Tenants Entitled to Jury Trials in Rent Possession Cases

The Missouri Supreme Court recognized today a right to jury trials for tenants sued for failure to pay rent. This represents a powerful tool for tenants and may require landlords to rethink strategy in evictions. In evictions, scheduling a jury often takes months, affording tenants significant extra time in the leased property, often at landlord expense. Landlords should be prepared for significant additional time and expense in eviction cases; tenants should try to understand their rights.

Jason Umbarger for Dallas County Prosecutor

Last night at the meeting of the Dallas County Republican Party, I announced my candidacy for Dallas County Prosecuting Attorney. The primary is scheduled for August 7, 2018.

I live in Buffalo with my wife, Angela, and our boys, Sean and Ryan. I am serving my second term as Alderman for the City of Buffalo where I have a perfect track record of voting to support local business and for law enforcement.

I work as a lawyer practicing in our circuit. I have 17 years’ experience as an attorney, including significant criminal practice experience involving diverse cases from traffic to murder. I have represented defendants in numerous criminal trials and served as special counsel in both municipal and state criminal cases. I have handled a number of appeals, including the Springfield Red Light Camera case resulting in the termination of automated traffic enforcement in Springfield following our success at the Missouri Supreme Court. I was also a part of the team of attorneys who asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the mass lockdown student search case at Central High School in Springfield. My research has been published in several references for attorneys and I have experience providing training to attorneys. I have won awards for providing pro bono representation to indigent clients and I was selected as a National Merit Scholar. My work has been covered in the media locally, nationally, and even internationally.

I feel I am well qualified in education, experience, commitment and temperament to serve Dallas County as your next prosecuting attorney and when the time comes, I would appreciate your vote.

10,000 Experiment Rule Replaces 10,000 Hour Rule

A review of studies indicated only 1% of deliberate practice explained variance in performance in the professions.

Deliberate experimentation is more important than deliberate practice in a rapidly changing world.

In professions like law, experience may be less indicative of success than innovation.

Forget the 10,000-Hour Rule…

Missouri Department of Corrections Offender Web Search

Ever wonder what happened to that one guy who went to prison? Find ’em here…

https://web.mo.gov/doc/offSearchWeb/

 

Ever Wonder Who Pays for Campaigns?

The Missouri Ethics Commission maintains a searchable database of candidates with reports of their campaign contributions. Want to know who has been funding a candidate or elected official?

https://mec.mo.gov/MEC/Campaign_Finance/CF11_SearchComm.aspx

 

Factors for Child Custody

How does a court decide custody? The eight factors set forth in 452.375, RSMo.:

(1) The wishes of the child’s parents as to custody and the proposed parenting plan submitted by both parties;

(2) The needs of the child for a frequent, continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and the ability and willingness of parents to actively perform their functions as mother and father for the needs of the child;

(3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;

(4) Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent;

(5) The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;

(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including any history of abuse of any individuals involved. If the court finds that a pattern of domestic violence as defined in section 455.010 has occurred, and, if the court also finds that awarding custody to the abusive parent is in the best interest of the child, then the court shall enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law. Custody and visitation rights shall be ordered in a manner that best protects the child and any other child or children for whom the parent has custodial or visitation rights, and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence from any further harm;

(7) The intention of either parent to relocate the principal residence of the child; and

(8) The wishes of a child as to the child’s custodian. The fact that a parent sends his or her child or children to a home school, as defined in section 167.031, shall not be the sole factor that a court considers in determining custody of such child or children.

Establishing Paternity

The Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator puts out a helpful introduction on What Every Parent Should Know About Establishing Paternity.

Sometimes I get questions about the Putative Father Registry; a little information is here.

 

Adoption and Safe Families Act

This law comes up in Juvenile Abuse/Neglect cases I handle. A starting point to learn about it is here.

Some of the major provisions of the law include:

  • Requires that States move to terminate parental rights for children who have been in Foster Care for 15 out of the last 22 months
  • Exceptions to the 15/22 rule include:[4]
    1. When the child is in a Foster Home with a biological relative (Kinship Care)
    2. When the Agency documents a compelling reason why parental termination is not in the Child’s best interest
    3. When the State has failed to provide services necessary for reunification
  • Requires that Permanency Hearings be held every 12 months
  • Clarifies cases in which States are not required to reunite Families (Aggravated Circumstances)
  • Expands family preservation and support services
  • Extends subsidies for adoptive children
  • Provides incentives for States to improve adoption rates
  • Requires States to document efforts to move children toward adoption
  • Expands health care coverage for adoptive children
  • Provides funding for efforts at encouraging adoption
  • Clarifies that interstate boundaries should not delay adoption.

Trials & Appeals