Preserving Error, Appeals

When appealing a judgment in Missouri, the appealing part must demonstrate that he or she raised the relevant issues before the trial court. Indeed, “[a]n issue that was never presented to or decided by the trial court is not preserved for appellate review.” State v. Davis, 348 S.W.3d 768, 770 (Mo. 2011). The reasoning for this rule is that a higher court will overturn a lower court on the basis of issues that were not brought before the lower court.

Procedurally, appellate briefs in Missouri must include a “concise statement describing whether the error was preserve for appellate review.” See Rule 84.04(e). Substantively, certain motions must be made to preserve error. It depends on the nature of the case. In jury trials, there must generally be a motion for directed verdict at the close of all evidence to preserve allegations of error regarding the submissibility of a case. Tharp v. St. Luke’s Surgicenter-Lee’s, 587 S.W.3d 647, 653-54 (Mo. 2019). And in bench trials, for example, “allegations of error to the form or language of the judgment” must be raised in a motion to amend the judgment to be preserved for appellate review. See Rule 78.07(c).

Scroll to Top