News Flash

2015 City News Releases

Posted on: May 27, 2015

Municipal Court Chief Judge Todd Thornhill selected for Missouri Supreme Court working group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Supreme Court of Missouri May 14 announced the formation of the Supreme Court Municipal Division Work Group, which it has charged with reviewing all matters relevant to practice in the municipal divisions throughout the state, with ensuring public input, and with recommending appropriate improvements to the system. Springfield Municipal Court Chief Judge Todd Thornhill was selected to serve on the group. “It is an honor to be appointed by our chief justice to this important working group. The attendant responsibility is great, and I look forward to researching and addressing the broad range of issues involved,” Thornhill said. The Municipal Division Work Group will be co-chaired by two former chief justices of the Supreme Court of Missouri – Ann K. Covington of Columbia and Edward D. “Chip” Robertson Jr. of Jefferson City – and a former chief judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – Booker T. Shaw of St. Louis. The group’s remaining members are:

• Kathryn P. Banks, legal services director for Voices for Children in St. Louis;

• Sylvester “Sly” James, mayor of Kansas City; and

• Kimberly Jade Norwood, professor of law and of African and African-American studies at Washington University in St. Louis. “The court chose these individuals for their demonstrated leadership in a variety of settings statewide,” Chief Justice Mary R. Russell said in a May 14 press release. “They bring to the table a wealth of experience, and we trust this ‘blue ribbon’ group to be both thoughtful and outspoken as they tackle the incredibly important work of formulating practical solutions to ensure our state’s municipal court divisions are places where defendants can trust they will be treated fairly and with respect, where their rights will be protected, and where the focus will be on due process of law.” In addition, the court invited The Missouri Bar to appoint two members to the working group. Those members are:


• Reuben Shelton, president of The Missouri Bar and general counsel-litigation for Monsanto in St. Louis; and

• Karl W. DeMarce, associate circuit judge in Scotland County and municipal judge for Memphis, Missouri. Specifically, the court has directed the working group to: • Evaluate chapter 479, RSMo, and Rule 37, which govern municipal court divisions, as well as other relevant provisions of the constitution, statutes and rules;

• Examine relevant provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct (Rule 2) and Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 4);

• Review legislation recently enacted by the General Assembly;

• Analyze comments received by the Supreme Court’s clerk from the public and from lawyers;

• Study the issues raised by the United States Department of Justice report as well as the report submitted May 11 to the Court from the state courts administrator’s office and Acting Ferguson Municipal Judge Roy L. Richter;

• Consult with interested groups and hold one or more public hearings so as to ensure public input; and

• Consider any other relevant information, including recommendations from the National Center for State Courts regarding best practices for municipal court divisions. The court has directed the working group then to take what it learns through its process and outline specific suggestions for improving municipal court divisions statewide. These recommendations should include measures the Court can implement through its rulemaking authority as well as recommendations for further action by the legislature or other entities. “We are giving our working group members full rein to study our state’s municipal court divisions from all angles,” Russell said. “We expect them to respond with specific solutions for improving our municipal court divisions, not only in St. Louis County but throughout the state. Our hope is that, in time, our municipal court divisions might become a model for the nation.” The court expects the group to file its interim report with the Court no later than Sept. 1 and its final report no later than Dec. 1. For more information, please contact Judge Todd Thornhill at 417-864-1890 or Beth S. Riggert, communication counsel for The Missouri Supreme Court at 573-751-4144 or beth.riggert@courts.mo.gov.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in 2015 City News Releases

Jan. 12 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: January 12, 2015

Filing closes for City Council seats

Posted on: January 20, 2015

Jan. 26 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: January 26, 2015

Feb. 9 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: February 9, 2015

Monthly sales tax revenue down

Posted on: February 10, 2015

Feb. 23 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: February 23, 2015

Landmarks Board meeting cancelled

Posted on: March 3, 2015

March 9 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: March 9, 2015

March 23 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: March 23, 2015

Media Tour of Heer's Luxury Living

Posted on: March 24, 2015

Monthly sales tax revenue down

Posted on: April 7, 2015

April 27 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: April 13, 2015

April 13 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: April 13, 2015

Gift of Time nominations now open

Posted on: April 20, 2015

April 27 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: April 13, 2015

April 13 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: April 13, 2015

Gift of Time nominations now open

Posted on: April 20, 2015

April 27 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: April 27, 2015

June 22 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: June 22, 2015

July 13 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: July 13, 2015

July 27 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: July 27, 2015

Aug. 10 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: August 10, 2015

City responds to Sheriff's Counterclaim

Posted on: August 14, 2015

Aug. 24 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: August 24, 2015

Sept. 14 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: September 14, 2015

Sept. 28 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: September 28, 2015

Oct. 12 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: October 12, 2015

Oct. 26 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: October 26, 2015

Five City Councilmembers issue statement

Posted on: November 2, 2015

Nov. 9 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: November 9, 2015

City of Springfield Weekly News Tip Sheet

Posted on: November 18, 2015

City of Springfield Weekly News Tip Sheet

Posted on: November 23, 2015

Nov. 23 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: November 23, 2015

Awards & Achievers

Posted on: November 25, 2015

City of Springfield Weekly News Tip Sheet

Posted on: December 14, 2015

Dec. 14 City Council meeting summary

Posted on: December 14, 2015

Video looks back at 2015

Posted on: December 31, 2015