Legal Articles

Adequate Remedy at Law, Declaratory Judgments

Declaratory relief is not a “general panacea for all real and imaginary ills.” Missouri Soybean v. Missouri Clean Water, 102 S.W.3d 10, 25 (Mo. 2003). “It is not available to adjudicate hypothetical or speculative situations that may never come to pass.” Id. There are four elements: (1) a justiciable controversy that presents a real, substantial,…

Stare Decisis, Precedent

Stare decisis — “to stand by things decided” — is a legal rule. The rule is that previous cases decided are binding or persuasive on courts deciding similar subsequent cases. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the rule is of “fundamental importance,” promoting “stability, predictability, and respect for judicial authority.” Hilton v. South Carolina Public…

Question of Fact, Trial

When a “question of fact” exists, a trial is often needed. It is improper for a Court to decide factual disputes without a trial, particularly on a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment. But, when does a “question of fact” exist? It exists in one of three situations. “A factual question exists if [1]…

Aggrieved Party, Right to Appeal

Any “aggrieved” party to a final judgment may appeal. Section 512.020, RSMo. To be “aggrieved,” certain requirements must be present. The judgment must “operate prejudicially and directly on the party’s personal or property rights or interests, and such effect must be immediate, not merely a possible remote consequence.” Bi-State Development Agency of Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan Dist….

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