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Missouri Supreme Court

At Risk
Total Judgeships: 

7 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

Non-Partisan

Location(s): 
Jefferson City
Caseload: 

90

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LISTEN NOWThe Freedom Files Podcast Episode 46: Project Arizona Part 2Listen Here
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Inheritance Muddled Because of Undue Influence

Tue, 07/08/2014

Ivie v. Smith: After marrying her 4th husband, Patricia Watson created a trust that left all of her belongings to her half siblings when she died. A few years later, Watson's mental health began deteriorating and she made multiple amendments to the trust that shifted the mass majority of her belongings to be left to her husband. When Watson died, her half siblings filed suit claiming that trust amendments should be vacated because they were made as a result of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity.

Decision

The Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed the decision of the lower courts, ruling that the amendments to the trust were void because Watson made them in an unhealthy state. As a result, the original trust was reinstated and the half siblings were awarded their inheritance.

Read the full decision here
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Keep an Eye on Those Hotdogs

Tue, 06/24/2014

Coomer v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corporation: Coomer was attending a Kansas Royals baseball game when he was hit in the eye by a hotdog that was tossed by Sluggerr, the Royals' mascot. During the trial, the jury was asked to make the decision of whether the risk of being hit with a hotdog is one to be expected and taken on by an individual simply when deciding to attend a baseball game.

Decision

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Coomer, deciding that individuals do not take on an assumed risk of being hit with a hotdog when they buy tickets and enter into a baseball arena environment. Unlike the possibility of being struck by a foul ball, being hit by food launched by a mascot was deemed by the court as an unforeseeable threat. As a result, they remanded the case in order to have a lower court assign damages.

Read the full decision here
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Line Drawn Between Police Safety and Probable Cause

Tue, 05/13/2014

State of Missouri v. Tyoka Lovelady: While patrolling a dangerous part of town, two officers passed by Lovelady and noticed a handgun protruding from his waistband. They handcuffed Lovelady and discovered that the handgun was an Airsoft toy gun but they had already called in his name and found that Lovelady was wanted on drug charges. Lovelady appealed his conviction on the grounds that the officers lacked adequate reasonable suspicion and probable cause to search him since his gun was a toy.

Decision

The Supreme Court of Missouri upheld the decision of the lower courts and ruled that the officers acted correctly in their handling of the situation. As a result, the Court dismissed the appeal for the evidence to be suppressed because even through the gun was a toy, the circumstances provided adequate grounds to search the defendant.

Read the full decision here