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Case Summary for November 4, 2015

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

9 a.m. Wednesday, November 4, 2015
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SC94969
Sonya M. Long v. Neena F. Hardin
St. Louis County
Challenge to partition sale of property
Listen to the oral argument: SC94969.mp3SC94969.mp3
Hardin was represented during arguments by Thomas R. Carnes, an attorney in St. Louis; Long was represented by Cynthia S. Holmes, an attorney in St. Louis.

This case involves a dispute between sisters Neena Hardin and Sonya Long over the sale of residential property in St. Louis. In March 2013, the circuit court entered its judgment ordering partition of the property. In that judgment, the court found that Long, her then-husband and her mother bought the property in 1973 and that, at some point, Hardin moved into the home. The court found that, in 1991, the mother deeded her interest in the property to Hardin and Long. The court found that, in 2011, Hardin refused an offer to buy out Long’s interest or sell the property, after which Long filed a petition asking the circuit court to partition (divide the legal ownership of) the property. The case was tried in January 2013. In its March 2013 judgment, the circuit court partitioned the property and ordered it to be sold, with two-thirds of the proceeds to go to Long and one-third to go to Hardin. The court of appeals ultimately dismissed an appeal Hardin filed and, in December 2013, issued its mandate finalizing the partition judgment and sale order. In January 2014, the circuit court sent the sheriff a document authorizing the sheriff to execute (proceed with) the sale. The sheriff then conducted the public sale of the property at the county courthouse. Long purchased the property at that sale. Hardin subsequently filed a motion to set aside the sale, alleging that she had not been notified of the proposed sale order or the sale itself. The circuit court overruled the motion. Hardin appeals.

This appeal raises several questions for the Court. A preliminary issue questions whether this Court has jurisdiction over this appeal or whether it should be retransferred (sent) to the appeals court. Substantively, Hardin raises a question of whether parties in a partition case must serve notice on all parties of any motions they wish the circuit court to consider. A related question Hardin raises is whether she was served with the motion asking the court to order a sale or the document authorizing the sheriff to conduct the sale. Hardin also questions whether the sale price for the property was grossly inadequate so as to shock the conscience and amount to a sacrifice.

SC94969_Hardin_brief.pdfSC94969_Hardin_brief.pdfSC94969_Long_brief.pdfSC94969_Long_brief.pdf



SC95069
Joan Jungmeyer, Glen Jungmeyer, Dennis Killday, Linda Killday, Timothy King, Kim Ruiz-Tompkins, Robert Dunstan, Bill Koebel and Virgil Clark v. City of Eldon, Missouri
Miller County
Appeal of judgment granted in suit challenging constitutional validity of sewer and water ordinances
Listen to the oral argument: SC65069.mp3SC65069.mp3
The property owners were represented during arguments by Audrey E. Smollen of Rosenthal Law LLC in Jefferson City; Eldon was represented by Mark G.R. Warren of Inglish & Monaco PC in Jefferson City.

The underlying case involves a challenge to certain municipal ordinances governing how the city of Eldon bills for charges for water and sewer services. A group of property owners sued the city in an amended petition filed in December 2011. They alleged various violations of the state constitution and sought injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment that the ordinances were unconstitutional. Specifically, the property owners alleged the increased rates authorized by the ordinances violated the Hancock Amendment (article X, section 22); constituted a regulatory taking in violation of article I, section 26; violated due process and equal protection; and constituted a special law in violation of article III, section 40(30). Following discovery, the city in June 2014 filed a motion for summary judgment (judgment on the court filings, without a trial). The next month, the property owners filed a motion to strike the summary judgment motion and subsequently sought more time in which to file their response to the summary judgment motion. The circuit court ultimately granted summary judgment in favor of the city. The property owners appeal.

This appeal presents several questions to the Court. One is whether the city’s summary judgment motion followed Rule 74.04 by stating with particularity each material fact as to which the city claimed there was no genuine issue and by specifically referencing the pleadings, discovery, exhibits or affidavits demonstrating the lack of a genuine issue as to those facts. Another question is whether, even if the facts the city offered are taken as true, those facts are sufficient to support the city’s right to judgment as a matter of law. Additional questions involve whether the circuit court should have given the property owners more time in which to file their response to the summary judgment motion pursuant to Rule 44.01(b)(2) as well as what effect, if any, the property owners’ motion to strike the summary judgment motion may have had on the timing of the property owners’ response to the summary judgment motion.

SC95069_property_owners_brief_filed_in_WD.pdf SC95069_City_of_Eldon_brief.pdfSC95069_City_of_Eldon_brief.pdf



SC95053
Kelly J. Blanchette v. Steven M. Blanchette
St. Louis County
Challenge to registration in Missouri of out-of-state divorce and custody judgments
Listen to the oral argument: SC95053.mp3SC95053.mp3
The mother was represented during arguments by Matthew T. Singer of The Law Office of Matthew T. Singer in St. Louis; the father was represented by Richard B. Blanke of Uthoff, Graeber, Bobinette & Blanke in St. Louis.

A couple who had a son in November 2003 were married in March 2004. In February 2005, the father filed a petition for divorce in West Virginia, where the family lived at the time. The mother – who was pregnant at the time – and son relocated to Missouri during the parents’ separation and before a final divorce judgment was entered in February 2006. The mother gave birth to a daughter in July 2005 in St. Louis. The West Virginia judgment gave primary custody of the children to the mother, gave the father the right to exercise custodial responsibility when he traveled to the St. Louis area, and ordered the father to pay $1,500 per month in child support. In late 2008, the father asked the West Virginia court to modify custody. The court did so, giving the father custody for three separate one-week periods throughout the year and reducing his child support obligation to $1,350 per month to cover extraordinary travel expenses. In late 2013, the father again asked the West Virginia court to modify the custody judgment, although she was not served with the petition until eight days before the hearing, at which she was not represented. The court granted the modification, giving the father custody for six continuous weeks during summer break and ordering that the children communicate with their father through Skype every Sunday evening. The court also ordered that, when the children traveled to West Virginia, they should fly unaccompanied or the mother should pay half the accompanied travel expenses. In September 2013, the mother filed an action in circuit court in Missouri to register the initial West Virginia judgment and the first modification but not the second modification, of which she alleged she did not receive proper notice. She then asked the Missouri court to modify the West Virginia judgments. The Missouri court registered the initial judgment and both modifications but determined it lacked jurisdiction under the UCCJEA (uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act) to modify the West Virginia judgments. The mother appeals.

This appeal raises several questions for the Court involving whether the Missouri court should have registered the custody judgments from West Virginia. A preliminary question is whether the mother was “aggrieved” by the Missouri court’s judgment sufficient to give this Court jurisdiction over her appeal. Substantively, one issue as to the Missouri registration of all three West Virginia judgments, as they pertain to the daughter, involves whether West Virginia had jurisdiction over the custody of the daughter under the UCCJEA or whether the daughter’s birth and residence in Missouri made Missouri her home state. Other related issues as to the Missouri registration of the second modification judgment from West Virginia involve whether the mother received proper notice of that hearing and judgment and whether that judgment should have been given full faith and credit in Missouri under article IV of the federal constitution.


SC95053_Mother_brief.pdfSC95053_Mother_brief.pdfSC95053_Father_brief.pdfSC95053_Father_brief.pdf


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