15 October 2014
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, to sit at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For the 16th consecutive year, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, will convene court at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Chief Judge Alok Ahuja announced today.
On October 22, 2014, a three-judge panel consisting of Victor Howard, Mark Pfeiffer and Gary Witt will hear arguments in five cases beginning at 9 a.m. The arguments will be held in Room 240 of the Student Union on the UCM campus.
Ahuja explained that the cases are appeals from previously held trials in area circuit courts. The judges will hear attorneys argue whether the trials had errors that should cause them to be retried or the trial court's judgment reversed, he said. The judges will read written arguments before the court session, he added, and may interrupt the attorneys' arguments with questions.
The three judges will take a break during the arguments and will stay after the conclusion of the arguments to discuss the Missouri judicial system in general and the appellate judicial system in particular, Ahuja said.
In addition to its autumn sessions at UCM, the Western District also convenes at UCM during the summer during Boys and Girls State. The court convenes regularly in Kansas City. Its jurisdiction is appeals from trial courts in 45 counties in northern, central and western Missouri.
Howard, a UCM graduate, will preside over the proceedings. He was appointed to the Court in 1996. He served as chief judge of the Western District from 2006 to 2008. Before he joined the Western District, he served as a trial judge in Clay County. Pfeiffer was appointed to the Western District in 2009. Before assuming the bench, he practiced law in Springfield and Columbia. He continues to reside in Columbia. Witt was appointed to the Western District in 2010. Immediately before his appointment, he served as a trial judge in Platte County. Previously he had practiced law in Platte County and served in the Missouri House of Representatives.
"It is important for the Court to convene oral arguments outside of Kansas City," Howard said. "This gives individuals an opportunity to observe a part of the judicial system they normally do not see. We hope those attending will gain a better understanding of the Court's function."
During the past 23 years, the Court has held sessions in Chillicothe, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Gallatin, Huntsville, Independence, Jefferson City, Keytesville, Kirksville, Lexington, Liberty, Linneus, Macon, Marshall, Maryville, Milan, Nevada, Platte City, Richmond, St. Joseph, Savannah, Trenton, Tuscumbia and Warrensburg.
Contact: Terence G. Lord, clerk
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District