The Missouri attorney general’s office said Monday that it has not received a copy of the lawsuit that a Villa Ridge man has filed against the county’s new municipal court.
Franklin County requested that the attorney general be made a party to the proceedings, court records state.
State statute says the attorney general is entitled to be heard in matters when there is an alleged violation of the Missouri Constitution.
Villa Ridge resident Art LeBeau said he does not think the attorney general has to be notified in the matter. He added that the county’s efforts to bring the attorney general into the case is just “another gross waste of time by the county.”
Franklin County Counselor Mark Vincent has declined comment on the case.
LeBeau’s lawsuit challenges the validity of a Missouri House bill that authorized the county’s new municipal court.
He says the House bill was unconstitutional because it contained two subject matters and the original purpose of the bill was changed.
The original bill dealt with juvenile courts but was then changed to include language about county municipal court, LeBeau says.
The county argues that juvenile court and county municipal court are similar in the fact that they both deal with the court system.
The next hearing in the case is set for April 25 at 9 a.m. in Franklin County Circuit Court between Associate Circuit Court Judge Robert Schollmeyer.
Schollmeyer dismissed the case last year, saying the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue the county in the matter.
But the plaintiffs appealed the case, and the Missouri Supreme Court found that they did have standing to sue as citizens.
The case was then sent back to the circuit court.
LeBeau says if the new municipal court is found to be void that everyone who has been prosecuted through the court could be entitled to relief.