Justia Civil Procedure Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Missouri
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The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of prohibition preventing the circuit court from allowing Plaintiffs' claims against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, and Janssen Research & Development (collectively, Defendants) in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion by refusing to transfer the claims of those injured outside of the City of St. Louis.Multiple plaintiffs filed this action stating various causes of action arising from the sale and use of Risperdal, a prescription drug. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on improper venue and forum non conveniens for all plaintiffs not injured in the City of St. Louis. The circuit court overruled the motion. Defendants then filed a petition for a writ of prohibition or mandamus asking that the claims of the plaintiffs whose injuries allegedly occurred in Missouri counties other than the City of St. Louis be transferred. The Supreme Court granted a writ of prohibition, holding (1) Mo. R. Civ. P. 52.05(a) cannot be used to confer venue in a forum that is otherwise improper, and newly enacted Mo. Rev. Stat. 508.013.1 did not alter the result on these facts; and (2) the circuit court's failure to transfer the claims of those injured outside of the City of St. Louis was an abuse of discretion. View "State ex rel. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Honorable Michael Noble" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of mandamus sought by Vacation Management Solutions, LLC (VMS) to prevent the circuit court from moving forward with Kyle Klosterman's case in the City of St. Louis, holding that the action must be transferred pursuant to Mo. R. Civ. P. 51.045(c).Klosterman filed an action against VMS in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis alleging violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. VMS filed both a motion to dismiss and a motion to transfer venue, arguing that the City of St. Louis was an improper venue and that venue was proper in either Warren County or in St. Charles County. The circuit court overruled the motion to dismiss. Thereafter, VMS filed a petition for a writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that because Klosterman did not reply within thirty days to VMS's motion to transfer alleging improper venue, the circuit court was required to transfer the case to Warren County or St. Charles County. View "State ex rel. Vacation Management Solutions, LLC v. Honorable Joan L. Moriarty" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent its preliminary writ of prohibition prohibiting the circuit court from ordering certain defendants to be joined as necessary parties, holding that Mo. R. Civ. P. 52.04(a) did not mandate that the added defendants be joined.After deficiencies in the construction of an independent senior living facility (the Project) were discovered, Plaintiff brought contract and tort claims against the architect, the structural engineer, the construction company, the framer, and the supplier, alleging construction defects. The masonry company hired to perform brick masonry work was not included as a defendant. Certain defendants moved to add the masonry company, arguing that the company must be added pursuant to Rule 52.04. The circuit court ordered the masonry company be joined. Plaintiff filed a petition for a writ of prohibition seeking to direct the circuit court to dismiss and remove the masonry company. The court of appeals denied the petition. The Supreme Court granted the petition, holding that the masonry company was not a "necessary" defendant, and therefore, the circuit court did not have the authority to require joinder. View "State ex rel. Woodco, Inc. v. Honorable Jennifer Phillips" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent its preliminary writ of mandamus compelling the circuit court to transfer the underlying lawsuit to St. Charles County, holding that the circuit court had no authority to change venue and transfer the case from St. Charles County to St. Louis County.Universal Credit Acceptance, Inc. (UCA) filed the underlying lawsuit in St. Charles County seeking to recover a judgment arising from Renwick Ware's alleged default on a retail sales installment contract. After the associate circuit division sustained Ware's application for change of judge, Ware filed a motion to change the venue to St. Louis County. The circuit court sustained the motion and transferred the case to St. Louis County. UCA filed a petition for a writ of mandamus, arguing that, pursuant to Rule 51.06(a), Ware waived the right to file a motion to change venue because the motion was not consolidated with his application for change of judge. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ that it made permanent, holding that Ware's motion to change venue was improper under Rule 51.06(a), and therefore, UCA demonstrated a clear and unequivocal right to have the case retransferred to St. Charles County. View "State ex rel. Universal Credit Acceptance, Inc. v. Honorable Reno" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ sought by LG Chem, Ltd. to prohibit the circuit court from enforcing its over overruling LG Chem's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that due process prohibited Missouri courts from asserting personal jurisdiction over LG Chem in this matter.LG Chem, a Korean company with its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, manufactured model 18650 lithium-ion batteries. Peter Bishop sued LG Chem in the St. Louis County circuit court alleging that he purchased one of LG Chem's batteries in a store located in St. Peters, Missouri for use in his e-cigarette. Bishop alleged that the battery spontaneously exploded in his pocket, resulting in burn injuries. LG filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The circuit court overruled the motion on the merits. LG then sought a writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court issued a preliminary writ of prohibition. The Court then made its preliminary writ permanent with directions to the circuit court to vacate its order overruling LG Chem's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that LG Chem lacked sufficient minimum contacts with the state of Missouri, and therefore, the assertion of personal jurisdiction over LG Chem would violate due process. View "State ex rel. LG Chem, Ltd. v. Honorable McLaughlin" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed these appeals for lack of jurisdiction because neither appeal challenged a "final judgment" as that phrase is used in Mo. Rev. Stat. 512.020(5).The treasurer appealed from a declaratory order. The State appealed from a circuit court order sustaining a motion for summary judgment on the State's cross-claim and also appealed from an injunctive order. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals for lack of jurisdiction, holding (1) the declaratory order was not a judgment, let alone a final judgment; and (2) neither of the two orders that the State appealed from was a final judgment as that phrase is used in section 512.020(5) in that neither disposed of a "judicial unit" of claims. View "Wilson v. City of St. Louis" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of prohibition prohibiting the Jefferson County circuit court from taking any further action except to transfer the underlying action to Cole County, where venue was proper.Jefferson County 9-1-1 Dispatch filed this declaratory judgment action against the Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue in the Jefferson County circuit court seeking a declaration as to the meaning of subsections 5 and 6 of Mo. Rev. Stat. 190.460 and to enjoin the Director from applying section 190.460 to Dispatch. The Director filed a motion to change venue to the Cole County circuit court alleging that Cole County was the proper venue pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. 508.010.2, the general venue statute. The circuit court overruled the Director's motion. The Director then filed a petition for a writ of prohibition in the court of appeals, which ultimately denied the writ. The Director then sought a writ of prohibition from the Supreme Court. The Court issued a preliminary writ, which it made permanent, holding that venue was improper in Jefferson County and proper in Cole County. View "State ex rel. Zellers v. Honorable Stacey" on Justia Law

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After the court of appeals dismissed Appellant's appeal from the circuit court's order overruling its motion, the Supreme Court retransferred this case to the court of appeals to review the underlying merits of the circuit court's order as asserted in Appellant's remaining points on appeal, holding that the circuit court's order was appealable and did not have to be denominated a judgment for an appeal to be taken.The motion at issue was Appellant's "Motion for Order Revoking, or in the Alternative, Modifying and Changing Interlocutory Order Appointing Receiver." The circuit court overruled the motion. The court of appeals dismissed Appellant's appeal because the order was not denominated a judgment pursuant to Rule 74.01(a). The Supreme Court retransferred the case, holding (1) the circuit court's order was appealable pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. 515.665 and 512.020(2); and (2) the circuit court's order did not need to be denominated a judgment under Rule 74.01(a) for an appeal to be taken because it was an interlocutory order that did not fully resolve at least one claim and did not establish all of the rights and liabilities of the parties with respect to that claim. View "Meadowfresh Solutions USA, LLC v. Maple Grove Farms, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court made permanent a preliminary writ of prohibition it issued directing the circuit court to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against Relators for lack of personal jurisdiction, holding that Plaintiff failed to show that Relators were "at home" in Missouri and failed to identify any conduct by Relators in Missouri out of which Plaintiff's claims arose.Plaintiff filed suit against Relators, Kansas business entities, alleging personal injury sustained while working at an apartment complex in Kansas. Relators sought a writ of prohibition on the ground that the circuit court lacked personal jurisdiction over them. The court of appeals overruled the motion. Relators then petitioned the Supreme Court for the same relief. The Supreme Court granted relief, holding (1) Relators were not "at home" in Missouri to such an extent that they were subject to the general jurisdiction of Missouri courts; and (2) Relators' contacts with Missouri were not sufficient to create general or specific jurisdiction on their own. View "State ex rel. Cedar Crest Apartments, LLC v. Honorable Jack Grate" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing the petition filed by the Missouri Coalition for the Environment and one of its members (collectively, the Coalition) seeking a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against the State and the Clean Water Commission, holding that the Commission lacked standing.In its petition, the Coalition challenged the validity of Mo. Rev. Stat. 644.021, as amended by House Bill No. 1713. The State filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that the Coalition did not have taxpayer standing. The Coalition conceded that it had not shown taxpayer standing but argued that it had standing pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. 516.500. The circuit court dismissed the petition with prejudice for lack of standing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 516.500 did not provide standing to the Coalition nor did it eliminate the requirement that the Coalition have standing to bring this action. View "Missouri Coalition for Environment v. State" on Justia Law