Lawsuit Against County Sent to Supreme Court - The Missourian: County

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Lawsuit Against County Sent to Supreme Court

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 11:00 am | Updated: 2:58 pm, Thu Dec 26, 2013.

A lawsuit filed by two county residents over a bill that authorized the county’s municipal court has been transferred to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals sent the case to the high court last week ruling that it has no jurisdiction because the plaintiffs allege in their suit that the bill is unconstitutional.

The Missouri Constitution states that the state Supreme Court has exclusive appellate jurisdiction of all cases involving the validity of a state statute.

County Counselor Mark Vincent said he had no comment on the matter since it deals with pending litigation.

Residents Art LeBeau and Eric Reichert filed the lawsuit, alleging the county’s new municipal court was illegally created.

Reichert and LeBeau said they had no comment on the suit being referred to the Supreme Court.

The lawsuit was filed in relation to a Missouri House bill that led to the creation of the county’s new municipal court.

LeBeau said the lawsuit has nothing to do with the municipal court itself but rather an amendment attached to the bill that allowed the court to be created in Franklin County.

LeBeau and Reichert are representing themselves in the lawsuit.

The Franklin County Circuit Court dismissed the suit this year. Reichert and LeBeau then appealed to the Missouri appeals court.

The state House bill that led to the creation of the county municipal court was unconstitutional, the lawsuit charges.

The bill violated state law because it contained two subject matters, LeBeau has said. The bill’s original purpose changed when it was amended, according to LeBeau.

The original bill dealt with juvenile courts and then was amended in the state Senate to change the number of county residents required for a county municipal court, the plaintiffs say.

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