Work group proposes municipal court reforms

1 year 7 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, March 01 2016 Mar 1, 2016 Tuesday, March 01, 2016 4:26:41 PM CST March 01, 2016 in Continuous News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new report says the Missouri Supreme Court lacks authority to order consolidation of St. Louis County's myriad of municipal courts.

The report from a work group appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court was released Tuesday. Among changes, it recommends expanded oversight of municipal courts by a circuit court judge, and dismissal of cases based solely on failure to appear in court.

The report has no immediate mandate. The Supreme Court will determine which, if any, of the reforms to adopt.

Municipal courts in the St. Louis region have been under scrutiny since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Some municipalities derive large percentages of their income from court fines and fees.

The report says lawmakers, or voters in local elections, should decide consolidation, not judges.

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