This court rule change grants Missouri’s circuit court judges general administrative power over all of the judges and other personnel within their circuit. Secondly, this rule change adopts an appendix that defines minimum operating standards for municipal courts and their personnel to abide by. Several of these new minimum standards relate to fines and fees practices.
Minimum Operating Standards
- Municipal divisions shall ensure that when individuals must be held in jail in the interests of justice, this is done strictly in accordance with the principles of due process of law.
- Municipal divisions shall inquire of defendants and allow them to present information about their financial condition when assessing their ability to pay and establishing payment requirements for monies due.
- Municipal divisions shall not condition an indigent defendant’s access to a judicial hearing or the granting of probation upon the payment of fines or fees.
- Municipal divisions shall neither assess nor collect unauthorized fines, costs, or surcharges.
- Municipal divisions shall advise litigants of their rights in court.