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Case Summary for February 27, 2013


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 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


9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013


Please note: Due to unforseen technological problems, the Court's audio system was not functioning properly during this day's oral arguments. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause in listening to the argument files.

Kelly D. Glossip v. Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees' Retirement System
Cole County
Survivor’s death benefits

Listen to the oral argument: SC92583.mp3
Glossip was represented during arguments by Maurice B. Graham of Gray, Ritter & Graham P.C. in St. Louis, and the Missouri Department of Transportation was represented by James R. Ward of the attorney general's office in Jefferson City.

Kelly Glossip was in a relationship for nearly 15 years with a state highway patrol officer. The officer was killed in the line of duty Dec. 25, 2009. Glossip filed for and was denied survivor benefits by the Highway Patrol Employees Retirement System because section 104.140, RSMo, regarding survivor benefits does not allow for same-sex couples to receive such benefits. In its denial, the retirement system cited a portion of section 104.012, RSMo, stating any reference to the term “spouse” only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman, as well as section 451.022, RSMo, stating marriage between persons of the same gender is not recognized in this state even if valid where it was contracted. Glossip appealed to the retirement board of trustees, which upheld the denial. Glossip then filed for review by the circuit court, which overruled his motion for summary judgment and granted the employer and retirement system’s motion to dismiss. Glossip appeals.

Glossip argues the trial court erred in overruling his motion for summary judgment and granting the department and retirement systems’ motion to dismiss. He contends that denial of survivor benefits to him was discriminatory and neither justified nor required by the amendment banning same-sex marriage. Glossip asserts unmarried same-sex couples are not in the same situation as unmarried heterosexual couples because it is the act of marriage that bars same-sex couples from receiving benefits. He argues the trial court should have considered whether sexual orientation is entitled to heightened scrutiny under the state constitution’s equal protection guarantee. Glossip contends that the state equal protection clause should be interpreted independently of the federal clause and that recent case law should be used instead of the outdated case law used at trial. He asserts the state failed to prove it has a compelling, rational or government interest in denying him survivor benefits. Glossip argues the trial court failed to recognize that survivor benefit statutes are not based on financial interdependence. He contends the government may not control costs by discriminating against a class of persons. Glossip asserts section 104.012 and section 104.140 discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in legislative history and effect. He argues the statutes are special laws because they create fixed categories based on sexual orientation without substantial justification. Glossip contends he is entitled to relief because he is suffering an irreparable ongoing injury and the evidence weighs in his favor. He argues the administrative burden on the state is inconclusive and the costs do not justify the harm.

The department and retirement system respond the trial court correctly overruled Glossip’s motion for summary judgment and granted their motion to dismiss. They argue the statutory classification that limits survivor benefits to spouses and eligible children does not violate equal protection. The department and retirement system contend the classification rationally supports the state’s interest in determining claims for survivor benefits and in controlling costs. They assert the trial court correctly interpreted the state equal protection clause under the rational basis test. The department and retirement system argues this Court should not apply a more heightened standard to these claims. They contend section 104.012 and 104.140 are not special laws. They assert Glossip is not entitled to relief.

Law Enforcement Gays and Lesbians International and its affiliated chapters argue, as friends of the Court, that the state is denying lesbian and gay police officers a crucial benefit. They contend officers face a significant risk of being killed in the line of duty, which can have devastating consequences on their surviving family. The law enforcement associations assert survivor benefits are essential to making long-term financial commitments for an officer’s spouse. They argue that denying survivor benefits to lesbian and gay officers discriminates based on sexual orientation. The associations contend the state has failed to prove a legitimate reason for the discrimination.

Several Missouri law professors argue, as friends of the Court, that gay and lesbian individuals meet the standard for heightened constitutional scrutiny. They contend, under the factors typically considered by the state and federal courts, heightened scrutiny is justified. The professors assert that discrimination in an employment benefit should not be confused with the requirements of laws regarding marriage.

The mayor of St. Louis city, United States Representative William “Lacy” Clay Jr. and several current and former state legislators argue, as friends of the Court, that the status and history of lesbian and gay individuals in the state solidifies the argument that laws that classify based on sexual orientation deserve heightened constitutional scrutiny.



NOTE: On June 27, 2013, the Court issued an order directing the parties to file additional briefs in light of the United States Supreme Court decision, issued June 26, in United States v. Windsor.

Gina Breitenfeld v. School District of Clayton, et al., State of Missouri and Chris Koster
St. Louis County
Transfer plans for school districts

This case was removed Feb. 26 from the oral argument docket.

Richard Hoover, Individually, and as Class Representative v. Mercy Health d/b/a Mercy Health System; Mercy Hospitals East Comunities, d/b/a St. John's Mercy Medical Center and/or St. John's Mercy Health System; and St. John's Mercy Medical Center, d/b/a Mercy Hospitals East Communities and/or St. John's Mercy Health System
St. Louis County
Violation of merchandising practices act

Listen to the oral argument: SC92788.mp3
Hoover was represented during arguments by Paul J. Passanante of Paul J. Passanante P.C. & Associates in St. Louis, and Mercy Health was represented by Allen D. Allred of Thompson Coburn L.L.P. in St. Louis.

Richard Hoover underwent surgical care and treatment at St. John’s Mercy medical center in March 2009 for removal of a mass in his jaw and dental implants. Hoover pre-paid the surgeon for the dental implants and obtained approval from his health insurance for the removal of the mass. Hoover’s health insurance refused payment, however, when it received the bill because the procedure was labeled as “dental procedures.” Hoover was billed for the full amount, of which he paid a portion. Hoover filed a claim against Mercy Health, alleging its billing practices violated the Missouri merchandising practices act. Mercy filed a motion to dismiss, claiming it was an improper defendant. Hoover added Mercy Hospitals east communities and St. John’s Mercy medical center later. The trial court granted Mercy’s motion to dismiss, which claimed Hoover had failed to state a claim for actual damages, failed to state a claim for punitive damages and failed to state a proper claim against Mercy Health. Hoover appeals.

Hoover argues the trial court erred in dismissing the first and second counts of his petition regarding a violation of the Missouri merchandising practices act. He contends his claim under the act is sufficient because he sustained loss of money due to unfair and deceptive billing practices by Mercy. Hoover asserts Mercy charged him more than the reasonable value of the services rendered to him. He argues he was entitled to assert a claim for punitive damages because he had a sufficient claim for actual damages. Hoover contends Mercy Health was independently responsible for some of the conduct alleged in his claim and, therefore, was a proper plaintiff. He asserts the trial court abused its discretion in overruling his motion to amend the pleadings. Hoover argues he should have been allowed to claim that Mercy Health established and set the billing procedures, which violated the act, and required St. John’s to use them.

The hospitals respond the trial court correctly dismissed the first and second counts of Hoover’s petition. They argue Hoover failed to comply with subdivisions (c) and (i) of Rules 84.04 regarding the statement of facts and drafting of cross-appeals, respectively. The hospitals contend Hoover failed to present a sufficient factual basis to prove he was overcharged in violation of the act. They asserts Hoover has no determinable loss of money or property due to any of the hospital’s actions. The hospitals argue Hoover was liable to Mercy for its standard charges for medical care as set forth in its policies. They contend Hoover cannot claim punitive damages because the claim is not a separate cause of action from his actual damages claim. The hospitals assert Mercy Health is not a proper defendant because Hoover received treatment from Mercy, not Mercy Health, and Hoover has failed to prove Mercy Health is responsible for Mercy’s acts.


State ex rel. Tim E. Dollar, The Law Offices of Tim Dollar, n/k/a Dollar, Burns & Becker LLC, Michael P. Healy, and The Healy Law Firm, LLC v. The Honorable Sandra C. Midkiff
Jackson County
Enforcement of motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment

This case was removed Feb. 26 from the oral argument docket.

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