The Missouri House will be presenting its version of the much debated Senate Bill 5 concerning municipal court rules and revenues in the State of Missouri. This will be the third Reading and only technical corrective amendments may be introduced at this stage in the HOUSE. Most noteworthy are the following:
1) The percentage of a city's revenue that may come from traffic fines will cap out at 20 percent (15% in St. Louis County);
2) The Missouri Supreme Court shall be compelled to establish ethical conflict rules for municipal court judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys;
3) Municipal courts must offer on-line payment options and/or accept payments by mail;
4) Defendants shall not be confined simply for failing to pay a fine;
5) No court costs shall be allowed if a case is dismissed;
6) Defendants shall not to be detained in order to coerce payments of fines and/or costs;
7) Courts may not assess additional fees for "failure to appear" (FTA) charges;
8) Court rooms must be large enough to accommodate the public (no lines around building);
|Judge-Elect Mike Carter|
Carter was the judge from 2009-2011 and was re-elected for the 2015-2017 term on April 7th of this year.
In order for Senate Bill 5 to become law, the house must first send its version back to the senate and if approved the governor must sign it. A call to the governor's office reveals that there is no word on the governor's intent to sign Senate Bill 5.