Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Garozzo v. Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration, Division of Finance[1]

Opinion handed down January 29, 2013

In 2010, the Missouri SAFE Act was passed in response to the federal SAFE Act that was enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crises.[2]  A provision of the Missouri SAFE Act, section 443.713(2)(a), prohibited the director of the division of finance from issuing a mortgage loan originator license to anyone who had pleaded guilty to a felony seven years prior to the date of the application.[3]  Ray Garozzo, who had been a mortgage loan originator for several decades, applied for a license in 2010, but had pleaded guilty to a felony in 2006. [4] As a result, Garozzo’s license application was rejected.[5]  Garozzo subsequently filed a suit claiming that section 443.713(2)(a) violated portions of the Missouri Constitution, namely: article I, section 30’s ban on bills of attainder; article I, section 13’s ban on retrospective laws; and article I, section 10’s guarantee of due process.[6]  Although the lower court held section 443.713(2)(a) unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of Missouri reversed the ruling.[7]

Roberts v. BJC Healthcare[1]

Opinion handed down January 29, 2013

Plaintiffs brought suit against health service providers claiming that they were victims in a fraudulent billing scheme.  The circuit court ruled that because Plaintiffs were not billed for the alleged overcharges, they were unable to prove damages, and entered judgment in favor of the health service providers.  The Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed the circuit court’s holding.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

State ex rel. Mark Woodworth v. Larry Denney[1]

Opinion handed down January 8, 2013
The Supreme Court of Missouri vacated Mark Woodworth’s convictions for murder, assault, burglary and armed criminal action because the State violated Brady v. Maryland by failing to turn over material exculpatory evidence.[2]

Doughty v. Director of Revenue[1]

Opinion handed down January 8, 2013

Norman and David Doughty, father and son, were arrested simultaneously for driving while intoxicated and both subsequently refused to submit to a breathalyzer test.[2] As a result of their refusals, Norman and David were served with notices from the Director of Revenue which stated that their licenses would be revoked for one year. At trial, the Director’s sole evidence was an exhibit of her certified records, which were admitted pursuant to a state statute that provides certified copies of the records of the Director of Revenue are admissible in proceedings without identification testimony.[3]  The Doughtys’ claimed that statute was unconstitutional because it prevented them from confronting adverse witnesses, such as their arresting officers.[4] The Supreme Court of Missouri rejected this argument and held that the Doughtys’ were free to subpoena any adverse witnesses to appear at their separate trials because the statute did not expressly prevent them from doing so. [5]