Missouri Court Records
Many Missouri court records are obtainable through the Internet today, including appellate decisions and civil and criminal records from trial courts. These records are of vital importance when conducting genealogical research, historical research for legal purposes, or even in the event you choose to represent yourself in court. Many attorneys and current court judges utilize these systems to obtain case histories for court arguments and opinions.
History of Missouri Court Records
The Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Database offers criminal and civil court case information dating prior to 1889. Some of these records date as far back as the early 1800s. The Supreme Court was established in 1820 and helped to establish the historical database with the Missouri State Archives and Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society.
Missouri Court Records Availability
Missouri’s Supreme Court Library holds more than 100,000 volumes for the judiciary and members of the public to research. These volumes are held in addition to statutes, constitutions and periodicals from across the country. The library is located in Jefferson City. Other records available at the library include law reviews and legal journals, copies of some historical documents and decisions, oral arguments and Supreme Court decisions, court rules, procedures and forms and past appellate decisions for public research purposes.
Other Missouri court records are available through the Missouri court system online. Records include scheduled hearings and trials, civil and criminal proceedings, small claims cases and divorces, property disputes and appeals information. These records can be searched by litigant name, filing date or case number, and can offer details about the court proceedings during the case and the current disposition. Many of these Missouri court records are necessary when determining the validity of a judgment, conducting research before representing yourself in court, or even when a divorce needs to be confirmed to remarry or change identity.
Main Court Information
Missouri’s Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state, and meets in Jefferson City. There is currently one “justice” and six “judges” serving the court. These judges and justice are selected by the Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission. Three names for each vacancy are submitted to the governor, who awards the placement. After being selected to serve, the judges and justice must retain the seat via election and can do so for a 12-year term.
The Missouri Supreme Court hears appeals from lower courts and exercises discretionary jurisdiction over cases where a law needs to be examined or a general interest issue is at hand.
The Missouri Supreme Court has a very light caseload on an annual basis. In 2007, there were 86 filings and 90 dispositions. In 2014 there were 65 filings and 81 dispositions.