Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law

In Judge-tried cases/bench trials, it is common for a party to request that the court issue findings of fact and conclusions of law as part of its judgment. This will be done for at least a couple reasons: (1) to let a party know why the court rules a particular way and (2) to ensure that the Court properly announces and applies the law in a given case.

A court usually grants a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law, provided the request is timely made before the trial. If a trial court fails to make findings of fact when properly requested, reversal is not always required. Hilligardt-Bacich v. Bacich, 174 S.W.3d 11, 14 (Mo. Ct. App. 2005). Reversal is merited only when the failure “materially interferes” with the appellate court’s ability to review.

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