Appeals Court case involves Cole County Circuit Court

One of the three Missouri Court of Appeals cases to be heard on Thursday at Westminster College in Fulton involves the office of Cole County Circuit Clerk. The office is appealing a court decision blocking an administrative decision to dismiss an employee.

Last April the former circuit clerk resigned but the case is still being appealed because it involves a prior court decision affecting and limiting the powers of the office of circuit clerk.

The employee was dismissed from her job by the appealing circuit clerk office because of alleged financial discrepancies involving Circuit Court funds and missing money from receipts uncovered during an audit. A judicial review of the dismissal ordered the employee reinstated.

When the employee returned to work she was dismissed again by the former circuit clerk for a different infraction. But a court order of prohibition was issued forbidding the second dismissal.

The circuit clerk’s appeal argues the trial court erred in making a writ of prohibition absolute because the employee did not request a hearing to challenge her second dismissal. The appeal also argues the second dismissal was based on a different reason that had not been adjudicated and it was a separate issue.

The appeal further contends the court’s writ of prohibition issued against the circuit clerk is indefinite and overly broad because it prevents the circuit clerk from taking any action and unlawfully limits the office’s ability to terminate the employee in the future.

Another case involves an appeal from the Missouri Public Service Commission of a court decision against the state agency that regulates Missouri private utilities. The case involves an earlier circuit court decision granting a summary judgment against the PSC and in favor of Laclede Gas Company of St. Louis.

Another appeal to be heard Thursday involves a man who is charged with failure to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to three years in a Missouri prison. He previously had been convicted for child molestation in Indiana in 1998. On appeal, he points out he was required to register his address in Indiana for 10 years and then was informed he no longer needed to register as a sex offender. But he later moved to Missouri. He argues on appeal there was insufficient evidence in his Missouri trial to establish that he knowingly failed to register in Missouri because he was told in Indiana that he no longer needed to register has address as a sex offender.

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