Missouri Supreme Court hears challenge to traffic fines law
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Part of a Missouri law limiting the money cities can get from traffic fines is being challenged because it removes the jurisdiction of municipal courts when cities violate the law.
The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on a law that legislators want to enhance to address abuses in municipal courts like those identified by the Department of Justice's report on Ferguson.
One penalty under the current law is a loss of jurisdiction for the municipal court.
Missouri Municipal League lawyer Jane Dueker says that violates Missouri's constitution, because without municipal court jurisdiction, cities lose the ability to try violations.
The attorney general's office argues the constitution allows the Legislature to set up guidelines for the courts and that access to a particular court is not protected.