Constitution Day Presentation

Riverview Gardens HS
In observance of National Constitution Day September 17, Commissioner Anne-Marie Clark (seated, center, in tan suit) and members of the Mound City Bar Association visited Riverview Gardens High School and met with students of the Honors Government class. The visit also was on behalf of the National Bar Association and The Missouri Bar. The group provided an overview of the Constitution and discussed some significant cases. Students were given a copy of the Constitution which had been provided by The Missouri Bar. It was a well-received experience for the students, staff and Bar members.

Rule changes in execution of orders in landlord/tenant cases

September 19, 2014




In Regard to: Executions for Possession of Property in Landlord/Tenant Cases

In light of and based on the changes which the Legislature made in Chapters 534 and 535of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and which took effect on August 28, 2014, the St. Louis City Circuit Court makes and will enforce the following rules concerning execution of judgments for possession in landlord/tenant cases:

1. Chapter 535 Rent and Possession Cases – Execution of Judgment

Default Judgments – 10 days after date of judgment

Consent Judgments – as agreed to by the parties in the judgment or 40 days

Judgment after Trial – 40 days after date of judgment.

2. Chapter 534 Unlawful Detainer Cases – Execution of Judgment

Default Judgments – 40 days after date of judgment

Consent Judgments – 40 days after date of judgment

Judgment after Trial – 40 days after date of judgment.

In addition, if a landlord files a request for execution for possession of the property more than 120 days after the date of judgment, the landlord or the landlord’s attorney must first talk with and get the approval of the judge in the division that issued the judgment in order for the Circuit Clerk’s Office to process the execution request.



September 19, 2014                                                    Philip D. Heagney #27434

Presiding Judge, Division 1



Cc: Judges and Commissioners

Helen Haskins, Court Administrator

Jane Schweitzer, Clerk of the Circuit Court

James Murphy, Sheriff

Thomas Gross, Public Information Officer

Rebecca Soeder, Staff Attorney

St. Louis City Circuit Court Appoints Tom Kloeppinger Circuit Clerk

ST. LOUIS (Sept. 18, 2014) — The judges of St. Louis City Circuit Court voted today to appoint Tom Kloeppinger as the Circuit Clerk— the first appointed clerk since the Missouri Legislation converted the position from an elected county office in 2012.

Kloeppinger will replace Jane Schweitzer, who won election to the position in 2010. She did not apply for the appointed position. Kloeppinger assumes the post Jan. 1.

In other business, the court elected Judge Bryan Hettenbach as the Presiding Judge for the 2015-2016 term, replacing Judge Philip Heagney. The court elected Judge Jack Garvey as Assistant Presiding Judge for the same period.

On Monday, the court heard presentations from three finalists for Circuit Clerk then elected Kloeppingerin closed session. He has served as the court’s Human Resources Officer since 2007.

Kloeppinger, 54, said, “After working in the court for seven years, I saw this as a great opportunity. I told the judges that if selected, I would foster communications in the Court through continuing open dialogue with them.”

Circuit Clerk’s Office traces $8 million in unclaimed funds, distributes $3.6 million to state and local agencies

ST. LOUIS (June 19, 2014) — Jane Schweitzer, clerk of the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri, is distributing to state and local agencies $3.6 million in unclaimed funds accumulated over several decades.

These payouts came from undistributed court costs, fines and fees. Payments include $1,891,504 to the City of St. Louis and $1,662,484 to the State of Missouri.

Previously, Schweitzer’s office transferred more than $4 million in unclaimed funds held in the Registry of the Court to the Missouri State Treasurer for distribution to approximately 35,000 litigants under the unclaimed property laws.

The $8 million in unclaimed funds had vexed circuit clerks for decades.  Last year, Schweitzer hired an auditing firm after issuing a request for proposals.  Fees for the audit came from the unclaimed funds themselves, in accordance with state statutes.

Schweitzer said, “I am very proud of this team effort, which shows what the court can accomplish when we put our minds together. The unclaimed funds in the Registry of the Court have been a problem for over 30 years, and through our combined efforts we have solved it.”

Portrait Donation

Judge Calhoun Portrait

Mark Wenner, center, presenting a photo portrait of former St. Louis Circuit Judge John Calhoun to Judges Thomas Grady, left, and Philip Heagney, right.

Born in St. Louis in 1885, Calhoun graduated from Washington University Law School. He was Chief attorney for the St. Louis Bar Association’s Legal Aid Bureau and subsequently headed the City’s Municipal Legal Aid Bureau. Considered a scholar of the law and a friend of the poor, he was elected circuit judge for the City of St. Louis (then 8th Circuit) in November 1916 and re-elected in 1922. He and his wife, Margaret (Haase) Calhoun, had three daughters, Margaret Clara, Doris Carolyn, and Phyllis Susan, and made their home in the 3500 block of Longfellow Boulevard.

Wenner currently resides in Cuba, Mo., but formerly practiced law in St. Louis County. A former client was the sister of Judge Calhoun and asked that the portrait be donated to the court.


Missouri Supreme Court Recognizes Two Judges Of St. Louis Circuit Court for Science, Tech Achievement

ST. LOUIS (May 28, 2014) — Judge Zel Fischer of the Missouri Supreme Court has presented Judge Steve Ohmer and Judge Edward Sweeney of the St. Louis Circuit Court with certificates as fellows of the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource (ASTAR).

The status of fellow is given to judges who successfully complete 120 hours of court-related science and technology training and have acquired skills to preside over trials that have complex issues related to science or technology.

Fischer presented the awards during a ceremony today at the Civil Courts Building.

Fischer said, “ASTAR judges are evidence gatekeepers. They assure that valid methodology underscores the evidence and assure evidentiary fitness in all trials involving complex or novel scientific or technical information.”

Judges who have earned this award will take case assignments as well as help plan and develop educational programs for other judges. They will help train non-ASTAR judges, serve as a resource about various scientific topics in cases, and act as liaisons to law schools, bar associations and the public. ASTAR judges are trained in scientific and technological topics, including addiction treatment technologies, neuroscience evidence, advanced genetic technologies, computer forensics and cybercrime, DNA science, and advanced forensic technologies.

“This training will not make judges experts in these fields,” Fischer said, “but it will allow judges to be more sensitive to the nuances of complex scientific issues and help them to better perform judicial duties as it relates to admissibility of evidence.”

Ohmer, appointed circuit judge in 2000, presides in Division 13 of the St. Louis Circuit. Sweeney, appointed circuit judge in 2005, presides in Division 20

National College of Probate Judges awards Commissioner Patrick J. Connaghan

VAIL, CO (May 16, 2014) — Patrick J. Connaghan, probate commissioner for the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri, received the Judge Isabella Horton Grant Guardianship Award during the Spring Conference of the National College of Probate Judges (NCPJ) at the Four Seasons Hotel here today.


Known as “The Isabella,” the award was established to honor the memory of the late Judge Isabella Grant, a prominent and innovative probate judge from San Francisco, CA. The award is sponsored by The Rutter Group of California and administered by NCPJ. It recognizes and encourages achievements in the field of guardianships of minors and adults. The Award is $1000, and funds are provided for the recipient to attend the Spring Conference.


The award recognizes achievements that may include a variety of activities, such as:

  • Innovative programs leading to improvements in guardianship laws;
  • Articles, treatises, books or other publications of unusual quality and impact on guardianship issues;
  • Leadership roles or other activities in organizations that have led to significant improvements in the laws, administration, or practices in the guardianship field.


As probate commissioner, Connaghan supervises all aspects of decedent and guardianship estates as well as all mental health civil commitment proceedings. He is president of the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges and serves as chairman of the Association’s Mental Health Committee.


Prior to his appointment as Probate Commissioner he served for 12 years as General Counsel for the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen. He is a 2009 Science and Technology Fellow for The Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center (ASTAR) in Washington D.C. Commissioner Connaghan received his B.A. from Cardinal Glennon College and his J.D. from Saint Louis University Law School.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie M. Edwards Earns Three Awards For Continuing Work with Innovative Concept Academy

Judge Jimmie M. Edwards

ST. LOUIS (May 1, 2014) — Three St. Louis organizations have chosen to honor St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie M. Edwards this month for his work in founding and continuing to lead Innovative Concept Academy (ICA) for troubled students.

In August 2009, in collaboration with Dr. Lewis Chartock of MERS Goodwill and Dr. Kelvin Adams, Superintendent of the St. Louis Public Schools, Judge Edwards opened ICA to  provide educational instruction with firmness, compassion, dignity and respect to students who have been expelled from regular schools or who have been disruptive in the classroom.ICA offers students a last chance for the education every child deserves to become a productive citizen and to realize their potential in life. ICA is the first community partnership school in the country overseen by a court system.

Today, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis will recognize his work at ICA in presenting Edwards its 2014 Distinguished Lawyer Award during its Law Day luncheon program at the Renaissance Grand St. Louis Hotel.

On May 16, Eden Theological Seminary will present Edwards an honorary doctor of laws degree in connection with his role at ICA in commencement exercises at the Webster Groves campus.

On May 17, Edwards will be commencement speaker for Saint Louis University and will receive an honorary doctorate of laws degree.

Edwards said, “While it is humbling indeed to be recognized in this way, I am thrilled to accept these awards because individually and collectively they raise up the value of educating all of our citizens — and particularly those who have run into trouble along the way.”

State probate judge association elects Commissioner Patrick J. Connaghan president

LAKE OZARK, Mo. — Members of the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges have elected Patrick J. Connaghan, Probate Commissioner of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, City of St. Louis to serve as the organization’s President for 2014-2015 at its 99th annual meeting and conference.


The MAPACJ provides continuing legal education for its members at the three-day conference.  Membership is open to all state judges and commissioners in Missouri’s 45 judicial circuits.  Among the 180 judges and commissioners registered were judges from the Missouri Supreme Court and the three Courts of Appeal.


Commissioner Connaghan has been a member of MAPACJ since 2007 and has served as Chairperson of the organization’s Mental Health Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors since 2001.


In addition to Connaghan, the officers for the coming year are Gary Kamp, Cape Girardeau County, vice-president; Corey K. Herron, Atchison County, secretary-treasurer; Kelly Lovekamp, Schuyler County, historian; and Stephen P. Carlton, Jasper County, past president.


Other judges and commissioners elected to the board: Rob Fulton, Madison County; Tracey Mason-White, Sullivan County; Scott Lipke, Cape Girardeau County; Greg Gillis, Jackson County; Ray Dickhaner, Jefferson County; Jerry Holcomb, Jasper County; Edward M. Manring, Gentry County; Kevin Walden, Carroll County; Kelly C. Broniec, Montgomery County; James D. Beck, Lincoln County; Thomas C. Fincham, Platte County; and Corey K. Herron, Atchison County.

St. Louis City Circuit Court Speeds Gun Cases Through New Criminal Docketing System

ST. LOUIS (April 17, 2014) — A trial assignment system that the St. Louis Circuit Court adopted January 1 for cases of illegal gun possession has shortened disposition time and reduced backlogs.

The Court adopted the system in response to concerns of City elected officials and law enforcement officers, who called for steps to bring swifter justice to those accused of gun crimes in the City.

In the first three months of this year, the Court has moved 245 gun possession cases to trial divisions, 180 of which have been disposed — 143 through guilty pleas, 11 through trial verdicts, and 26 because prosecutors dismissed them. Of the remaining 65 pending cases, approximately half are scheduled for guilty pleas in coming weeks.

Under the Court’s new system, the criminal assignment division under Circuit Judge Bryan L. Hettenbach develops a weekly docket, assigning simple gun possession cases to one of the Court’s criminal trial divisions at the first setting date following the formal filing of charges.

Formerly, the assignment division treated these cases as other felonies, automatically granting a continuance at the first setting, which postpones trial date for six weeks. After that delay, the assignment division commonly granted continuances at the request of prosecutors or defense attorneys.

The new procedure applies toall cases charging felons in possession of firearms or unlawful use of a weapon by carrying a concealed weapon or by exhibiting or flourishing a firearm. Gun cases including simple drug possession charges are included. Excluded are gun cases accompanied by any other charge involving a specific victim. These go through the normal felony docketing process.

On the first trial date of the year — January 6 —57 gun possession cases went to trial divisions. The number included some old cases as well as recent ones. That week, 28 were disposed. By the final week of the quarter, only five relatively recent cases were on the docket, three of which were disposed.

Time of disposition of these cases — from formal charge to conclusion through guilty plea, trial verdict, or dismissal by prosecutors, dropped under the new system. Cases of felons in possession were 27.2 percent shorter in duration, while case times for unlawful use of a weapon declined 14 percent.

“The cases eligible for this streamlined process are relatively straightforward and lend themselves to quick disposition whether by guilty plea or trial,” Hettenbach said. “Cases where guns were used in robberies or other crimes require more preparation time by both prosecution and defense, and no one has urged the Court to speed them through the system.

“Under this system, we have reduced the gun possession caseload to a very manageable level, ensuring that our Circuit Court will swiftly handle all gun possession cases brought by the police and circuit attorney.”