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Case summaries for Aug. 26 - Sept. 1, 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.

Appellate | Criminal | Environmental | Post-Conviction | Real Estate


Briefing Rules Are Mandatory 
Appellate rule provides a template for appealing an agency decision. Adding facts, omitting page references, and arguing outside the point relied on, are departures from the rules of appellate procedure so “substantial and material” that the Court of Appeals cannot rule on appellant’s claims without becoming appellant’s advocate. Dismissed. 
Lee Kouadio-Tobey vs. Division of Employment Security 
(Overview Summary) 
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District - WD85197                      

Briefing Errors Require Dismissal 
Rules governing statement of facts, points relied on, and argument require more than conclusory assertions, and failure to comply preserved nothing for the Court of Appeals to review, so the court dismisses the appeal. 
James F. Green vs. Division of Employment Security 
(Overview Summary) 
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD85108


Instruction on Necessity Defense Required 
Circuit court must give the jury an instruction on any theory that the defendant requests “however improbable that theory may seem, so long as the most favorable construction of the evidence supports it.” Statutes provide the justification of necessity, which defendant’s testimony supported, and circuit court erred in denying an instruction based on its own credibility determination. Reversed and remanded for a new trial.    
STATE OF MISSOURI, Plaintiff-Respondent v. JASON MICHAEL HURST, Defendant-Appellant 
Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District – SD37395 


U.S. Statutes and Easement No Obstacle for Eleven Point State Park 
Statutes authorize the Department of Natural Resources to acquire lands of “scenic, historic, prehistoric, archeological, scientific, or other distinctive characteristics or natural features” and make no mention of public use. Even if those statutes did mention public use, public use does not require public physical access. On the contrary, the statutes authorize the Department to restrict public access. Therefore, the United States Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the United States’ scenic easement on such land, support the Department’s acquisition and dedication of that land for a state park, and do not conflict with that acquisition and dedication. Circuit court’s contrary conclusion “is in direct contradiction to the plain language of [the Department’s] authorizing statutes and regulations” and are “unsupported in statute, regulation, case law, and the historical practices of parks in Missouri.” 
Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District – SD36846 


Ruling Incomplete, Judgment Not Final 
Movant’s later motion constituted a supplement to movant’s earlier and premature motion, which circuit court must hold in abeyance pending an appeal from the underlying conviction, so both the two motions’ claims were before the circuit court. The circuit court’s judgment may dispose of claims without discussion if the judgment mentions those claims, but not otherwise, so claims ‘“that the court did not acknowledge, adjudicate, or dispose’ of” remain pending. Pending claims leave a judgment less than final and not subject to appeal. Dismissed.    
Jay W. Abbott, Appellant, v. State of Missouri, Respondent. 
(Overview Summary) 
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District - ED110092   

Real Estate

Lease Renewal Unenforceable 
Respondent landlord filed an action for unlawful detainer. Unlawful detainer is a summary action, in lieu of landlord self-help, in which no equitable defenses or arguments over title apply. The courts will not determine rent, nor assess the parties’ good faith in discussing that matter, nor allow discovery on that matter, in an action for unlawful detainer. To address theories not relevant to the unlawful detainer action, appellant tenant filed an action for specific performance, but an order in the specific performance action is not subject to review on appeal from the final judgment in the unlawful detained action. The only issue is the right to immediate possession, which respondent landlord had, because the parties’ lease expired without exercise of an option to renew. The option to renew was subject to the most recent amendment to the lease, which superseded contradictory provisions in the original lease, and provided that the price would be negotiated between the parties after renewal. That provision was unenforceable because it was essential yet indefinite. “Because the lease expired … , and there was no enforceable option to renew, Respondent is entitled to immediate possession as a matter of law.” A point relied on, related to ambiguity in the lease, is unpreserved. Summary judgment affirmed. 
Green Street 2900 Investors, LLC, Respondent, vs. The St. Louis Woodworks, Inc., Appellant. 
(Overview Summary) 
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District - ED110459