Case summaries for Sept. 23 - Sept. 29, 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.
Criminal | Employment Security | Personal Injury | Post-Conviction
UMDDL Claims Rejected
One law enforcement authority notifies another law enforcement authority of a criminal charge against someone already held on another criminal charge by filing a detainer. The Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Law addresses timely disposition of such other criminal charges. In a claim under that Law, the elements include the existence of a detainer, which does not include actual knowledge of another charge, a warrant, or writs of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. A criminal charge is subject to dismissal if the disposition of a related detainer is so untimely as to deny a speedy trial. Speedy trial claims must first meet the threshold standard for a presumptively prejudicial delay of eight months, after which the claim depends on the timing of defendant’s request for a speedy trial, the reasons for delay, and resulting prejudice. Appellant did not show any factor favoring the claim other than the presumptively prejudicial delay. On a charge of second-degree assault by recklessly causing serious physical injury, the State showed that appellant caused a peace officer to suffer a broken wrist by falling when appellant pulled away from the officer’s grasp, meeting the State’s burden of proof. “[F]light from an officer effecting a legal stop inherently includes a substantial and unjustifiable risk of physical injury to the officer.” Those facts also showed the element of physical force on the charge of resisting arrest.
State of Missouri vs. Ronnie Dale Summers
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District - WD84548
When the elements of a charge include possession, the State must show that defendant knew what the contraband was and intended to control it. Control can be constructive and joint among defendant and others. Evidence that contraband was in a bedroom occupied solely by defendant made a submissible case of possession.
State of Missouri vs. Terry Joe Berwaldt
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD84329
Separate Offenses Support Cumulative Sentences
Double Jeopardy theories are always subject to review, at least for plain error, even if unpreserved. Double Jeopardy bars multiple punishments for a single offense, but multiple offenses may occur on one set of facts, depending on the language of the statutes. When defendant can commit one offense without committing the other, punishments may apply cumulatively for each. Appellant’s possession of crack supported sentences for possession of a controlled substance, and for unlawful possession of a firearm, because unlawful possession of a firearm can happen by possessing a firearm in circumstances other than while possessing a controlled substance.
State of Missouri, Respondent, vs. Sylvester Onyejiaka, Jr., Appellant.
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED109930
Uber and Lyft Are Not Employment
Statutes disqualify from benefits a claimant who quits employment voluntarily without good cause attributable to work. “[I]n the absence of fraud, the [Labor and Industrial Relations] Commission’s factual findings are conclusive and binding if supported by competent and substantial evidence.” Competent and substantial evidence shows that claimant quit employment voluntarily. Childcare is not attributable to work. Statutes also provide that quitting for better-paying employment does not disqualify claimant. Claimant quit to work more hours for Uber and Lyft, which is independent contracting and not employment, so that exception does not apply.
Martin McCabe, Appellant, ADP Total Source FL XVIII, Inc., and Division of Employment Security, Respondents.
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED110169
No Civil Action for Workplace Injury
In a petition for wrongful death, petitioners alleged that decedent’s death was the result of decedent’s supervisor violating employer’s protocols. Those protocols related to workplace safety, which was employer’s non-delegable duty, the breach of which is subject to the exclusive remedy of the workers’ compensation statutes. Whether the supervisor committed such breaches of duty intentionally to coerce decedent into retirement is irrelevant to the character of the duty, which was to provide a safe workplace, and not an independent duty between the supervisor and decedent. Summary judgment for supervisor affirmed.
Sarah Channel, Lauren Channel, Mary Channel vs. Stephen Walker, Individually
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD85172
Motion Too Late
Rule provides that a motion must allege timely filing, which appellant did not do, and the record shows that the motion was untimely. Untimely filing waives all relief. Remanded to circuit court for dismissal.
Alejo A. Hamilton, Appellant, vs. State of Missouri, Respondent.
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED110209