the manner and practice and pursuant to the laws and rules then in force at the time this article becomes effective.

18. All rights, claims, causes of action and obligations existing and all contracts, prosecutions, recognizances and other instruments executed or entered into and all indictments, informations, and complaints which shall have been filed and all actions which shall have been instituted and all fines, penalties and forfeitures assessed, due or owing prior to the effective date of this article shall continue to be as valid as if this article had not been adopted.

19. The general assembly may enact such laws and make such appropriations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.

20. All laws and rules inconsistent with the provisions of this article shall, on the effective date hereof, be and are repealed. Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this article, all provisions of law and rules of court in force on the effective date of this amendment shall continue in effect until superseded in a manner authorized by the constitution or by law.

21. In the event that a new district of the court of appeals is established, the judges presently serving on any district of the court of appeals shall continue to be judges of the court of appeals to which appointed although they are not residents of the court of appeals district in which they serve.

22. Until otherwise provided by law, in any cause heard and determined by an associate circuit judge, the associate circuit judge shall utilize electronic, magnetic, or mechanical sound or video recording devices for the purpose of preserving the record. Electronic, magnetic, or mechanical recording devices shall be approved by the office of state courts administrator prior to their utilization by any associate circuit judge.

23. Each circuit in which judges are selected under the nonpartisan court plan, on the effective date of this article, including the circuits of Platte county, Clay county, and St. Louis county, shall continue under the nonpartisan court plan until and unless such method of selection of judges is discontinued by the voters of the circuit as provided by sections 25(a)–(g) of this article.

24. Judges, other than municipal judges, not selected under the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) of this article who on the effective day of this article or within six months thereafter, are seventy years of age or older, may petition the commission on retirement, removal and discipline to continue to serve until age seventy-six if he has not completed a total of twelve years of service as a judge. Judges, other than municipal judges, not selected under the provisions of sections 25(a)–(g) of this article who are in office on the effective date of this article, may, within six months before attaining the age of seventy years, petition the commission on retirement, removal, and discipline to be allowed to serve after he has attained that age until age seventy-six or has completed a total of twelve years of service as a judge, whichever shall first occur. If the commission finds the petitioner to be able to perform his duties and approves such service, the petitioner may continue to serve as such a judge until age seventy-six if he has not completed a total of twelve years of service as a judge at such age. No such judge shall be permitted to serve as such a judge beyond the age of seventy-six years regardless of whether or not he has completed a total of twelve years except for the purpose of completing the term to which he was elected or appointed.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended on August 3, 1976.

See also

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