Friday, March 24, 2017

State v. Naylor,

 Opinion handed down March 14, 2017

            Orlando Naylor was convicted in the Circuit Court of Ste. Genevieve County of first-degree burglary for entering a restaurant’s office area while another person was present inside the building.[1]  The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, held that there was insufficient evidence to convict Naylor of this crime because no person was in the office area during the commission of the crime.[2]  On appeal to the Supreme Court of Missouri, the court expanded the definition of the term “structure,” thus reversing the appellate court’s decision.[3]

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis,

 Opinion handed down February 28, 2017

            In Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis, the Supreme Court of Missouri examined whether the Missouri state minimum wage law preempts cities and municipalities from adopting a higher local minimum wage.[1]  The court held that the Missouri state minimum wage was a floor, rather than a ceiling, which allows cities to adopt ordinances that require employers to pay a higher hourly wage than that required by state law.[2]  However, recent legislation may effectively overturn this decision, adversely affecting low-wage workers in areas with higher average costs of living, particularly those in urban areas.

Friday, February 24, 2017

State v. Twitty

 Opinion handed down January 17, 2017

While it may be a seemingly straightforward crime, “possession of a chemical with the intent to create a controlled substance”[1] leaves significant lingering discord among Missouri courts regarding whether the requisite element of possession strictly refers to possession at the time of the arrest or whether it allows for more flexible temporal ranges.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

State ex rel. Tipler v. Gardner

Opinion handed down January 31, 2017
            In State ex rel. Tipler v. Gardner, the Supreme Court of Missouri held that article I, section 18(c) of the Missouri Constitution applies to all trials that occur after its enactment date, December 4, 2014, regardless of the date when the charged conduct occurred.[1]  The constitutional provision at issue, passed into law by Missouri voters in the 2014 general election, allows evidence of prior criminal acts, charged or uncharged, to be introduced at trial for crimes of a sexual nature involving a child.[2]  Tipler had argued that this provision operated as an ex post facto law because the alleged crime occurred before this constitutional amendment was passed into law by Missouri voters.[3]  The court’s holding is an affirmation of the long-held principle that laws that affect evidentiary rules only are not ex post facto because the “event” that they modify is the trial itself, not the conduct which gave rise to the trial.