Missouri State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Missouri

Highest Court

The highest court in Missouri is the Supreme Court of Missouri.  The Supreme Court consists of 7 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving validity of  U.S. or statute.  Missouri statute or constitution, revenue laws, title to state office, and cases where there is a death sentence.  (2) Cases transferred from Court of Appeals.  (3) General superintending authority over all Missouri courts.

Intermediate Courts

Court Of Appeals
The Court of Appeals consist of 32  judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) All appeals not within exclusive jurisdiction of Supreme Court.  (2) Original jurisdiction over remedial writs.  (3) General superintending authority over all Circuit Courts in district.

General Courts

Circuit Courts
The Circuit Courts consist of 135 Circuit Judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Exclusive civil jurisdiction (including civil appeals).  (2) Small claims up to $3,000. (3) Exclusive criminal jurisdiction.  (4) Traffic/other violation jurisdiction.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Limited Courts

Municipal Court
The Municipal Court consists of 327 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Municipal traffic/ordinance violations.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Appeal to wrong court–transfer of cause.
In the event that any case is sent from (1) a lower court on appeal or writ of error to the wrong district of the court of appeals or the supreme court–upon immediate knowledge the clerk shall forward the transcript to the clerk of the proper district of the court of appeals OR (2) a case being sent improperly on appeal or writ of error from a lower court to any district of the court of appeals when it should have been sent to the supreme court—the district of the court of appeals shall send the case to the clerk of the supreme court and handled as though the mistake had never happen.  (Missouri Revised Statutes 477.080).

Commissioners may be assigned as special judges.
The commissioners of the supreme court by order of the supreme court may be temporarily assigned to be special judges of the supreme court, any district court of appeals, or any circuit court.  These special judges will be subject to the supervision of the regular judge(s) of the court, but shall exercise the same powers, duties, and responsibilities are the regular judges of the assigned court.  (Missouri Revised Statutes 477.082)

Prosecutions based on information only, proceedings.
(Missouri Revised Statutes 479.090)
All prosecutions for the violation of municipal ordinances shall be instituted by information and may be based upon a complaint. Proceedings shall be in accordance with the supreme court rules governing practice and procedure in proceedings before municipal judges.

Arrest without warrants, procedure.
The city marshal, chief of police, or other police officer of any municipality may make an arrest without a warrant for any person who commits an offense in the said person’s presence.  Before the trial, the officer must file a written complaint with the judge hearing the violations of municipal ordinances. (Missouri Revised Statutes 479.110).

Certification of official court reporters required.
An official court reporter must be certified by the board of certified court reporter examiners. If the certified appointed court reporter is absent due to illness, physical incapacity, death, dismissal, or resignation, a judge may appoint a temporary court reporter, but the reporter will be forbidden to serve more than six months without certification.  A deposition must be prepared and certified by a certified court reporter to be given in any court in Missouri or to include testimony taken. Deposition testimony taken outside Missouri must follow the guidelines stated in this section.  This does not apply to depositions taken in this state for cases not pending in a Missouri Court. (Missouri Revised Statutes 485.077).

Jurisdiction of small claims court
In a small claims case where the amount does not exceed $3000 (exclusive of interest or cost) the judge of the said court shall have original jurisdiction of all civil cases, whether tort or contract. (Missouri Revised States 482.305)

Fees of witnesses–examination on oath.
Witness shall be allowed fees for their services.  Pursuant to section 491.280 (Missouri Revised Statute 488.032).


Inside Missouri State Courts