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Probate Courts, Equitable Authority

Tradtionally, probate courts have had limited authority to hear and entertain only probate matters. Probate matters include but are not limited to: trust disputes, decedent estate administration, guardianships-conservatorships and power of attorney disputes. Despite probate courts having limited authority to hear certain types of matters, the probate court in Missouri has the same legal and […]

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Offsets, Equity, Damages

“Off-setting” judgements is well established in Missouri. It generally arises when there are competing claims made by different parties against each other in a lawsuit. For example, if party A wins on a $50k claim against party B, and party B wins on a counterclaim of $60k against party A, a court may enter an […]

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Simple versus Compound Interest on Judgments

In Missouri, Section 408.020, RSMo requires that nine-percent (9%) annual interest typically accrues on monetary judgments. Missouri statutes, however, do not specify whether the interest is simple or compound. Based on case precedent, compound interest is generally not allowable on a judgment. Wallemann v. Wallemann, 817 S.W.2d 548, 549 (Mo. Ct. App. 1991). There are two […]

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Equitable Subrogation

It happens every so often that a problem arises and there is not a clear, “traditional” legal claim which provides redress. To address such situations, cases have developed flexible equitable principles and theories which permit courts to meet the nuances of a given situation.  Equitable subrogration is an example of such a claim that has […]

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Money Had and Received — Equity, Restitution

Money had and received is a an equitable claim. Newco Land Co. v. Martin, 213 S.W.2d 504, 510 (1948). It applies whenever one has money in his/her possession which belongs to another, and which, in equity and good conscience, the other should pay over. Brandkamp v. Chapin, 473 S.W.2d 786, 788 (Mo. Ct. App. 1971). The claim […]

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Laches & Unclean Hands: Defenses to Equitable Claims

Legal damages are appropriate when an amount of money would be sufficient compensation for a wrong committed. Equitable remedies are appropriate when the Court order a person to do something or stop from doing something, such as with a temporary restraining order or injunction, because money is inadequate. While there are all sorts of defenses […]

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