Case summaries for Feb. 4 - Feb. 10, 2022
Each week, The Missouri Bar provides links to all hand downs published online during the past seven days by the Supreme Court of Missouri and the Missouri Court of Appeals. The Missouri Bar has created headings and summaries for each case. Summaries are not part of the opinions of the Court. They have been prepared for the convenience of the reader and should not be quoted or cited.
Statutes Requiring Pre-Circulation Certification of Referendum Title Struck
Constitutional provisions reserve the power of legislation to the people through the process of referendum. The Constitution allows the General Assembly to manipulate the time for a referendum campaign by controlling a bill’s effective date and allows executive officials to delay further by drafting a fiscal note and a title before the issue reaches the ballot, but bars any other hindrance to the process. Statutes requiring a certified title on the petition before circulation constitute, according to the record in circuit court, an obstruction to the gathering of signatures. “In practice, the pre-circulation ballot title requirement has indeed proved to be a hinderance to the referendum process.” Whether respondent has enough resources to overcome that statutory obstacle is irrelevant when other campaigns do not. The statutes are unconstitutional, the circuit court did not err in declaring the statutes invalid, and the Supreme Court affirms that judgment.
No Bans on Choice, American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, and Sara E. Baker, Respondents, vs. John R. Ashcroft, in his official capacity as Missouri Secretary of State, Appellant.
Supreme Court of Missouri - SC98879
Too Late for Intervention
Statutes governing dissolution of marriage allow for grandparent visitation and rules set forth the standard for intervention, which include a timely motion. “Even if a party has demonstrated a right to intervene, [the rule] gives the circuit court the discretion to deny the motion if the application is untimely.” Movant filed the motion to intervene on the day, and perhaps at a time after, judgment issued. Circuit court must grant such a motion only if the movant shows that “substantial justice” requires granting the motion. The parties’ swift settlement of their disputes shows that last-minute intervention would “greatly prejudice” the parties while appellant may still file a motion to modify the judgment. On those facts, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion.
Emily Jane Corson, Respondent, v. Joshua Ryan Corson, Respondent, and Elaine Korn, Proposed Intervenor/Appellant.
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District - ED109820
Medical Marijuana Information Subject to Discovery
The State sought a writ of prohibition to bar the Commission from compelling the production of medical marijuana records and cited constitutional provisions making those records confidential. But the Constitution also makes medical marijuana records available for the licensing process, which includes review before the Administrative Hearing Commission, so the Commission had authority to compel the production of medical marijuana records. Circuit court did not err in quashing its preliminary writ.
State of Missouri ex rel. Department of Health and Senior Services, Appellant, vs. Renee T. Slusher, Commissioner, Administrative Hearing Commission, Respondent.
Supreme Court of Missouri - SC99205