Koster to appeal Missouri court reform ruling

10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago March 29, 2016 Mar 29, 2016 Tuesday, March 29 2016 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 4:09:00 PM CDT in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The latest on a judge's ruling striking down provisions of Missouri's municipal court reform measure (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster will appeal a court ruling that struck down key parts of a law limiting the ability of cities to profit from traffic tickets and court fines.

Koster announced the appeal on Tuesday, one day after Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled that the law unconstitutionally targeted St. Louis-area municipalities with revenue caps lower than other Missouri cities.

Koster says a municipality should not depend on prosecution of its residents to fund governmental functions.

Beetem found that some parts of the law, including a provision requiring police departments in St. Louis County to become accredited within six years, were unconstitutional mandates because the state did not provide funding for them.

The mandates were part of a law addressing concerns raised after the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

___

1:40 a.m.

A Missouri court has struck down parts of a law meant to address concerns raised after the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

A Cole County judge ruled Monday it is unconstitutional to limit St. Louis-area municipalities to less traffic ticket and court fine revenues than cities elsewhere in the state.

The judge also struck down requirements for those cities' police departments, including written use-of-force policies and procedures for reporting police stops. The ruling says those mandates are unconstitutional because the state doesn't provide a funding source.

Local governments throughout the St. Louis region came under scrutiny following a Justice Department report citing Ferguson's profit-driven municipal court system. Ferguson was not one of the twelve municipalities that sued to stop the law.

The Missouri attorney general's office says it is reviewing the ruling.

 

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