Monday, April 29, 2019

State ex rel. McCree v. Dalton

In a plurality opinion of three judges, the Supreme Court of Missouri declined to issue a writ of mandamus.[1]  In this case the circuit court refused to dismiss a driving while intoxicated charge when the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) was below .08% and no evidence was presented that the defendant was intoxicated.[2]  Judge Patricia Breckenridge issued a concurring opinion and Chief Justice Zel M. Fisher issued a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Judges George W. Draper III and Laura Denvir Stith.[3]

Lampley v. Missouri Commission on Human Rights

            In 2014, two State of Missouri employees filed related charges of discrimination and retaliation against their employer.[1]  The charges, filed with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”), alleged discrimination based on sex under the Missouri Human Rights Act (“Act”).[2]  The Commission determined the discrimination complaints were based on sexual orientation, which is not a protected group within the Act and administratively closed the matter.[3]  The closure of the complaint denied the plaintiffs right-to-sue letters, and so they asked the circuit court to force the Commission to issue such letters.[4]  The circuit court entered summary judgment in favor of the Commission, which was then appealed to the Supreme Court of Missouri.[5]  The Supreme Court of Missouri ruled in favor of the employees and held that the discrimination alleged was not based on sexual orientation but rather sex stereotyping, which does fall under the category of sex in the Act, and that the Commission should be compelled to issue right-to-sue letters.[6]

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

R.M.A. v. Blue Springs R-IV School District

I. Introduction
          R.M.A., a transgender student attending high school in the Blue Springs R-IV School District (“School District”), brought a discrimination lawsuit against the School District and the Blue Springs School District Board of Education (“School Board”) alleging both entities unlawfully discriminated against him on the basis of his sex in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”).[1]  After filing his lawsuit, the School District and School Board (collectively, “Defendants”) filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, which the circuit court sustained “without explanation.”[2]  R.M.A. appealed.[3]  The Supreme Court of Missouri reversed the circuit court’s entry of judgment against R.M.A., holding that the facts set forth in his petition, if taken as true, establish a claim for sex discrimination under the MHRA.[4]

Monday, April 1, 2019

State ex rel. Cullen v. Harrell

In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Missouri decided whether a motion to compel the production of documents was properly granted after a trial court entered a final judgment in a dissolution action.[1]  The court held that a trial court may grant a motion to compel when it does so to effectuate the terms of its prior judgment.[2]