At the State level “venue” refers to the county court in which a case may/should be filed & heard. While the choice of venue may seem innocuous and simply a matter of convenience, there are often strategic considerations that come into play (e.g., favorable jury pools, etc.).
Venue is determine by statute. For guardianship/conservatorship proceedings, Section 475.035, RSMo controls where a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding should take place and provides in pertinent part as follows:
(1) In the county in this state where the minor or alleged incapacitated or disabled person is domiciled; or
(2) If the minor or alleged incapacitated or disabled person has no domicile in this state, then in the county in which the minor or alleged incapacitated or disabled person actually resides, or if he or she does not reside in any county, then in any county wherein there is any property of the minor or alleged incapacitated or disabled person; or
(3) In the county, or on any federal reservation within the county, wherein the minor or alleged incapacitated or disabled person or his or her property is found; or
(4) In a county of this state which is within a judicial circuit which has prior and continuing jurisdiction over the minor pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of section 211.031.
Priority is given to domicile. “Domicile” means one’s intended permanent residence. State ex rel. Missouri Dept. of Social Services, Div. of Medical Services v. Roper, 174 S.W.3d 563, 567 (Mo. Ct. App. 2005). A person can only have one domicile, which, when once established, continues until he/she renounces it and takes up another in its place. In re Toler’s Estate, 325 S.W.d 755, 759 (Mo. 1959).
Contact us with questions relating to guardianships, conservatorships, or other probate matters.