Your Missouri Courts - Supreme Court
Home Supreme Court Court of Appeals Circuit Courts Courts Administrator Contact Us

Case Summary for June 25, 2012

THE FOLLOWING DOCKET SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE COURT'S STAFF FOR THE INTEREST AND CONVENIENCE OF THE READER. THE SUMMARIES MAY NOT INCLUDE ALL ISSUES PENDING BEFORE THE COURT AND DO NOT REFLECT ANY OPINION OF THE COURT ON THE MERITS OF A CASE. COPIES OF ALL BRIEFS FILED WITH THE COURT ARE AVAILABLE AT THE SUPREME COURT BUILDING, COURT EN BANC DIVISION. SUMMARIES ARE UNOFFICIAL AND SHOULD NOT BE QUOTED OR CITED.


Attached to the following docketed cases are electronic copies of briefs filed by the parties. These electronic briefs have been converted to PDF to accommodate various word processors. If you do not already have Acrobat reader, which is necessary to open the PDFs, you may obtain it free at the Adobe website. (A set of free tools that allow visually disabled users to read documents in Adobe PDF format is available from access.adobe.com.) These briefs do not reflect any opinion of the Court about the appropriateness of the format of the briefs or the merits of the case, nor are they official court records. Copies of all briefs filed with the Court are available at the Supreme Court Building in the court en banc division.

The attachments below may not reflect all briefs filed with the Court, the complete filing or the format of the original filing. Appendices and other attachments generally will not be posted here. To see what documents have been filed in a particular case, visit Case.net.



DOCKET SUMMARIES
SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI
1:30 p.m. Monday, June 25, 2012

____________________________________________________________________________________________________


Todayís docket involves arguments in six cases about various initiative petitions. Due to the commonality of facts and legal issues, the parties chose to organize their arguments based on issue rather than case. The six cases and briefs filed are listed below, followed by a summary of the arguments.

Listen to the oral argument: SC92500-SC92564-SC92571-SC92573-SC92574-SC92582.mp3

SC92500
Peggy Northcott, et al. v. Robin Carnahan, et al.
Cole County

Northcott was represented during arguments by Charles W. Hatfield of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Jefferson City; Carnahan was represented by Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan; Schweich was represented by Ronald L. Holliger of the attorney general's office in Jefferson City and Darrell Moore of the office of the Missouri state auditor in Jefferson City; and Shull and Stockman were represented by John E. Campbell of The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis.

SC92500_Carnahan_&_Schweich_brief.pdfSC92500_Northcott_&_Potashnick_brief.pdfSC92500_Bryan_&_MO_for_responsible_lending_brief.pdfSC92500_Shull_&_Stockman_brief.pdf

SC92500_Carnahan_reply_&_Schweich_second_brief.pdfSC92500_Northcott_&_Potashnick_second_brief.pdfSC92500_Bryan_&_MO_for_responsible_lending_second_brief.pdfSC92500_Shull_&_Stockman_second_brief.pdf


SC92564
Victor Allred v. Robin Carnahan, Thomas A. Schweich and Missouri Jobs with Justice
Cole County

Allred was represented during arguments by Edward Greim of Graves, Bartle, Marcus & Garrett LLC in Kansas City; Carnahan was represented by Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan; Schweich was represented by Ronald L. Holliger of the attorney general's office in Jefferson City and Darrell Moore of the office of the Missouri state auditor in Jefferson City; and Missouri Jobs with Justice was represented by Christopher Grant of Schuchat, Cook & Werner in St. Louis.

SC92564_Schweich_first_brief.pdfSC92564_MO_Jobs_with_Justice_first_brief.pdfSC92564_Allred_brief.pdf

SC92564_Schweich_second_brief.pdfSC92564_Carnahan_&_Schweich_brief.pdfSC92564_MO_Jobs_with_Justice_second_brief.pdfSC92564_Allred_second_brief.pdf

SC92564_MO_Jobs_with_Justice_reply_brief.pdfSC92564_Allred_reply_brief.pdf


SC92571
Tiffany Francis, et al. v. Robin Carnahan, et al. and Missourians for Responsible Lending, et al.
Cole County

Francis was represented during arguments by Marc Ellinger of Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch LC in Jefferson City; Carnahan was represented by Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan; Schweich was represented by Ronald L. Holliger of the attorney general's office in Jefferson City and Darrell Moore of the office of the Missouri state auditor in Jefferson City; Missourians for Responsible Lending was represented by Heidi D. Vollet of Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff & Landwehr PC in Jefferson City; and Shull and Stockman were represented by John E. Campbell of The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis.


SC92571_Carnahan_&_Schweich_brief.pdfSC92571_Bryan_&_MO_for_responsible_lending_brief.pdfSC92571_Francis_&_Hoover_brief.pdfSC92571_Shull_&_Stockman_brief.pdf

SC92571_Carnahan_&_Schweich_second_brief.pdfSC92571_Bryan_&_MO_for_responsible_lending_second_brief.pdfSC92571_Francis_&_Hoover_second_brief.pdfSC92571_Shull_&_Stockman_second_brief.pdf


SC92573
John Prentzler v. Robin Carnahan, et al. and Missourians for Responsible Lending, et al.
Cole County

Prentzler was represented during arguments by Edward D. Greim of Graves, Bartle, Marcus & Garrett LLC in Kansas City; Carnahan was represented by Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan; Schweich was represented by Ronald L. Holliger of the attorney general's office in Jefferson City and Darrell Moore of the office of the Missouri state auditor in Jefferson City; Missourians for Responsible Lending was represented by Heidi D. Vollet of Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff & Landwehr PC in Jefferson City; and Shull and Stockman were represented by John E. Campbell of The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis.

SC92573_Carnahan_&_Schweich_brief.pdfSC92573_Bryan_&_MO_for_responsible_lending_brief.pdfSC92573_Prentzler_brief.pdfSC92573_Shull_&_Stockman_brief.pdf

SC92573_Carnahan_&_Schweich_reply_brief.pdfSC92573_Bryan_&_MO_for_responsible_lending_reply_brief.pdfSC92573_Shull_&_Stockman_reply_brief.pdf


SC92574
Stephen J. Reuter v. Robin Carnahan, et al. and Missourians for Responsible Lending, et al.
Cole County

Reuter was represented during arguments by Charles W. Hatfield of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Jefferson City; Carnahan was represented by Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan; Schweich was represented by Ronald L. Holliger of the attorney general's office in Jefferson City and Darrell Moore of the office of the Missouri state auditor in Jefferson City; Missourians for Responsible Lending was represented by Heidi D. Vollet of Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff & Landwehr PC in Jefferson City; and Shull and Stockman were represented by John E. Campbell of The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis.

SC92574_Carnahan_&_Schweich_brief.pdfSC92574_Bryan_&_MO_for_responsible_lending_brief.pdfSC92574_Reuter_brief.pdfSC92574_Shull_&_Stockman_brief.pdf

SC92574_Carnahan_&_Schweich_reply_brief.pdfSC92574_Bryan_&_MO_for_responsible_lending_reply_brief.pdfSC92574_Shull_&_Stockman_reply_brief.pdf


SC92582
Ralph Brown v. Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Missouri State Auditor Thomas A. Schweich, Missourians for Health and Education, Dudley McCarter and Peggy Taylor
Cole County

Brown was represented during arguments by Charles W. Hatfield of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Jefferson City; Carnahan was represented by Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah Morgan; Schweich was represented by Ronald L. Holliger of the attorney general's office in Jefferson City and Darrell Moore of the office of the Missouri state auditor in Jefferson City; and Missourians for Health and Education was represented by Lowell Pearson of HUsch Blackwell LLP in Jefferson City.

SC92582_Brown_brief.pdfSC92582_Carnahan_&_Schweich_brief.pdfSC92582_MO_for_health_&_education_brief.pdf

SC92582_Brown_second_brief.pdf

INTRODUCTION

Missouri citizen James Bryan assembled an initiative petition, sponsored by Missourians for Responsible Lending, a statewide coalition and campaign committee, to have put to a statewide vote a law regulating the interest rates charged by certain types of payday loan institutions. Section 408.100, RSMo, was repealed in 1998, eliminating existing regulation on these institutions and rates. The legislature subsequently adopted section 408.505, RSMo, which places some regulations on certain payday loan institutions and sets the total interest limit at 75 percent of the loan amount. The petition was submitted to the secretary of state to prepare the summary statement (commonly called the ballot title) for the petition and to get the attorney generalís approval under section 116.334, RSMo. The secretary then sent the initiative to the state auditor to prepare the fiscal note and fiscal note summary pursuant to section 116.175, RSMo.

After the attorney general certified the ballot title, individuals opposed to the initiative Ėincluding Tiffany Francis, Peggy Northcott, John Prentzler and Stephen J. Reuter Ė filed four separate lawsuits claiming that the secretaryís ballot title and auditorís fiscal note and fiscal note summary were insufficient and unfair under section 116.190, RSMo. The actions were tried together in the circuit court but not consolidated. The parties also challenged the constitutional validity of section 116.175. The circuit court found that the fiscal note, fiscal note summary and ballot title were insufficient, unfair and likely to deceive voters because there was no mention of the impact of the initiative on lenders covered under section 408.510, RSMo. The court drafted a new ballot title for the secretary as part of its ruling on the four actions. The secretary and auditor appeal.

George Dennis Shull and Jerry Stockman, Missouri citizens who signed the initiative, moved to intervene in all four actions. They were admitted as parties in the Prentzler and Reuter actions. The circuit court asked Shull and Stockman to identify their claims, defenses, arguments, points of proof or facts that were unique to those raised by the other parties, but they failed to produce them. The court later dismissed them from both cases and overruled their motion to intervene in the Francis and Northcott actions. The court found Shull and Stockmanís interests were protected by the secretary and auditorís interests. Shull and Stockman appeal.

In a separate matter, Missouri citizen Robert L. Hess assembled six initiative petitions proposing amendments to chapters 149 and 196, RSMo, to raise taxes on cigarettes. The secretary of state prepared identical ballot titles and fair ballot summaries for all six petitions, and the state auditor prepared six identical fiscal notes and fiscal note summaries. Ralph Brown filed a lawsuit challenging the ballot title, fair ballot summary, fiscal note and fiscal note summary as well as the constitutional validity of section 116.175. In a previous unrelated case, Brown had obtained a trial court ruling that section 116.175 was unconstitutional. Missourians for Health and Education, Dudley McCarter and Peggy Taylor intervened in the new action. The circuit court ruled in favor of the secretary, auditor and intervenors. Brown appeals.

An organization called Missouri Jobs for Justice proposed an initiative petition to amend the minimum wage law. The secretary of state drafted the ballot title and fair ballot summary and sent the petition to the state auditor, who drafted the fiscal note and fiscal note summary. Missouri citizen Victor Allred filed a lawsuit challenging the initiativeís ballot title, fiscal note and fiscal note summary as insufficient, misleading, biased and unfair. He later added a claim that section 116.175, authorizing the auditor to prepare the fiscal note, is unconstitutional. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment (judgment on the pleadings) about the ballot title. The circuit court found that the ballot title, fiscal note and fiscal note summary were fair and sufficient. It found that section 116.175 was unconstitutional because it extended the auditorís powers beyond those granted by article IV, section 13 of the Missouri Constitution. Finally, the court found the auditorís investigation of costs and savings in preparing the fiscal note was not a true investigation as defined in article IV, section 13 because he did not follow up on comments submitted to him. The auditor appeals.

Argument I ~ Constitutional issue of auditorís authority
to prepare fiscal notes and fiscal note summaries
(consolidated from Northcott, Allred and Brown)

Attorneys representing Northcott, Allred and Brown will argue first.

Northcott argues the trial court erred in denying her request for a declaratory judgment about whether section 116.175 is constitutional. She contends section 116.175 directly conflicts with article IV, section 13 by imposing a duty on the auditor unrelated to the supervising and auditing of public funds. Northcott asserts the preparation of a fiscal note and fiscal note summary is not related to the auditorís duties rearding public funds as authorized by section 116.175.

Allread argues the trial court properly found the auditor does not have constitutional authority to prepare the fiscal note and fiscal note summary. He contends the circuit court applied case law which diverges from the meaning and intent of section 116.175. Allred asserts the preparation of the fiscal effect of an initiative is not related to public funds as the auditorís duties are outlined by the state constitution. He argues Missouri Jobsí request to this Court to approve the previously submitted signatures was not raised properly on appeal and is not ready for litigation.

Brown argues the fiscal note summary for this initiative is insufficient, unfair and exceeds the auditorís statutory authority. He contends the auditorís phrasing summarized the entire initiative, a duty reserved for the secretary of state, instead of just the costs and savings. Brown asserts the auditorís actions violated his duties under section 116.190. He argues the trial court incorrectly denied his request for declaratory judgment about whether section 116.175 violates the state constitution. Brown contends section 116.175 conflicts with article IV, section 13 by imposing a duty on the auditor unrelated to his fiscal responsibilities. He asserts this matter already has been litigated and judgment entered by another court, so judgment should have been entered here in accordance with the earlier judgment.

Attorneys representing the auditor and Missourians for Health and Education will argue second.

The auditor argues the court misapplied section 116.175, regarding his authority to prepare the fiscal note and fiscal note summary. He contends section 116.175 does not conflict with article IV, section 13 of the state constitution. The auditor asserts the constitution permits the legislature to assign investigations regarding public funds to him. He argues the preparation of fiscal notes and fiscal note summaries is related to the auditing and supervising of public funds, as included in the auditorís constitutional duties. The auditor contends the circuit courtís earlier decision in a previous, unrelated case that section 116.175 is unconstitutional cannot prohibit this Court from ruling about the statuteís constitutionality now. The auditor asserts that, if the Court finds section 116.175 is unconstitutional, it still should order that the initiative be put on the ballot, with or without the fiscal note. He argues the law requires that, from the time he receives the proposed initiative from the secretary of state, interested parties have 10 days to submit comments and the he has 20 days to prepare the fiscal note and fiscal note summary. The auditor contends he did not receive all of the comments on which the trial court relied within the statutory time limit. He asserts he listed all comments received in the statutory time limit fully, completely and accurately. The auditor argues he properly summarized the comments and included all timely comments about the lenders who would be affected by the initiative. He contends comments about other lenders were not submitted until trial, which was after the statutory deadline had passed.

Missourians for Health and Education argues the trial court correctly overruled Brownís request for a declaratory judgment about the constitutional validity of section 116.175. It contends the auditorís duties under the statute constitution both investigations as well as the supervising and auditing of public funds, which are included in article IV, section 13 of the state constitution. Health and Education asserts Brown cannot prohibit this Court from making a constitutional determination about section 116.175 because he did not raise this claim at the proper time and no prior case is identical to the current action. Health and Education argues that, if the Court should find the fiscal note is insufficient, it merely should correct the note and not void it entirely.


Argument II ~ Sufficiency and fairness of
summary statement (BALLOT TITLE), fiscal note and
fiscal note summary

Argument IIA (consolidated from Northcott, Francis, Prentzler and Reuter)

Attorneys representing the secretary of state, auditor, Bryan and Missourians for Responsible Lending, and Shull and Stockman will argue first.

The secretary and auditor argue the ballot title is fair, sufficient and meets the statutory standards. They contend the voters will not be deceived or misled by the ballot title. The secretary and auditor assert that the ballot title does not need more specific details because it already describes the subject of the proposal. They argue the trial court incorrectly found it was the courtís place to rewrite the ballot title because only the secretary of state is authorized to write such a statement. The secretary and auditor contend the auditor did not abandon his argument that the fiscal note and fiscal note summary are sufficient and fair regarding the initiativeís fiscal impact. They assert Francis and Hoover had two methods of affecting the fiscal note; either by submitting a comment to the auditor under section 116.175 or by filing a lawsuit to challenge its sufficiency and fairness.
Bryan and Missourians for Responsible Lending argue the circuit court erred in finding the fiscal note and fiscal note summary were insufficient and unfair. They contend there is insufficient evidence to prove the auditor failed to consider the local impact of the initiative. Bryan and Responsible Lending assert the evidence used at trial was in direct violation of section 116.175 because it was not submitted before trial, and, therefore, was past the 10- and 20-day statutory time limits for submission of comments. It argues the only evidence presented to the court of businesses that potentially would close due to the initiative presented was this late evidence. Bryan and Responsible Lending contend failure to enforce the time limits results in a violation of the state constitutional right to propose or reject laws and amendments by initiative under article III, section 49. They assert that Northcottís alternative theories already were rejected by the court and that she did not cross-appeal that ruling properly. Bryan and Responsible Lending argue the initiative should be added to the ballot regardless of whether the fiscal note and fiscal note summary are approved. They contend Northcottís claims about the ballot title and Francisí constitutional claims lack merit and misstate the standard.

Shull and Stockman argue the circuit court erred in not allowing them to intervene in these four cases. They contend they met the standard for permissive intervention because they have an interest as supporters of the initiative to defend it that is unique to the interest of the secretary of state and state auditor. Shull and Stockman assert that. as signers of the initiative petition, they also have a personal interest in upholding the initiative. They argue they have no independent means of defending the initiative outside of intervening in this suit and its three counterparts.

Attorneys representing Northcott, Francis, Prentzler and Reuter will argue second.

Northcott argues the ballot title is insufficient, unfair and likely to deceive voters and violates section 116.190 because it fails to summarize the material points of the initiative. She contends the fiscal note and fiscal note summary are insufficient and unfair because the auditor failed to consider the local impact of the initiative. Northcott asserts the trial court considered whether the auditor considered local impact of the initiative in its ruling, but the auditor failed to appeal on this basis. She argues that the auditor has abandoned this section of the argument by failing to appeal and that his appeal should be dismissed. Northcott contends the trial court properly admitted evidence at trial because citizens are entitled to present all necessary evidence about the insufficiency and unfairness of a fiscal note. She asserts section 116.190 allows for submission of evidence and does not require that the evidence previously be submitted to the auditor during the comment period. Northcott argues the fiscal note and fiscal note summary failed to show the impact on lenders regulated under section 408.510, RSMo. She contends the secretary of state and auditor failed to provide valid evidence of why the lenders subject to section 408.510 were excluded from consideration. Northcott asserts the court correctly rewrote the ballot title for the secretary because this is the only remedy for an insufficient ballot title. She argues that Bryanís constitutional rights have not been violated and that his arguments are not ripe (legally ready) for litigation. Northcott contends the court properly excluded Shull and Stockman from intervening.

Francis argues the circuit courtís ruling protects the initiative process and does not violate constitutional rights. She contends the circuit court erred in overruling her constitutional claims. Francis asserts the claims were ripe because the initiative violates Missouriís uniform rate provision under article III, section 44 of the state constitution, is void for being vague and violates due process. She argues that the initiative is facially unconstitutional and that an election should not be held based on an unconstitutional initiative. Francis contends Shull and Stockman properly were prohibited from intervening because their interests were not affected.

Prentzler argues the current action does not affect Missourians for Responsible Lendingís constitutional rights. He contends Missouriansí argument is not ready for litigation.

Reuter makes substantially the same argument as Northcott.
Argument IIB (from Allred)

Attorneys representing Allred will argue first.

Allred argues the fiscal note and fiscal note summary are insufficient and unfair because they do not assess or estimate the direct costs of the initiative. He contends the fiscal note and fiscal note summary incorrectly suggest revenue may not be offset. Allred asserts that the ballot title implies the initiative would amend existing law to enact a provision that already exists and that it fails to describe the legal effect of the initiative properly.

Attorneys representing the secretary of state, the auditor and Missouri Jobs with Justice will argue second.

The secretary of state and auditor argue the trial court correctly approved the ballot title. They contend the ballot title makes the subject of the initiative clear and gives public notice of the initiativeís purpose to those interested or affected. The secretary and auditor assert the ballot title is sufficient and fair. They argue the trial court correctly found the fiscal note and fiscal note summary were sufficient and fair. The secretary and auditor contend the auditor properly assessed the information he received in the statutory time limit under section 116.175.

Missouri Jobs with Justice argues the circuit court correctly found that the ballot title was fair and sufficient and that it properly informs the public of the initiativeís consequences. It contends the circuit court correctly found the fiscal note and fiscal note summary were fair and sufficient. Missouri Jobs asserts the auditor correctly reviewed the comments and key findings submitted and included them in the fiscal note and fiscal note summary. It argues article IV, section 13 gives the auditor the power to review the financial impact of an initiative. Missouri Jobs contends that the nature and extent of the auditorís investigation does not affect the constitutional validity of section 116.175.
Argument IIC (from Brown)

Attorneys representing Brown will argue first.

Brown argues the trial court erred in finding the secretary of stateís ballot title to be fair and sufficient. He contends the ballot title incorrectly represents the possible uses of funds from the initiative as well as the initiativeís effect on certain tobacco manufacturers. Brown also asserts the fiscal note summary is unfair and insufficient. He argues the auditorís phrasing summarized the entire initiative instead of just the costs and savings, in violation of his duties under section 116.190. Brown contends this Court should rewrite an insufficient or unfair ballot title.

Attorneys representing the secretary of state, the auditor and Missourians for Health and Education will argue second.

The secretary and auditor argue the circuit court correctly approved the summary statement. They contend it clearly states the subject and gives notice of the purpose of the initiative.

Missourians for Health and Education makes substantially the same argument as the secretary and auditor.


Home | Supreme Court | Court of Appeals | Circuit Courts
Office of State Courts Administrator | Statewide Court Automation
Case.net | Court Opinions | Newsroom | Related Sites | Court Forms
Contact Us