Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Middleton v. Mo. Dept. of Corrections

Opinion handed down February 24, 2009[1]
Link to Mo. Sup. Ct. Opinion

The Supreme Court of Missouri held that execution protocols propounded by the Missouri Department of Corrections (“DOC”) are exempted from the Missouri Administrative Procedure Act (“MAPA”) requirements of notice and public comment prior to adoption of a rule. The Court held that because DOC protocol decisions are not a product of rulemaking, notice and public comment are not required.

Mo. Alliance for Retired Ams. v. Dep’t of Labor & Indus. Relations

Opinion handed down February 24, 2009
Link to Mo. Sup. Ct. Opinion

The Supreme Court of Missouri held that eight counts of a nine-count petition challenging the constitutional validity of the 2005 amendments to Missouri’s workers’ compensation statutes were neither justiciable nor ripe for review. Regarding the remaining count, the Court held that the amendments removed certain injuries previously covered by workers’ compensation from the scope of the workers’ compensation system, and workers suffering such injuries may now seek compensation for those injuries from their employers at common law.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Roberts v. State[1]

Opinion handed down February 10, 2009
Link to Mo. Sup. Ct. Opinion

The Supreme Court of Missouri reversed a trial court decision rejecting a defendant’s motion for post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. The defendant’s motion stemmed from an alleged misunderstanding in the negotiation of his plea agreement. In its decision, the Court voiced a disfavored view of group pleas, holding that the defendant’s appeal would have failed but for the fact that his plea was entered in a group plea with eight other unrelated defendants. In dicta, the Court indicated that group plea mechanisms, often used to promote judicial economy, are disfavored because they may be less likely to fulfill due process requirements. Though it stopped short of invalidating the practice, the decision suggests the Supreme Court of Missouri and other Missouri appellate courts will analyze motions for post-conviction relief derived from a group plea setting more closely in the future.