Together, the judges of the Missouri Court of Appeals review the decisions made by the trial courts and certain administrative agencies. They have jurisdiction (authority) over most appeals. Typically, the judges sit in panels of three, although occasionally all the judges of one of the districts of the Court of Appeals might sit en banc (all together).
The judges of the Court of Appeals are divided into three geographic areas. There are 14 judges in the Eastern District, based in St. Louis; 11 judges in the Western District, based in Kansas City; and seven judges in the Southern District, based in Springfield.
Selection of Court of Appeals judges is governed by the merit-based nonpartisan court plan. The qualifications for Court of Appeals judges are governed by article V, section 21 of the Missouri constitution. A Court of Appeals judge must be at least 30 years old, licensed to practice law in Missouri, a United States citizen for at least 15 years, and a qualified voter of the state for nine years preceding selection. A Court of Appeals judge also must live in the appellate district in which the judge serves.
Pursuant to article V, section 19 of the Missouri constitution, the regular term of a Court of Appeals judge is 12 years, and a judge may seek to serve for multiple terms. All judges must retire at the age of 70, although if they wish, they can apply for senior status, which permits them to continue hearing cases on a limited basis.