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  478.073.  Circuit realignment plan authorized — judicial conference duties — effective date — minimum number of circuits — publication by the revisor. — 1.  (1)  As set forth in this section, the general assembly authorizes the judicial conference of the state of Missouri, as established pursuant to section 476.320, to alter the geographical boundaries and territorial jurisdiction of the judicial circuits by means of a circuit realignment plan as the administration of justice may require, subject to the requirements set forth in Article V of the Constitution of Missouri.

  (2)  Beginning in 2020, and every twenty years thereafter, within the first ten calendar days of the regular legislative session, the judicial conference shall submit to the secretary of the senate, the chief clerk of the house of representatives and the chairs of the house and senate judiciary committees a circuit realignment plan for the alteration of the geographical boundaries and territorial jurisdiction of the judicial circuits.  Along with a statement of the numbers and boundaries of the proposed judicial circuits together with a map of the proposed judicial circuits, the circuit realignment plan shall include an analysis of the following supporting information:

  (a)  A current judicial weighted workload model;

  (b)  A current clerical weighted workload model;

  (c)  Whether litigants in the current circuits have adequate access to the courts;

  (d)  The populations of the current and proposed judicial circuits determined on the basis of the most recent decennial census of the United States or annual population estimates prepared by the United States Bureau of the Census;

  (e)  Judicial duties and travel time;

  (f)  Historical connections between counties in the judicial circuits; and

  (g)  Other information deemed relevant by the judicial conference.

  (3)  Once submitted to both chambers, a circuit realignment plan shall become effective January first of the year following the session of the general assembly to which it is submitted, unless a bill realigning the judicial circuits is presented to the governor and is duly enacted.

  2.  A circuit realignment plan shall not alter the total number of judicial circuits in existence on December 31, 2019, and any circuit realignment plan creating or reducing the number of judicial circuits shall be null and void.

  3.  A circuit realignment plan not superceded in the manner set forth in this section shall be considered for all purposes as the equivalent in force, effect, and intent of a public act of the state upon its taking effect, and it shall be published by the revisor of statutes together with the laws adopted by the general assembly during the session in which the plan is submitted.

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(L. 1959 S.B. 96, A.L. 1971 S.B. 163, A.L. 2013 H.B. 374 & 434)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Judicial circuits--establishment and changes, Const. Art. V § 15


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2013 ----

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