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Statutes: Missouri

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Statutes are current through the end of the 2020 Second Regular and First Extraordinary Sessions of the 100th General Assembly.

XXIX. Ownership and Conveyance of Property

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Chapter 441. Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

441.920. Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking--no discrimination against applicants, tenants, or lessees for residential properties

Updated: 
December 6, 2019

1. For purposes of this section, the following terms mean:

(1) “Domestic violence”, as such term is defined in section 455.010;

(2) “Sexual assault”, as such term is defined in section 455.010;

(3) “Stalking”, as such term is defined in section 455.010.

2. No applicant, tenant, or lessee shall be denied tenancy, be evicted from the premises, or found to be in violation of a lease agreement on the basis of or as a direct result of the fact that the applicant, tenant, or lessee is, has been, or is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking if the applicant, tenant, or lessee otherwise qualifies for tenancy or occupancy in the premises. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply if:

(1) The applicant, tenant, or lessee allowed the person named in any documentation listed in subsection 4 of this section into the premises; or

(2) The landlord or property owner reasonably believes that a person named in any documentation listed in subsection 4 of this section poses a threat to the safety of the other occupants or the property.

3. In any action brought by a landlord against a tenant under this chapter, chapter 534, or chapter 535, a tenant shall have an affirmative defense and not be liable for rent for the period after which the tenant vacates the premises owned by the landlord if, by a preponderance of the evidence, the court finds that the tenant was a victim or was in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and the tenant notified the landlord and has provided any requested documentation under subsection 4 of this section.

4. An applicant, tenant, or lessee shall qualify for the protections under this section if he or she provides a statement of such domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to his or her landlord or the property owner. If the landlord or property owner requests, the applicant, tenant, or lessee shall provide documentation of the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, which may be in any of the following forms:

(1) A document signed by an employee of a victim service provider, or a health care professional or mental health professional from whom the victim has sought assistance relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or the effects of abuse stating that, under penalty of perjury, the individual believes in the occurrence of the incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking that is the ground for protection, and that the incident meets the applicable definition of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Such document shall be signed by the victim; or

(2) A record of a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, including a police report, a court, or an administrative agency pertaining to the alleged incident of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

5. The submission of false information by an applicant, tenant, or lessee under this section may be a basis for a denial of tenancy, eviction, or a violation of a lease agreement.

6. Any landlord or property owner may impose a reasonable termination fee on a tenant or lessee who desires to terminate a lease before the expiration date of such lease under the provisions of this section.

7. The provisions of this section shall only apply to residential properties.

Title XXX. Domestic Relations

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Chapter 452. Dissolution of Marriage, Divorce, Alimony and Separate Maintenance

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Dissolution of Marriage

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

452.305. Judgment of dissolution, grounds for--legal separation, when--judgments to contain partial Social Security number--full Social Security number, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. The court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage if:

(1) The court finds that one of the parties has been a resident of this state, or is a member of the armed services who has been stationed in this state, for ninety days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding and that thirty days have elapsed since the filing of the petition; and

(2) The court finds that there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved and that therefore the marriage is irretrievably broken; and

(3) To the extent it has jurisdiction, the court has considered and made provision for child custody, the support of each child, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.

2. The court shall enter a judgment of legal separation if:

(1) The court finds that one of the parties has been a resident of this state, or is a member of the armed services who has been stationed in this state, for ninety days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding and that thirty days have elapsed since the filing of the petition; and

(2) The court finds that there remains a reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved and that therefore the marriage is not irretrievably broken; and

(3) To the extent it has jurisdiction, the court has considered and made provision for the custody and the support of each child, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.

3. Any judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall include the last four digits of the Social Security numbers of the parties. The full Social Security number of each party and each child shall be retained in the manner required under section 509.520.

452.320. Finding that marriage is irretrievably broken, when--notice--denial by a party, effect of--alternate findings

Updated: 
November 14, 2019
1. If both of the parties by petition or otherwise have stated under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or one of the parties has so stated and the other has not denied it, the court, after considering the aforesaid petition or statement, and after a hearing thereon shall make a finding whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken and shall enter an order of dissolution or dismissal accordingly.
2. If one of the parties has denied under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition and the prospect of reconciliation, and after hearing the evidence shall
(1) Make a finding whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken, and in order for the court to find that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the petitioner shall satisfy the court of one or more of the following facts:
(a) That the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent;
(b) That the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent;
(c) That the respondent has abandoned the petitioner for a continuous period of at least six months preceding the presentation of the petition;
(d) That the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart by mutual consent for a continuous period of twelve months immediately preceding the filing of the petition;
(e) That the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least twenty-four months preceding the filing of the petition; or
(2) Continue the matter for further hearing not less than thirty days or more than six months later, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached on the court’s calendar, and may suggest to the parties that they seek counseling. No court shall require counseling as a condition precedent to a decree, nor shall any employee of any court, or of the state or any political subdivision of the state, be utilized as a marriage counselor. At the adjourned hearing, the court shall make a finding whether the marriage is irretrievably broken as set forth in subdivision (1) above and shall enter an order of dissolution or dismissal accordingly.

452.335. Maintenance order, findings required for--termination date, may be modified, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019
1. In a proceeding for nonretroactive invalidity, dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the court may grant a maintenance order to either spouse, but only if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:
(1) Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to him, to provide for his reasonable needs; and
(2) Is unable to support himself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
2. The maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, and after considering all relevant factors including:
(1) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to him, and his ability to meet his needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party as custodian;
(2) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;
(3) The comparative earning capacity of each spouse;
(4) The standard of living established during the marriage;
(5) The obligations and assets, including the marital property apportioned to him and the separate property of each party;
(6) The duration of the marriage;
(7) The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
(8) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance;
(9) The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and
(10) Any other relevant factors.
3. The maintenance order shall state if it is modifiable or nonmodifiable. The court may order maintenance which includes a termination date. Unless the maintenance order which includes a termination date is nonmodifiable, the court may order the maintenance decreased, increased, terminated, extended, or otherwise modified based upon a substantial and continuing change of circumstances which occurred prior to the termination date of the original order.

452.374. Criminal charge of rape against putative father, stay of paternity proceeding

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. If criminal charges alleging an act of rape are brought against the putative father of a child conceived as the result of that act of rape, the court shall issue an automatic stay of any paternity proceeding involving both the child and the alleged putative father. The stay shall not be lifted until there is a final disposition of such criminal charges.

2. In any future custody proceeding, any denial of visitation under this section shall not be used against the mother of the child when considering the factor contained in subdivision (4) of subsection 2 of section 452.375.

452.375. Custody--definitions--factors determining custody--prohibited, when--public policy of state--custody options--findings required, when--parent plan required--access to records--joint custody not to preclude child support--support, how determined--

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) “Custody” means joint legal custody, sole legal custody, joint physical custody or sole physical custody or any combination thereof;

(2) “Joint legal custody” means that the parents share the decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority relating to the health, education and welfare of the child, and, unless allocated, apportioned, or decreed, the parents shall confer with one another in the exercise of decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority;

(3) “Joint physical custody” means an order awarding each of the parents significant, but not necessarily equal, periods of time during which a child resides with or is under the care and supervision of each of the parents. Joint physical custody shall be shared by the parents in such a way as to assure the child of frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents;

(4) “Third-party custody” means a third party designated as a legal and physical custodian pursuant to subdivision (5) of subsection 5 of this section.

2. The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child. When the parties have not reached an agreement on all issues related to custody, the court shall consider all relevant factors and enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The wishes of the child’s parents as to custody and the proposed parenting plan submitted by both parties;

(2) The needs of the child for a frequent, continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and the ability and willingness of parents to actively perform their functions as mother and father for the needs of the child;

(3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;

(4) Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent;

(5) The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;

(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including any history of abuse of any individuals involved. If the court finds that a pattern of domestic violence as defined in section 455.010 has occurred, and, if the court also finds that awarding custody to the abusive parent is in the best interest of the child, then the court shall enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law. Custody and visitation rights shall be ordered in a manner that best protects the child and any other child or children for whom the parent has custodial or visitation rights, and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence from any further harm;

(7) The intention of either parent to relocate the principal residence of the child; and

(8) The wishes of a child as to the child’s custodian. The fact that a parent sends his or her child or children to a home school, as defined in section 167.031, shall not be the sole factor that a court considers in determining custody of such child or children.

3. (1) In any court proceedings relating to custody of a child, the court shall not award custody or unsupervised visitation of a child to a parent if such parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, any of the following offenses when a child was the victim:

(a) A felony violation of section 566.030, 566.032, 566.031, 566.060, 566.062, 566.064, 566.067, 566.068, 566.061, 566.083, 566.101, 566.100, 566.111, 566.151, 566.203, 566.206, 566.209, 566.211, or 566.215;

(b) A violation of section 568.020;

(c) A violation of subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 568.060;

(d) A violation of section 568.065;

(e) A violation of section 573.200;

(f) A violation of section 573.205; or

(g) A violation of section 568.175.

(2) For all other violations of offenses in chapters 566 and 568 not specifically listed in subdivision (1) of this subsection or for a violation of an offense committed in another state when a child is the victim that would be a violation of chapter 566 or 568 if committed in Missouri, the court may exercise its discretion in awarding custody or visitation of a child to a parent if such parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, any such offense.

4. The general assembly finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state that frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage is in the best interest of the child, except for cases where the court specifically finds that such contact is not in the best interest of the child, and that it is the public policy of this state to encourage parents to participate in decisions affecting the health, education and welfare of their children, and to resolve disputes involving their children amicably through alternative dispute resolution. In order to effectuate these policies, the court shall determine the custody arrangement which will best assure both parents participate in such decisions and have frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with their children so long as it is in the best interests of the child.

5. Prior to awarding the appropriate custody arrangement in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider each of the following as follows:

(1) Joint physical and joint legal custody to both parents, which shall not be denied solely for the reason that one parent opposes a joint physical and joint legal custody award. The residence of one of the parents shall be designated as the address of the child for mailing and educational purposes;

(2) Joint physical custody with one party granted sole legal custody. The residence of one of the parents shall be designated as the address of the child for mailing and educational purposes;

(3) Joint legal custody with one party granted sole physical custody;

(4) Sole custody to either parent; or

(5) Third-party custody or visitation:

(a) When the court finds that each parent is unfit, unsuitable, or unable to be a custodian, or the welfare of the child requires, and it is in the best interests of the child, then custody, temporary custody or visitation may be awarded to any other person or persons deemed by the court to be suitable and able to provide an adequate and stable environment for the child. Before the court awards custody, temporary custody or visitation to a third person under this subdivision, the court shall make that person a party to the action;

(b) Under the provisions of this subsection, any person may petition the court to intervene as a party in interest at any time as provided by supreme court rule.

6. If the parties have not agreed to a custodial arrangement, or the court determines such arrangement is not in the best interest of the child, the court shall include a written finding in the judgment or order based on the public policy in subsection 4 of this section and each of the factors listed in subdivisions (1) to (8) of subsection 2 of this section detailing the specific relevant factors that made a particular arrangement in the best interest of the child. If a proposed custodial arrangement is rejected by the court, the court shall include a written finding in the judgment or order detailing the specific relevant factors resulting in the rejection of such arrangement.

7. Upon a finding by the court that either parent has refused to exchange information with the other parent, which shall include but not be limited to information concerning the health, education and welfare of the child, the court shall order the parent to comply immediately and to pay the prevailing party a sum equal to the prevailing party’s cost associated with obtaining the requested information, which shall include but not be limited to reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.

8. As between the parents of a child, no preference may be given to either parent in the awarding of custody because of that parent’s age, sex, or financial status, nor because of the age or sex of the child. The court shall not presume that a parent, solely because of his or her sex, is more qualified than the other parent to act as a joint or sole legal or physical custodian for the child.

9. Any judgment providing for custody shall include a specific written parenting plan setting forth the terms of such parenting plan arrangements specified in subsection 8 of section 452.310. Such plan may be a parenting plan submitted by the parties pursuant to section 452.310 or, in the absence thereof, a plan determined by the court, but in all cases, the custody plan approved and ordered by the court shall be in the court’s discretion and shall be in the best interest of the child.

10. After August 28, 2016, every court order establishing or modifying custody or visitation shall include the following language: “In the event of noncompliance with this order, the aggrieved party may file a verified motion for contempt. If custody, visitation, or third-party custody is denied or interfered with by a parent or third party without good cause, the aggrieved person may file a family access motion with the court stating the specific facts that constitute a violation of the custody provisions of the judgment of dissolution, legal separation, or judgment of paternity. The circuit clerk will provide the aggrieved party with an explanation of the procedures for filing a family access motion and a simple form for use in filing the family access motion. A family access motion does not require the assistance of legal counsel to prepare and file.”.

11. No court shall adopt any local rule, form, or practice requiring a standardized or default parenting plan for interim, temporary, or permanent orders or judgments. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, a court may enter an interim order in a proceeding under this chapter, provided that the interim order shall not contain any provisions about child custody or a parenting schedule or plan without first providing the parties with notice and a hearing, unless the parties otherwise agree.

12. Unless a parent has been denied custody rights pursuant to this section or visitation rights under section 452.400, both parents shall have access to records and information pertaining to a minor child including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and school records. If the parent without custody has been granted restricted or supervised visitation because the court has found that the parent with custody or any child has been the victim of domestic violence, as defined in section 455.010, by the parent without custody, the court may order that the reports and records made available pursuant to this subsection not include the address of the parent with custody or the child. A court shall order that the reports and records made available under this subsection not include the address of the parent with custody if the parent with custody is a participant in the address confidentiality program under section 589.663. Unless a parent has been denied custody rights pursuant to this section or visitation rights under section 452.400, any judgment of dissolution or other applicable court order shall specifically allow both parents access to such records and reports.

13. Except as otherwise precluded by state or federal law, if any individual, professional, public or private institution or organization denies access or fails to provide or disclose any and all records and information, including, but not limited to, past and present dental, medical and school records pertaining to a minor child, to either parent upon the written request of such parent, the court shall, upon its finding that the individual, professional, public or private institution or organization denied such request without good cause, order that party to comply immediately with such request and to pay to the prevailing party all costs incurred, including, but not limited to, attorney’s fees and court costs associated with obtaining the requested information.

14. An award of joint custody does not preclude an award of child support pursuant to section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules. The court shall consider the factors contained in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules in determining an amount reasonable or necessary for the support of the child.

15. If the court finds that domestic violence or abuse as defined in section 455.010 has occurred, the court shall make specific findings of fact to show that the custody or visitation arrangement ordered by the court best protects the child and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence, as defined in section 455.010, and any other children for whom such parent has custodial or visitation rights from any further harm.

452.376. Noncustodial parent's right to receive child's school progress reports--administrative fees to be set by school, when--exclusion of address of custodial parent, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Unless a noncustodial parent has been denied visitation rights under section 452.400, such noncustodial parent or any parent who has joint custody of a child shall, upon request and payment of an administrative fee sufficient to cover the cost, receive any deficiency slips, report cards or pertinent progress reports regarding that child’s progress in school. If a noncustodial parent has been granted restricted or supervised visitation because the court has found that the custodial parent or the child has been the victim of domestic violence or abuse, as defined in sections 455.010 and 455.501, by the noncustodial parent, the court may order that the reports and records made available pursuant to this subsection not include the address of the custodial parent or the child.

2. School districts shall annually set an administrative fee estimated to cover the costs of preparing, copying and mailing the student information required to be provided pursuant to this section.

452.377. Relocation of child by parent for more than ninety days, required procedure--violation, effect--notice of relocation of parent, required procedure

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. For purposes of this section and section 452.375, “relocate” or “relocation” means a change in the principal residence of a child for a period of ninety days or more, but does not include a temporary absence from the principal residence.

2. Notice of a proposed relocation of the residence of the child, or any party entitled to custody or visitation of the child, shall be given in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to any party with custody or visitation rights. Absent exigent circumstances as determined by a court with jurisdiction, written notice shall be provided at least sixty days in advance of the proposed relocation. The notice of the proposed relocation shall include the following information:

(1) The intended new residence, including the specific address and mailing address, if known, and if not known, the city;

(2) The home telephone number of the new residence, if known;

(3) The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;

(4) A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of a child, if applicable;

(5) A proposal for a revised schedule of custody or visitation with the child, if applicable; and

(6) The other party’s right, if that party is a parent, to file a motion, pursuant to this section, seeking an order to prevent the relocation and an accompanying affidavit setting forth the specific good-faith factual basis for opposing the relocation within thirty days of receipt of the notice.

3. If a party seeking to relocate a child is a participant in the address confidentiality program under section 589.663, such party shall not be required to provide the information in subdivision (1) of subsection 2 of this section, but may be required to submit such information under seal to the court for in camera review. Prior to disclosure of this information, a court shall comply with the provisions of section 589.664.

4. A party required to give notice of a proposed relocation pursuant to subsection 2 of this section has a continuing duty to provide a change in or addition to the information required by this section as soon as such information becomes known.

5. In exceptional circumstances where the court makes a finding that the health or safety of any adult or child would be unreasonably placed at risk by the disclosure of the required identifying information concerning a proposed relocation of the child, the court may order that:

(1) The specific residence address and telephone number of the child, parent or person, and other identifying information shall not be disclosed in the pleadings, notice, other documents filed in the proceeding or the final order except for an in camera disclosure;

(2) The notice requirements provided by this section shall be waived to the extent necessary to protect the health or safety of a child or any adult; or

(3) Any other remedial action the court considers necessary to facilitate the legitimate needs of the parties and the best interest of the child.

6. The court shall consider a failure to provide notice of a proposed relocation of a child as:

(1) A factor in determining whether custody and visitation should be modified;

(2) A basis for ordering the return of the child if the relocation occurs without notice; and

(3) Sufficient cause to order the party seeking to relocate the child to pay reasonable expenses and attorneys fees incurred by the party objecting to the relocation.

7. If the parties agree to a revised schedule of custody and visitation for the child, which includes a parenting plan, they may submit the terms of such agreement to the court with a written affidavit signed by all parties with custody or visitation assenting to the terms of the agreement, and the court may order the revised parenting plan and applicable visitation schedule without a hearing.

8. The residence of the child may be relocated sixty days after providing notice, as required by this section, unless a parent files a motion seeking an order to prevent the relocation within thirty days after receipt of such notice. Such motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the specific good-faith factual basis supporting a prohibition of the relocation. The person seeking relocation shall file a response to the motion within fourteen days, unless extended by the court for good cause, and include a counter-affidavit setting forth the facts in support of the relocation as well as a proposed revised parenting plan for the child.

9. If relocation of the child is proposed, a third party entitled by court order to legal custody of or visitation with a child and who is not a parent may file a cause of action to obtain a revised schedule of legal custody or visitation, but shall not prevent a relocation.

10. The party seeking to relocate shall have the burden of proving that the proposed relocation is made in good faith and is in the best interest of the child.

11. If relocation is permitted:

(1) The court shall order contact with the nonrelocating party including custody or visitation and telephone access sufficient to assure that the child has frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the nonrelocating party unless the child’s best interest warrants otherwise; and

(2) The court shall specify how the transportation costs will be allocated between the parties and adjust the child support, as appropriate, considering the costs of transportation.

12. After August 28, 1998, every court order establishing or modifying custody or visitation shall include the following language:

“Absent exigent circumstances as determined by a court with jurisdiction, you, as a party to this action, are ordered to notify, in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, and at least sixty days prior to the proposed relocation, each party to this action of any proposed relocation of the principal residence of the child, including the following information:

(1) The intended new residence, including the specific address and mailing address, if known, and if not known, the city;

(2) The home telephone number of the new residence, if known;

(3) The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;

(4) A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the child;

(5) A proposal for a revised schedule of custody or visitation with the child; and

(6) The other party’s right, if that party is a parent, to file a motion, pursuant to Section 452.377, RSMo, seeking an order to prevent the relocation and an accompanying affidavit setting forth the specific good-faith factual basis for opposing the relocation within thirty days of receipt of the notice.

Your obligation to provide this information to each party continues as long as you or any other party by virtue of this order is entitled to custody of a child covered by this order. Your failure to obey the order of this court regarding the proposed relocation may result in further litigation to enforce such order, including contempt of court. In addition, your failure to notify a party of a relocation of the child may be considered in a proceeding to modify custody or visitation with the child. Reasonable costs and attorney fees may be assessed against you if you fail to give the required notice.”.

13. A participant in the address confidentiality program under section 589.663 shall not be required to provide a requesting party with the specific physical or mailing address of the child’s proposed relocation destination, but in the event of an objection by a requesting party, a participant may be required to submit such information under seal to the court for in camera review. Prior to disclosure of this information, a court shall comply with the provisions of section 589.664.

14. Violation of the provisions of this section or a court order under this section may be deemed a change of circumstance under section 452.410, allowing the court to modify the prior custody decree. In addition, the court may utilize any and all powers relating to contempt conferred on it by law or rule of the Missouri supreme court.15. Any party who objects in good faith to the relocation of a child’s principal residence shall not be ordered to pay the costs and attorney’s fees of the party seeking to relocate.

452.385. Child's wishes as to custodian, how determined

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

The court may interview the child in chambers to ascertain the child’s wishes as to his custodian and relevant matters within his knowledge. The court shall permit counsel to be present at the interview and to participate therein. The court shall cause a record of the interview to be made and to be made part of the record in the case.

452.400. Visitation rights, awarded when--history of domestic violence, consideration of--prohibited, when--modification of, when--supervised visitation defined--noncompliance with order, effect of--family access motions, procedure, penalty for violation-

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. (1) A parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would endanger the child’s physical health or impair his or her emotional development. The court shall enter an order specifically detailing the visitation rights of the parent without physical custody rights to the child and any other children for whom such parent has custodial or visitation rights. In determining the granting of visitation rights, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence. If the court finds that domestic violence has occurred, the court may find that granting visitation to the abusive party is in the best interests of the child.

(2)(a) The court shall not grant visitation to the parent not granted custody if such parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of or pled guilty to any of the following offenses when a child was the victim:

a. A felony violation of section 566.030, 566.032, 566.031,1 566.060, 566.062, 566.064, 566.067, 566.068, 566.061,1 566.083, 566.101,1 566.100, 566.111, 566.151, 566.203, 566.206, 566.209, 566.211,2 or 566.215;

b. A violation of section 568.020;

c. A violation of subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 568.060;

d. A violation of section 568.065;

e. A violation of section 573.200;2

f. A violation of section 573.205;2or

g. A violation of section 568.175.

(b) For all other violations of offenses in chapters 566 and 568 not specifically listed in paragraph (a) of this subdivision or for a violation of an offense committed in another state when a child is the victim that would be a violation of chapter 566 or 568 if committed in Missouri, the court may exercise its discretion in granting visitation to a parent not granted custody if such parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, any such offense.

(3) The court shall consider the parent’s history of inflicting, or tendency to inflict, physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault on other persons and shall grant visitation in a manner that best protects the child and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence, and any other children for whom the parent has custodial or visitation rights from any further harm.

(4) The court, if requested by a party, shall make specific findings of fact to show that the visitation arrangements made by the court best protect the child or the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence, or any other child for whom the parent has custodial or visitation rights from any further harm.

2. (1) The court may modify an order granting or denying visitation rights whenever modification would serve the best interests of the child, but the court shall not restrict a parent’s visitation rights unless it finds that the visitation would endanger the child’s physical health or impair his or her emotional development.

(2)(a) In any proceeding modifying visitation rights, the court shall not grant unsupervised visitation to a parent if the parent or any person residing with such parent has been found guilty of or pled guilty to any of the following offenses when a child was the victim:

a. A felony violation of section 566.030, 566.032, 566.031,1 566.060, 566.062, 566.064, 566.067, 566.068, 566.061,1 566.083, 566.101,1 566.100, 566.111, 566.151, 566.203, 566.206, 566.209, 566.211,2 or 566.215;

b. A violation of section 568.020;

c. A violation of subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 568.060;

d. A violation of section 568.065;

e. A violation of section 573.200;2

f. A violation of section 573.205;2 or

g. A violation of section 568.175.

(b) For all other violations of offenses in chapters 566 and 568 not specifically listed in paragraph (a) of this subdivision or for a violation of an offense committed in another state when a child is the victim that would be a violation of chapter 566 or 568 if committed in Missouri, the division may exercise its discretion regarding the placement of a child taken into the custody of the state in which a parent or any person residing in the home has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, any such offense.

(3) When a court restricts a parent’s visitation rights or when a court orders supervised visitation because of allegations of abuse or domestic violence, a showing of proof of treatment and rehabilitation shall be made to the court before unsupervised visitation may be ordered.

“Supervised visitation”, as used in this section, is visitation which takes place in the presence of a responsible adult appointed by the court for the protection of the child.

3. The court shall mandate compliance with its order by all parties to the action, including parents, children and third parties. In the event of noncompliance, the aggrieved person may file a verified motion for contempt. If custody, visitation or third-party custody is denied or interfered with by a parent or third party without good cause, the aggrieved person may file a family access motion with the court stating the specific facts which constitute a violation of the judgment of dissolution, legal separation or judgment of paternity. The state courts administrator shall develop a simple form for pro se motions to the aggrieved person, which shall be provided to the person by the circuit clerk. Clerks, under the supervision of a circuit clerk, shall explain to aggrieved parties the procedures for filing the form. Notice of the fact that clerks will provide such assistance shall be conspicuously posted in the clerk’s offices. The location of the office where the family access motion may be filed shall be conspicuously posted in the court building. The performance of duties described in this section shall not constitute the practice of law as defined in section 484.010. Such form for pro se motions shall not require the assistance of legal counsel to prepare and file. The cost of filing the motion shall be the standard court costs otherwise due for instituting a civil action in the circuit court.

4. Within five court days after the filing of the family access motion pursuant to subsection 3 of this section, the clerk of the court shall issue a summons pursuant to applicable state law, and applicable local or supreme court rules. A copy of the motion shall be personally served upon the respondent by personal process server as provided by law or by any sheriff. Such service shall be served at the earliest time and shall take priority over service in other civil actions, except those of an emergency nature or those filed pursuant to chapter 455. The motion shall contain the following statement in boldface type:

“PURSUANT TO SECTION 452.400, RSMO, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO RESPOND TO THE CIRCUIT CLERK WITHIN TEN DAYS OF THE DATE OF SERVICE. FAILURE TO RESPOND TO THE CIRCUIT CLERK MAY RESULT IN THE FOLLOWING:

(1) AN ORDER FOR A COMPENSATORY PERIOD OF CUSTODY, VISITATION OR THIRD-PARTY CUSTODY AT A TIME CONVENIENT FOR THE AGGRIEVED PARTY NOT LESS THAN THE PERIOD OF TIME DENIED;

(2) PARTICIPATION BY THE VIOLATOR IN COUNSELING TO EDUCATE THE VIOLATOR ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PROVIDING THE CHILD WITH A CONTINUING AND MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH BOTH PARENTS;

(3) ASSESSMENT OF A FINE OF UP TO FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS AGAINST THE VIOLATOR;

(4) REQUIRING THE VIOLATOR TO POST BOND OR SECURITY TO ENSURE FUTURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE COURT’S ORDERS;

(5) ORDERING THE VIOLATOR TO PAY THE COST OF COUNSELING TO REESTABLISH THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AGGRIEVED PARTY AND THE CHILD; AND

(6) A JUDGMENT IN AN AMOUNT NOT LESS THAN THE REASONABLE EXPENSES, INCLUDING ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COURT COSTS ACTUALLY INCURRED BY THE AGGRIEVED PARTY AS A RESULT OF THE DENIAL OF CUSTODY, VISITATION OR THIRD-PARTY CUSTODY.”.

5. If an alternative dispute resolution program is available pursuant to section 452.372, the clerk shall also provide information to all parties on the availability of any such services, and within fourteen days of the date of service, the court may schedule alternative dispute resolution.

6. Upon a finding by the court pursuant to a motion for a family access order or a motion for contempt that its order for custody, visitation or third-party custody has not been complied with, without good cause, the court shall order a remedy, which may include, but not be limited to:

(1) A compensatory period of visitation, custody or third-party custody at a time convenient for the aggrieved party not less than the period of time denied;

(2) Participation by the violator in counseling to educate the violator about the importance of providing the child with a continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents;

(3) Assessment of a fine of up to five hundred dollars against the violator payable to the aggrieved party;

(4) Requiring the violator to post bond or security to ensure future compliance with the court’s access orders; and

(5) Ordering the violator to pay the cost of counseling to reestablish the parent-child relationship between the aggrieved party and the child.

7. The court shall consider, in a proceeding to enforce or modify a permanent custody or visitation order or judgment, a party’s violation, without good cause, of a provision of the parenting plan, for the purpose of determining that party’s ability and willingness to allow the child frequent and meaningful contact with the other party.

8. The reasonable expenses incurred as a result of denial or interference with custody or visitation, including attorney’s fees and costs of a proceeding to enforce visitation rights, custody or third-party custody, shall be assessed, if requested and for good cause, against the parent or party who unreasonably denies or interferes with visitation, custody or third-party custody. In addition, the court may utilize any and all powers relating to contempt conferred on it by law or rule of the Missouri supreme court.

9. Final disposition of a motion for a family access order filed pursuant to this section shall take place not more than sixty days after the service of such motion, unless waived by the parties or determined to be in the best interest of the child. Final disposition shall not include appellate review.

10. Motions filed pursuant to this section shall not be deemed an independent civil action from the original action pursuant to which the judgment or order sought to be enforced was entered. eff. Aug. 28, 2016.)

452.402. Grandparent's visitation rights granted, when--guardian ad litem appointed, when--termination upon adoption--attorney fees and costs assessed, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. The court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparents of the child and issue any necessary orders to enforce the decree when a grandparent has been unreasonably denied visitation for a period exceeding sixty days, and:

(1) The parents of the child have filed for a dissolution of their marriage. A grandparent shall have the right to intervene in any dissolution action solely on the issue of visitation rights. Grandparents shall also have the right to file a motion to modify the original decree of dissolution to seek visitation rights when visitation has been denied to them;

(2) One parent of the child is deceased and the surviving parent denies reasonable visitation to a parent of the deceased parent of the child; or

(3) The child has resided in the grandparent’s home for at least six months within the twenty-four month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection, if the natural parents are legally married to each other and are living together with the child, a grandparent may not file for visitation pursuant to this subsection.

2. Before ordering visitation, the court shall, in addition to the requirements of subsection 1 of this section, determine if the visitation by the grandparent would be in the child’s best interests. Visitation may only be ordered when the court finds such visitation to be in the best interests of the child. The court may order reasonable conditions or restrictions on grandparent visitation.

3. If the court finds it to be in the best interests of the child, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child. The guardian ad litem shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in Missouri. The guardian ad litem may, for the purpose of determining the question of grandparent visitation rights, participate in the proceedings as if such guardian ad litem were a party. The court shall enter judgment allowing a reasonable fee to the guardian ad litem.

4. A home study, as described by section 452.390, may be ordered by the court to assist in determining the best interests of the child.

5. The court may, in its discretion, consult with the child regarding the child’s wishes in determining the best interest of the child.

6. The right of a grandparent to maintain visitation rights pursuant to this section may terminate upon the adoption of the child.7. The court may award reasonable attorneys fees and expenses to the prevailing party.

452.403. Grandparent denied visitation, court may order mediation upon written request, purpose--costs--venue--termination of mediation, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Upon the written request of a grandparent denied visitation with a grandchild, the associate division of the circuit court may order mediation with any party who has custody or visitation rights with the minor child and appoint a mediator. Such written request need not follow the rules of civil procedure and need not be written or filed by an attorney.

2. As used in this section, “mediation” is the process by which a neutral mediator appointed by the court assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable voluntary and consensual agreement in the best interests of the child as to issues of child care and visitation. The role of the mediator is to aid the parties in identifying the issues, reducing misunderstandings, clarifying priorities, exploring areas of common interest and finding points of agreement. An agreement reached by the parties shall be based on the decisions of the parties and not the decisions of the mediator. The agreement reached may resolve all or only some of the disputed issues.

3. At any time after the third mediation session, either party may terminate mediation ordered pursuant to this section.

4. The costs of the mediation shall be paid by the grandparent requesting the mediation order.

5. The venue shall be in the county where the child resides.

452.404. Neutral location for exchange of children, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

To ensure compliance with the parenting plans or court orders, the court may require parents, or parents may agree, to bring the minor children to a neutral location for the exchange pursuant to such plans or orders. Such location may include a center specifically established for such exchanges or an existing location suitable for such exchanges. A neutral third party may be present at each exchange to provide an accurate documentation of the compliance or noncompliance with the ordered exchange.

452.405. Custodian to determine child's upbringing, exception--continued supervision, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Except as otherwise ordered by the court or agreed by the parties in writing at the time of the custody decree, the legal custodian may determine the child’s upbringing, including his education, health care, and religious training, unless the court after hearing finds, upon motion by the parent without legal custody, that in the absence of a specific limitation of the legal custodian’s authority the child’s physical health would be endangered or his emotional development impaired.

2. The legal custodian shall not exercise legal custody in such a way as to significantly and detrimentally impact the other parent’s visitation or custody rights.

3. The court may order the county welfare office or the county juvenile officer to exercise continuing supervision over the case.

452.410. Custody, decree, modification of, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Except as provided in subsection 2 of this section, the court shall not modify a prior custody decree unless it has jurisdiction under the provisions of section 452.450 and it finds, upon the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior decree or that were unknown to the court at the time of the prior decree, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or his custodian and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or sections 452.375 and 452.400, any custody order entered by any court in this state or any other state prior to August 13, 1984, may, subject to jurisdictional requirements, be modified to allow for joint custody in accordance with section 452.375, without any further showing.

2. If either parent files a motion to modify an award of joint legal custody or joint physical custody, each party shall be entitled to a change of judge as provided by supreme court rule.

452.411. Change of residence deemed grounds for modification of custody, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

If either parent of a child changes his residence to another state, such change of residence of the parent shall be deemed a change of circumstances under section 452.410, allowing the court to modify a prior visitation or custody decree.

452.412. Military service of parent not to be a basis for modification of a visitation or custody order--limitations on issuance of certain court orders

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A party’s absence, relocation, or failure to comply with custody and visitation orders shall not, by itself, be sufficient to justify a modification of a custody or visitation order if the reason for the absence, relocation, or failure to comply is the party’s activation to military service and deployment out-of-state.

2. For a party in active military service and deployed out-of-state, any court order:

(1) Issued or modified regarding child custody or visitation during the time of such out-of-state military deployment of the party, including as part of an entry of decree of dissolution of marriage or legal separation, shall be temporary in nature and shall not exceed the length of time of such deployment;

(2) Issued regarding ex parte adult or child orders of protection under sections 455.010 to 455.085 or sections 455.500 to 455.538, during the time of such out-of-state military deployment of the party, may be extended beyond the initial fifteen days required under sections 455.040 and 455.516. Such orders issued under this subdivision shall be temporary in nature and shall not exceed the length of time of such deployment.

Upon such party’s return from out-of-state military deployment, the party shall be given an opportunity to be heard on the child custody and visitation order or ex parte order of protection prior to a permanent order being entered by the court as to such issues. If the party in active military service knowingly and voluntarily signs a written waiver to the right to have such a hearing upon the party’s return from out-of-state military deployment, the court may issue a permanent order on the issues under this section.

452.423. Guardian ad litem appointed, when, duties--disqualification, when--fees

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. In all proceedings for child custody or for dissolution of marriage or legal separation where custody, visitation, or support of a child is a contested issue, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem. Disqualification of a guardian ad litem shall be ordered in any legal proceeding only pursuant to this chapter, upon the filing of a written application by any party within ten days of appointment, or within ten days of August 28, 1998, if the appointment occurs prior to August 28, 1998. Each party shall be entitled to one disqualification of a guardian ad litem appointed under this subsection in each proceeding, except a party may be entitled to additional disqualifications of a guardian ad litem for good cause shown.

2. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem in any proceeding in which child abuse or neglect is alleged.

3. The guardian ad litem shall:

(1) Be the legal representative of the child at the hearing, and may examine, cross-examine, subpoena witnesses and offer testimony;

(2) Prior to the hearing, conduct all necessary interviews with persons having contact with or knowledge of the child in order to ascertain the child’s wishes, feelings, attachments and attitudes. If appropriate, the child should be interviewed;

(3) Request the juvenile officer to cause a petition to be filed in the juvenile division of the circuit court if the guardian ad litem believes the child alleged to be abused or neglected is in danger.

4. The appointing judge shall require the guardian ad litem to faithfully discharge such guardian ad litem’s duties, and upon failure to do so shall discharge such guardian ad litem and appoint another. The judge in making appointments pursuant to this section shall give preference to persons who served as guardian ad litem for the child in the earlier proceeding, unless there is a reason on the record for not giving such preference.

5. The guardian ad litem shall be awarded a reasonable fee for such services to be set by the court. The court, in its discretion, may:

(1) Issue a direct payment order to the parties. If a party fails to comply with the court’s direct payment order, the court may find such party to be in contempt of court; or

(2) Award such fees as a judgment to be paid by any party to the proceedings or from public funds. Such an award of guardian fees shall constitute a final judgment in favor of the guardian ad litem. Such final judgment shall be enforceable against the parties in accordance with chapter 513.

452.425. Sheriff or law enforcement to enforce custody and visitation orders, when--limitations

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Any court order for the custody of, or visitation with, a child may include a provision that the sheriff or other law enforcement officer shall enforce the rights of any person to custody or visitation unless the court issues a subsequent order pursuant to chapter1 210, 211, 452 or 455 to limit or deny the custody of, or visitations with, the child. Such sheriff or law enforcement officer shall not remove a child from a person who has actual physical custody of the child unless such sheriff or officer is shown a court order or judgment which clearly and convincingly verifies that such person is not entitled to the actual physical custody of the child, and there are not other exigent circumstances that would give the sheriff or officer reasonable suspicion to believe that the child would be harmed or that the court order presented to the sheriff or officer may not be valid.

Chapter 455. Abuse--Adults and Children--Shelters and Protective Orders

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Adult Abuse

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

455.003. Rape crisis centers--employees or volunteers required to maintain confidentiality--incompetent to testify

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A rape crisis center shall:

(1) Require persons employed by or volunteering services to the rape crisis center to maintain confidentiality of any information that would identify individuals served by the center and any information or records that are directly related to the advocacy services provided to such individuals; and

(2) Prior to providing any advocacy services, inform individuals served by the rape crisis center of the nature and scope of the confidentiality requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection.

2. Any person employed by or volunteering services to a rape crisis center for victims of sexual assault shall be incompetent to testify concerning any confidential information in subsection 1 of this section, unless the confidentiality requirements are1 waived in writing by the individual served by the center.

3. As used in this section, the term “rape crisis center” shall mean any public or private agency that offers assistance to victims of sexual assault, as the term sexual assault is defined in section 455.010, who are adults, as defined by section 455.010, or qualified minors, as defined by section 431.056, RSMo.

455.005. Full order of protection, social security number requirement

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

All full orders of protection issued pursuant to this chapter shall include the Social Security number of the respondent, if known.

455.010. Definitions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms shall mean:

(1) “Abuse” includes but is not limited to the occurrence of any of the following acts, attempts or threats against a person who may be protected pursuant to this chapter, except abuse shall not include abuse inflicted on a child by accidental means by an adult household member or discipline of a child, including spanking, in a reasonable manner:

(a) “Assault”, purposely or knowingly placing or attempting to place another in fear of physical harm;

(b) “Battery”, purposely or knowingly causing physical harm to another with or without a deadly weapon;

(c) “Coercion”, compelling another by force or threat of force to engage in conduct from which the latter has a right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;

(d) “Harassment”, engaging in a purposeful or knowing course of conduct involving more than one incident that alarms or causes distress to an adult or child and serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable adult or child to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner or child. Such conduct might include, but is not limited to:

a. Following another about in a public place or places;

b. Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of another; but does not include constitutionally protected activity;

(e) “Sexual assault”, causing or attempting to cause another to engage involuntarily in any sexual act by force, threat of force, duress, or without that person’s consent;

(f) “Unlawful imprisonment”, holding, confining, detaining or abducting another person against that person’s will;

(2) “Adult”, any person seventeen years of age or older or otherwise emancipated;

(3) “Child”, any person under seventeen years of age unless otherwise emancipated;

(4) “Court”, the circuit or associate circuit judge or a family court commissioner;

(5) “Domestic violence”, abuse or stalking committed by a family or household member, as such terms are defined in this section;

(6) “Ex parte order of protection”, an order of protection issued by the court before the respondent has received notice of the petition or an opportunity to be heard on it;

(7) “Family” or “household member”, spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time;

(8) “Full order of protection”, an order of protection issued after a hearing on the record where the respondent has received notice of the proceedings and has had an opportunity to be heard;

(9) “Order of protection”, either an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection;

(10) “Pending”, exists or for which a hearing date has been set;

(11) “Petitioner”, a family or household member who has been a victim of domestic violence, or any person who has been the victim of stalking or sexual assault, or a person filing on behalf of a child pursuant to section 455.503 who has filed a verified petition pursuant to the provisions of section 455.020 or section 455.505;

(12) “Respondent”, the family or household member alleged to have committed an act of domestic violence, or person alleged to have committed an act of stalking or sexual assault, against whom a verified petition has been filed or a person served on behalf of a child pursuant to section 455.503;

(13) “Sexual assault”, as defined under subdivision (1) of this section;

(14) “Stalking” is when any person purposely engages in an unwanted course of conduct that causes alarm to another person, or a person who resides together in the same household with the person seeking the order of protection when it is reasonable in that person’s situation to have been alarmed by the conduct. As used in this subdivision:

(a) “Alarm” means to cause fear of danger of physical harm; and

(b) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of two or more acts over a period of time, however short, that serves no legitimate purpose. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, following the other person or unwanted communication or unwanted contact.

455.015. Venue

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

The petition shall be filed in the county where the petitioner resides, where the alleged incident of domestic violence occurred, or where the respondent may be served.

455.020. Relief may be sought--order of protection effective, where

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Any person who has been subject to domestic violence by a present or former family or household member, or who has been the victim of stalking or sexual assault, may seek relief under sections 455.010 to 455.085 by filing a verified petition alleging such domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault by the respondent.

2. A person’s right to relief under sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall not be affected by the person leaving the residence or household to avoid domestic violence.

3. Any protection order issued pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be effective throughout the state in all cities and counties.

455.025. Duties of circuit clerks--rules, forms, instructions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Except as provided under section 455.030, clerks under the supervision of a circuit clerk shall explain to litigants not represented by counsel the procedures for filing all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of their petition to the court. Notice of the fact that clerks will provide such assistance shall be conspicuously posted in the clerks’ offices. The location of the office where a petition can be filed shall be conspicuously posted in the court building. The performance of duties prescribed in this section shall not constitute the practice of law as defined in section 484.010, RSMo. All duties of the clerk prescribed in this section shall be performed without cost to the litigants. The supreme court may promulgate rules as necessary to govern conduct of court clerks under sections 455.010 to 455.085, and shall provide forms for petitions and written instructions on filling out all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of the petition to the court.

455.027. No filing fees, costs or bond assessments in certain circumstances

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

No filing fees, court costs, or bond shall be assessed to the petitioner in an action commenced pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.090.

455.030. Filings--certain information not required from petitioner, exception--supreme court shall provide for filing of petitions on holidays, evenings and weekends

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. When the court is unavailable after business hours or on holidays or weekends, a verified petition for protection from domestic violence or a motion for hearing on violation of any order of protection under sections 455.010 to 455.085 may be filed before any available court in the city or county having jurisdiction to hear the petition pursuant to the guidelines developed pursuant to subsection 4 of this section. An ex parte order may be granted pursuant to section 455.035.

2. All papers in connection with the filing of a petition or the granting of an ex parte order of protection or a motion for a hearing on a violation of an order of protection under this section shall be certified by such court or the clerk within the next regular business day to the circuit court having jurisdiction to hear the petition.

3. A petitioner seeking a protection order shall not be required to reveal any current address or place of residence except to the court in camera for the purpose of determining jurisdiction and venue. The petitioner may be required to provide a mailing address unless the petitioner alleges that he or she would be endangered by such disclosure, or that other family or household members would be endangered by such disclosure. Effective January 1, 2004, a petitioner shall not be required to provide his or her Social Security number on any petition or document filed in connection with a protection order; except that, the court may require that a petitioner’s Social Security number be retained on a confidential case sheet or other confidential record maintained in conjunction with the administration of the case.

4. The supreme court shall develop guidelines which ensure that a verified petition may be filed on holidays, evenings and weekends.

455.032. Protection order, restraining respondent from abuse if petitioner is permanently or temporarily in state--evidence admissible of prior abuse in or out of state

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

In addition to any other jurisdictional grounds provided by law, a court shall have jurisdiction to enter an order of protection restraining or enjoining the respondent from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, molesting or disturbing the peace of petitioner, pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085, if the petitioner is present, whether permanently or on a temporary basis within the state of Missouri and if the respondent’s actions constituting domestic violence have occurred, have been attempted or have been or are threatened within the state of Missouri. For purposes of this section, if the petitioner has been the subject of domestic violence within or outside of the state of Missouri, such evidence shall be admissible to demonstrate the need for protection in Missouri.

455.035. Protection orders--ex parte

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Upon the filing of a verified petition pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 and for good cause shown in the petition, the court may immediately issue an ex parte order of protection. An immediate and present danger of domestic violence to the petitioner or the child on whose behalf the petition is filed shall constitute good cause for purposes of this section. An ex parte order of protection entered by the court shall take effect when entered and shall remain in effect until there is valid service of process and a hearing is held on the motion. The court shall deny the ex parte order and dismiss the petition if the petitioner is not authorized to seek relief pursuant to section 455.020.

2. Failure to serve an ex parte order of protection on the respondent shall not affect the validity or enforceability of such order. If the respondent is less than seventeen years of age, unless otherwise emancipated, service of process shall be made upon a custodial parent or guardian of the respondent, or upon a guardian ad litem appointed by the court, requiring that the person appear and bring the respondent before the court at the time and place stated.

3. If an ex parte order is entered and the respondent is less than seventeen years of age, the court shall transfer the case to juvenile court for a hearing on a full order of protection. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for any such respondent not represented by a parent or guardian.

455.038. Petitioner for order of protection, notification of service

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Every circuit clerk shall be responsible for providing information to individuals petitioning for ex parte orders of protection regarding notification of service of these orders of protection. Such notification to the petitioner is required if the petitioner has registered a telephone number with the victim notification system, established under subsection 3 of section 650.310. The petitioner shall be informed of his or her option to receive notification of service of an ex parte order of protection on the respondent by the circuit clerk and shall be provided information on how to receive notification of service of ex parte orders of protection. The local law enforcement agency or any other government agency responsible for serving ex parte orders of protection shall enter service information into the Missouri uniform law enforcement system or future secure electronic databases that are intended for law enforcement use within twenty-four hours after the ex parte order is served on the respondent or shall notify the circuit clerk when no more service attempts are planned by that agency. The provisions of this section shall only apply to those circuit clerks able to access a statewide victim notification system designed to provide notification of service of orders of protection.

455.040. Hearings, when--duration of orders, renewal, requirements--copies of order to be given, validity--duties of law enforcement agency--information entered in MULES

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Not later than fifteen days after the filing of a petition that meets the requirements of section 455.020, a hearing shall be held unless the court deems, for good cause shown, that a continuance should be granted. At the hearing, if the petitioner has proved the allegation of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault by a preponderance of the evidence, and the respondent cannot show that his or her actions alleged to constitute abuse were otherwise justified under the law, the court shall issue a full order of protection for a period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year. Upon motion by the petitioner, and after a hearing by the court, the full order of protection may be renewed for a period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year from the expiration date of the originally issued full order of protection. The court may, upon finding that it is in the best interest of the parties, include a provision that any full order of protection for one year shall automatically renew unless the respondent requests a hearing by thirty days prior to the expiration of the order. If for good cause a hearing cannot be held on the motion to renew or the objection to an automatic renewal of the full order of protection prior to the expiration date of the originally issued full order of protection, an ex parte order of protection may be issued until a hearing is held on the motion. When an automatic renewal is not authorized, upon motion by the petitioner, and after a hearing by the court, the second full order of protection may be renewed for an additional period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year. For purposes of this subsection, a finding by the court of a subsequent act of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault is not required for a renewal order of protection.

2. The court shall cause a copy of the petition and notice of the date set for the hearing on such petition and any ex parte order of protection to be served upon the respondent as provided by law or by any sheriff or police officer at least three days prior to such hearing. The court shall cause a copy of any full order of protection to be served upon or mailed by certified mail to the respondent at the respondent’s last known address. Notice of an ex parte or full order of protection shall be served at the earliest time, and service of such notice shall take priority over service in other actions, except those of a similar emergency nature. Failure to serve or mail a copy of the full order of protection to the respondent shall not affect the validity or enforceability of a full order of protection.

3. A copy of any order of protection granted pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be issued to the petitioner and to the local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the petitioner resides. The clerk shall also issue a copy of any order of protection to the local law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining the Missouri uniform law enforcement system or any other comparable law enforcement system the same day the order is granted. The law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining MULES shall, for purposes of verification, within twenty-four hours from the time the order is granted, enter information contained in the order including but not limited to any orders regarding child custody or visitation and all specifics as to times and dates of custody or visitation that are provided in the order. A notice of expiration or of termination of any order of protection or any change in child custody or visitation within that order shall be issued to the local law enforcement agency and to the law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining MULES or any other comparable law enforcement system. The law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining the applicable law enforcement system shall enter such information in the system within twenty-four hours of receipt of information evidencing such expiration or termination. The information contained in an order of protection may be entered in the Missouri uniform law enforcement system or comparable law enforcement system using a direct automated data transfer from the court automated system to the law enforcement system.

4. The court shall cause a copy of any objection filed by the respondent and notice of the date set for the hearing on such objection to an automatic renewal of a full order of protection for a period of one year to be personally served upon the petitioner by personal process server as provided by law or by a sheriff or police officer at least three days prior to such hearing. Such service of process shall be served at the earliest time and shall take priority over service in other actions except those of a similar emergency nature.

455.045. Temporary relief available

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Any ex parte order of protection granted pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be to protect the petitioner from domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault and may include:

(1) Restraining the respondent from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, molesting, stalking, sexual assault, or disturbing the peace of the petitioner;

(2) Restraining the respondent from entering the premises of the dwelling unit of petitioner when the dwelling unit is:

(a) Jointly owned, leased or rented or jointly occupied by both parties; or

(b) Owned, leased, rented or occupied by petitioner individually; or

(c) Jointly owned, leased or rented by petitioner and a person other than respondent; provided, however, no spouse shall be denied relief pursuant to this section by reason of the absence of a property interest in the dwelling unit; or

(d) Jointly occupied by the petitioner and a person other than the respondent; provided that the respondent has no property interest in the dwelling unit;

(3) Restraining the respondent from communicating with the petitioner in any manner or through any medium;

(4) A temporary order of custody of minor children where appropriate.

455.050. Full or ex parte order of protection, abuse, stalking, or sexual assault, contents--relief available--wireless telephone numbers, transfer, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Any full or ex parte order of protection granted pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be to protect the petitioner from domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault and may include such terms as the court reasonably deems necessary to ensure the petitioner’s safety, including but not limited to:

(1) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, molesting, stalking, sexual assault, or disturbing the peace of the petitioner;

(2) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from entering the premises of the dwelling unit of the petitioner when the dwelling unit is:

(a) Jointly owned, leased or rented or jointly occupied by both parties; or

(b) Owned, leased, rented or occupied by petitioner individually; or

(c) Jointly owned, leased, rented or occupied by petitioner and a person other than respondent; provided, however, no spouse shall be denied relief pursuant to this section by reason of the absence of a property interest in the dwelling unit; or

(d) Jointly occupied by the petitioner and a person other than respondent; provided that the respondent has no property interest in the dwelling unit; or

(3) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from communicating with the petitioner in any manner or through any medium.

2. Mutual orders of protection are prohibited unless both parties have properly filed written petitions and proper service has been made in accordance with sections 455.010 to 455.085.

3. When the court has, after a hearing for any full order of protection, issued an order of protection, it may, in addition:

(1) Award custody of any minor child born to or adopted by the parties when the court has jurisdiction over such child and no prior order regarding custody is pending or has been made, and the best interests of the child require such order be issued;

(2) Establish a visitation schedule that is in the best interests of the child;

(3) Award child support in accordance with supreme court rule 88.01 and chapter 452;

(4) Award maintenance to petitioner when petitioner and respondent are lawfully married in accordance with chapter 452;

(5) Order respondent to make or to continue to make rent or mortgage payments on a residence occupied by the petitioner if the respondent is found to have a duty to support the petitioner or other dependent household members;

(6) Order the respondent to pay the petitioner’s rent at a residence other than the one previously shared by the parties if the respondent is found to have a duty to support the petitioner and the petitioner requests alternative housing;

(7) Order that the petitioner be given temporary possession of specified personal property, such as automobiles, checkbooks, keys, and other personal effects;

(8) Prohibit the respondent from transferring, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of specified property mutually owned or leased by the parties;

(9) Order the respondent to participate in a court-approved counseling program designed to help batterers stop violent behavior or to participate in a substance abuse treatment program;

(10) Order the respondent to pay a reasonable fee for housing and other services that have been provided or that are being provided to the petitioner by a shelter for victims of domestic violence;

(11) Order the respondent to pay court costs;

(12) Order the respondent to pay the cost of medical treatment and services that have been provided or that are being provided to the petitioner as a result of injuries sustained to the petitioner by an act of domestic violence committed by the respondent.

4. A verified petition seeking orders for maintenance, support, custody, visitation, payment of rent, payment of monetary compensation, possession of personal property, prohibiting the transfer, encumbrance, or disposal of property, or payment for services of a shelter for victims of domestic violence, shall contain allegations relating to those orders and shall pray for the orders desired.

5. In making an award of custody, the court shall consider all relevant factors including the presumption that the best interests of the child will be served by placing the child in the custody and care of the nonabusive parent, unless there is evidence that both parents have engaged in abusive behavior, in which case the court shall not consider this presumption but may appoint a guardian ad litem or a court-appointed special advocate to represent the children in accordance with chapter 452 and shall consider all other factors in accordance with chapter 452.

6. The court shall grant to the noncustodial parent rights to visitation with any minor child born to or adopted by the parties, unless the court finds, after hearing, that visitation would endanger the child’s physical health, impair the child’s emotional development or would otherwise conflict with the best interests of the child, or that no visitation can be arranged which would sufficiently protect the custodial parent from further domestic violence. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate to represent the minor child in accordance with chapter 452 whenever the custodial parent alleges that visitation with the noncustodial parent will damage the minor child.

7. The court shall make an order requiring the noncustodial party to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for the support of any child to whom the party owes a duty of support when no prior order of support is outstanding and after all relevant factors have been considered, in accordance with Missouri supreme court rule 88.01 and chapter 452.

8. The court may grant a maintenance order to a party for a period of time, not to exceed one hundred eighty days. Any maintenance ordered by the court shall be in accordance with chapter 452.

9. (1) The court may, in order to ensure that a petitioner can maintain an existing wireless telephone number or numbers, issue an order, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, directing a wireless service provider to transfer the billing responsibility for and rights to the wireless telephone number or numbers to the petitioner, if the petitioner is not the wireless service accountholder.

(2)(a) The order transferring billing responsibility for and rights to the wireless telephone number or numbers to the petitioner shall list the name and billing telephone number of the accountholder, the name and contact information of the person to whom the telephone number or numbers will be transferred, and each telephone number to be transferred to that person. The court shall ensure that the contact information of the petitioner is not provided to the accountholder in proceedings held under this chapter.

(b) Upon issuance, a copy of the full order of protection shall be transmitted, either electronically or by certified mail, to the wireless service provider’s registered agent listed with the secretary of state, or electronically to the email address provided by the wireless service provider. Such transmittal shall constitute adequate notice for the wireless service provider acting under this section and section 455.523.

(c) If the wireless service provider cannot operationally or technically effectuate the order due to certain circumstances, the wireless service provider shall notify the petitioner within three business days. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

a. The accountholder has already terminated the account;

b. The differences in network technology prevent the functionality of a device on the network; or

c. There are geographic or other limitations on network or service availability.

(3) (a) Upon transfer of billing responsibility for and rights to a wireless telephone number or numbers to the petitioner under this subsection by a wireless service provider, the petitioner shall assume all financial responsibility for the transferred wireless telephone number or numbers, monthly service costs, and costs for any mobile device associated with the wireless telephone number or numbers.

(b) This section shall not preclude a wireless service provider from applying any routine and customary requirements for account establishment to the petitioner as part of this transfer of billing responsibility for a wireless telephone number or numbers and any devices attached to that number or numbers including, but not limited to, identification, financial information, and customer preferences.

(4) This section shall not affect the ability of the court to apportion the assets and debts of the parties as provided for in law, or the ability to determine the temporary use, possession, and control of personal property.

(5) No cause of action shall lie against any wireless service provider, its officers, employees, or agents, for actions taken in accordance with the terms of a court order issued under this section.

(6) As used in this section and section 455.523, a “wireless service provider” means a provider of commercial mobile service under Section 332(d) of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. Section 151, et seq.).

455.055. Assignment of wages

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

The court may order the person obligated to pay support or maintenance to make an assignment of a part of his periodic earnings or other income to the person entitled to receive the payments in accordance with chapter 452, RSMo.

455.060. Modification of orders, when--termination, when--appeal--custody of children, may not be changed, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. After notice and hearing, the court may modify an order of protection at any time, upon subsequent motion filed by the guardian ad litem, the court-appointed special advocate or by either party together with an affidavit showing a change in circumstances sufficient to warrant the modification. All full orders of protection shall be final orders and appealable and shall be for a fixed period of time as provided in section 455.040.

2. Any order for child support, custody, temporary custody, visitation or maintenance entered under sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall terminate prior to the time fixed in the order upon the issuance of a subsequent order pursuant to chapter 452 or any other Missouri statute.

3. No order entered pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be res judicata to any subsequent proceeding, including, but not limited to, any action brought under chapter 452.

4. All provisions of an order of protection shall terminate upon entry of a decree of dissolution of marriage or legal separation except as to those provisions which require the respondent to participate in a court-approved counseling program or enjoin the respondent from committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner and which enjoin the respondent from entering the premises of the dwelling unit of the petitioner as described in the order of protection when the petitioner continues to reside in that dwelling unit unless the respondent is awarded possession of the dwelling unit pursuant to a decree of dissolution of marriage or legal separation.

5. Any order of protection or order for child support, custody, temporary custody, visitation or maintenance entered under sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall terminate upon the order of the court granting a motion to terminate the order of protection by the petitioner. Prior to terminating any order of protection, the court may inquire of the petitioner or others in order to determine whether the dismissal is voluntary.

6. The order of protection may not change the custody of children when an action for dissolution of marriage has been filed or the custody has previously been awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction.

455.065. Subsequent modification of orders

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Provisions of any order respecting maintenance or support may be modified only as to installments occurring subsequent to the motion for modification and only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable.

2. Provisions of any order respecting custody may be modified only if the court finds, upon the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior order or that were unknown to the court at the time of the prior order, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or his custodian and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.

3. Provisions of any order respecting visitation may be modified when the modification would serve the best interests of the child.

455.067. Order of protection issued by other jurisdiction, full faith and credit--registration and modification of foreign order of protection

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Any order of protection issued by any other state, tribe, territory or possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia shall be given full faith and credit throughout the state in all courts, and by all law enforcement officials and agencies, and all public officials and shall be enforceable in the same manner as any order of protection issued by a court in this state.

2. A person entitled to protection under a foreign order of protection as described in subsection 1 of this section may file a certified copy of the foreign order of protection and an affidavit or sworn statement from the petitioner that the copy of the foreign order is a true and accurate copy and has not been altered in the circuit court having jurisdiction. If the foreign order of protection terminates prior to the expiration date on the order, the petitioner shall notify the circuit court. A foreign order of protection as described in subsection 1 of this section shall be enforceable in this state so long as it is in effect in the issuing state.

3. Filing of the foreign order of protection shall be without fee or cost.

4. Registration and a Missouri court order recognizing a foreign order of protection shall not be required for the enforcement of a certified foreign order of protection in this state.

455.070. Proceedings independent of others

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

All proceedings under sections 455.010 to 455.085 are independent of any proceedings for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, separate maintenance and other actions between the parties and are in addition to any other available civil or criminal remedies, unless otherwise specifically provided herein.

455.073. Uniform forms for petitions and orders of protection

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. By July 1, 1996, the supreme court of the state of Missouri shall:

(1) Develop and adopt uniform forms for petitions and orders of protection; and
(2) Provide the forms to each circuit clerk.

2. The following statements shall be printed in bold faced type or in capital letters on the order of protection:

(1) “Violation of this order may be punished by confinement in jail for as long as five years and by a fine of as much as five thousand dollars”; and
(2) “If so ordered by the court, the respondent is forbidden to enter or stay at the petitioner’s residence”.

3. The form prescribed by the supreme court for the notice of hearing required by subsection 2 of section 455.040 shall list all potential relief that can be granted by the court in any proceeding pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 as described in section 455.050, and shall advise the respondent that such relief may be granted if the court finds for the petitioner, or if the respondent defaults to the petition.

4. All orders of protection shall be issued on the form adopted pursuant to subsection 1 of this section.

455.075. Costs and legal fees

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

The court may order a party to pay a reasonable amount to the other party for attorney’s fees incurred prior to the commencement of the proceeding or after entry of judgment. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including the financial resources of both parties, and may order that the amount be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in his name.

455.080. Law enforcement agencies response to alleged incidents of abuse-- factors indicating need for immediate response--establishment of domestic crisis team-- transportation of abused party to medical treatment or shelter

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Law enforcement agencies may establish procedures to ensure that dispatchers and officers at the scene of an alleged incident of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or violation of an order of protection can be informed of any recorded prior incident of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault involving the abused party and can verify the effective dates and terms of any recorded order of protection.

2. The law enforcement agency shall apply the same standard for response to an alleged incident of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or a violation of any order of protection as applied to any like offense involving strangers, except as otherwise provided by law. Law enforcement agencies shall not assign lower priority to calls involving alleged incidents of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or violation of protection orders than is assigned in responding to offenses involving strangers. Existence of any of the following factors shall be interpreted as indicating a need for immediate response:

(1) The caller indicates that violence is imminent or in progress; or

(2) A protection order is in effect; or

(3) The caller indicates that incidents of domestic violence have occurred previously between the parties.

3. Law enforcement agencies may establish domestic crisis teams or, if the agency has fewer than five officers whose responsibility it is to respond to calls of this nature, individual officers trained in methods of dealing with domestic violence. Such teams or individuals may be supplemented by social workers, ministers or other persons trained in counseling or crisis intervention. When an alleged incident of domestic violence is reported, the agency may dispatch a crisis team or specially trained officer, if available, to the scene of the incident.

4. The officer at the scene of an alleged incident of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault shall inform the abused party of available judicial remedies for relief from domestic violence and of available shelters for victims of domestic violence.

5. Law enforcement officials at the scene shall provide or arrange transportation for the abused party to a medical facility for treatment of injuries or to a place of shelter or safety.

455.083. Copy of protection order, reliance by law enforcement officer

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

A law enforcement officer in this state may rely upon a copy of any order of protection issued under sections 455.010 to 455.085 or a certified foreign order of protection which has been provided to the peace officer from any source, in determining action to be taken pursuant to sections 455.080 and 455.085.

455.085. Arrest for violation of order--penalties--good faith immunity for law enforcement officials

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

<Text of section eff. until Jan. 1, 2017. See, also, section eff. Jan. 1, 2017.>

1. When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe a party has committed a violation of law amounting to domestic violence, as defined in section 455.010, against a family or household member, the officer may arrest the offending party whether or not the violation occurred in the presence of the arresting officer. When the officer declines to make arrest pursuant to this subsection, the officer shall make a written report of the incident completely describing the offending party, giving the victim’s name, time, address, reason why no arrest was made and any other pertinent information. Any law enforcement officer subsequently called to the same address within a twelve-hour period, who shall find probable cause to believe the same offender has again committed a violation as stated in this subsection against the same or any other family or household member, shall arrest the offending party for this subsequent offense. The primary report of nonarrest in the preceding twelve-hour period may be considered as evidence of the defendant’s intent in the violation for which arrest occurred. The refusal of the victim to sign an official complaint against the violator shall not prevent an arrest under this subsection.

2. When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a party, against whom a protective order has been entered and who has notice of such order entered, has committed an act of abuse in violation of such order, the officer shall arrest the offending party-respondent whether or not the violation occurred in the presence of the arresting officer. Refusal of the victim to sign an official complaint against the violator shall not prevent an arrest under this subsection.

3. When an officer makes an arrest, the officer is not required to arrest two parties involved in an assault when both parties claim to have been assaulted. The arresting officer shall attempt to identify and shall arrest the party the officer believes is the primary physical aggressor. The term “primary physical aggressor” is defined as the most significant, rather than the first, aggressor. The law enforcement officer shall consider any or all of the following in determining the primary physical aggressor:

(1) The intent of the law to protect victims from continuing domestic violence;

(2) The comparative extent of injuries inflicted or serious threats creating fear of physical injury;

(3) The history of domestic violence between the persons involved.

No law enforcement officer investigating an incident of domestic violence shall threaten the arrest of all parties for the purpose of discouraging requests or law enforcement intervention by any party. Where complaints are received from two or more opposing parties, the officer shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine whether the officer should seek a warrant for an arrest.

4. In an arrest in which a law enforcement officer acted in good faith reliance on this section, the arresting and assisting law enforcement officers and their employing entities and superiors shall be immune from liability in any civil action alleging false arrest, false imprisonment or malicious prosecution.

5. When a person against whom an order of protection has been entered fails to surrender custody of minor children to the person to whom custody was awarded in an order of protection, the law enforcement officer shall arrest the respondent, and shall turn the minor children over to the care and custody of the party to whom such care and custody was awarded.

6. The same procedures, including those designed to protect constitutional rights, shall be applied to the respondent as those applied to any individual detained in police custody.

7. A violation of the terms and conditions, with regard to domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, child custody, communication initiated by the respondent or entrance upon the premises of the petitioner’s dwelling unit or place of employment or school, or being within a certain distance of the petitioner or a child of the petitioner, of an ex parte order of protection of which the respondent has notice, shall be a class A misdemeanor unless the respondent has previously pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty in any division of the circuit court of violating an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection within five years of the date of the subsequent violation, in which case the subsequent violation shall be a class D felony. Evidence of prior pleas of guilty or findings of guilt shall be heard by the court out of the presence of the jury prior to submission of the case to the jury. If the court finds the existence of such prior pleas of guilty or finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court shall decide the extent or duration of sentence or other disposition and shall not instruct the jury as to the range of punishment or allow the jury to assess and declare the punishment as a part of its verdict.

8. A violation of the terms and conditions, with regard to domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, child custody, communication initiated by the respondent or entrance upon the premises of the petitioner’s dwelling unit or place of employment or school, or being within a certain distance of the petitioner or a child of the petitioner, of a full order of protection shall be a class A misdemeanor, unless the respondent has previously pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty in any division of the circuit court of violating an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection within five years of the date of the subsequent violation, in which case the subsequent violation shall be a class D felony. Evidence of prior pleas of guilty or findings of guilt shall be heard by the court out of the presence of the jury prior to submission of the case to the jury. If the court finds the existence of such prior plea of guilty or finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court shall decide the extent or duration of the sentence or other disposition and shall not instruct the jury as to the range of punishment or allow the jury to assess and declare the punishment as a part of its verdict. For the purposes of this subsection, in addition to the notice provided by actual service of the order, a party is deemed to have notice of an order of protection if the law enforcement officer responding to a call of a reported incident of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or violation of an order of protection presented a copy of the order of protection to the respondent.

9. Good faith attempts to effect a reconciliation of a marriage shall not be deemed tampering with a witness or victim tampering under section 575.270.

10. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as creating a private cause of action for damages to enforce the provisions set forth herein.

455.090. Order of protection, retention of jurisdiction--enforcement of order

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. The court shall retain jurisdiction over the full order of protection issued under this chapter for its entire duration. The court may schedule compliance review hearings to monitor the respondent’s compliance with the order.

2. The terms of the order of protection issued under this chapter are enforceable by all remedies available at law for the enforcement of a judgment, and the court may punish a respondent who willfully violates the order of protection to the same extent as provided by law for contempt of the court in any other suit or proceeding cognizable by the court.

Child Protection Orders

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

455.500. Citation of law

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be known and may be cited as the “Child Protection Orders Act”.

455.503. Venue--petition, who may file

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A petition for an order of protection for a child shall be filed in the county where the child resides, where the alleged incident of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurred, or where the respondent may be served.

2. Such petition may be filed by any of the following:

(1) A parent or guardian of the victim;

(2) A guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate appointed for the victim; or

(3) The juvenile officer.

455.504. Court clerks to furnish petitioners with uniform forms and information to litigants having no counsel on procedure, filing forms and pleadings--services of clerks and location of office to file petition to be posted--rules--no fees required--guardian ad l

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. The clerk of the court shall make available to the petitioner the uniform forms adopted by the supreme court pursuant to section 455.073. Except as provided in section 455.510, clerks under the supervision of a circuit clerk shall explain to litigants not represented by counsel the procedures for filing all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of their petition filed pursuant to the provisions of sections 455.500 to 455.538 to the court. Notice of the fact that clerks will provide such assistance shall be conspicuously posted in the clerks’ offices. The location of the office where a petition can be filed shall be conspicuously posted in the court building. The performance of duties prescribed in this section shall not constitute the practice of law as defined in section 484.010, RSMo. All duties of the clerk prescribed in this section shall be performed without cost to the litigants. The supreme court may promulgate rules as necessary to govern conduct of court clerks under sections 455.500 to 455.538, and shall provide forms for petitions and written instructions on filling out all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of the petition to the court.

2. No filing fees, court costs, or bond shall be assessed to the petitioner in an action commenced under sections 455.500 to 455.538.

3. The clerk shall immediately notify the guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate of appointment and shall provide such guardian or advocate with a copy of the petition for the order of protection for the child. The clerk shall provide such guardian or advocate with the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the parties within twenty-four hours of entry of the order appointing the guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate.

455.505. Relief may be sought for child for domestic violence or child being stalked--order of protection effective, where

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. An order of protection for a child who has been subject to domestic violence by a present or former household member or sexual assault or stalking by any person may be sought under sections 455.500 to 455.538 by the filing of a verified petition alleging such domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault by the respondent.

2. A child’s right to relief under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall not be affected by the child’s leaving the residence or household to avoid domestic violence.

3. Any protection order issued pursuant to sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be effective throughout the state in all cities and counties.

455.510. Filings--information required from petitioner

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. When the court is unavailable after business hours or on holidays or weekends, a verified petition for protection from abuse or a motion for hearing on violation of any order of protection under sections 455.500 to 455.538 may be filed before any available court in the city or county having jurisdiction to hear the petition. An ex parte order may be granted pursuant to section 455.513.

2. All papers in connection with the filing of a petition or the granting of an ex parte order of protection or a motion for a hearing on a violation of an order of protection under this section shall be certified by such court or the clerk within the next regular business day to the circuit court having jurisdiction to hear the petition.

3. A petitioner seeking a protection order for a child shall not be required to reveal any current address or place of residence of the child except to the court in camera for the purpose of determining jurisdiction and venue. The petitioner may be required to provide a mailing address unless the petitioner alleges that the child would be endangered by such disclosure, or that other household members would be endangered by such disclosure.

455.513. Ex parte orders, issued immediately, when--for good cause shown, defined--investigation by children's division, when--report due when, available to whom--transfer to juvenile court, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. The court may immediately issue an ex parte order of protection upon the filing of a verified petition under sections 455.500 to 455.538, for good cause shown in the petition, and upon finding that:

(1) No prior order regarding custody involving the respondent and the child is pending or has been made; or

(2) The respondent is less than seventeen years of age.

An immediate and present danger of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault to a child shall constitute good cause for purposes of this section. An ex parte order of protection entered by the court shall be in effect until the time of the hearing. The court shall deny the ex parte order and dismiss the petition if the petitioner is not authorized to seek relief pursuant to section 455.505.

2. Upon the entry of the ex parte order of protection, the court shall enter its order appointing a guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate to represent the child victim.

3. If the allegations in the petition would give rise to jurisdiction under section 211.031, the court may direct the children’s division to conduct an investigation and to provide appropriate services. The division shall submit a written investigative report to the court and to the juvenile officer within thirty days of being ordered to do so. The report shall be made available to the parties and the guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate.

4. If the allegations in the petition would give rise to jurisdiction under section 211.031 because the respondent is less than seventeen years of age, the court may issue an ex parte order and shall transfer the case to juvenile court for a hearing on a full order of protection. Service of process shall be made pursuant to section 455.035.

455.516. Hearings, when, procedure, standard of proof--duration of orders--videotaped testimony permitted--renewal of orders, when--service of respondent--notice to law enforcement agencies

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Not later than fifteen days after the filing of a petition under sections 455.500 to 455.538, a hearing shall be held unless the court deems, for good cause shown, that a continuance should be granted. At the hearing, which may be an open or a closed hearing at the discretion of the court, whichever is in the best interest of the child, if the petitioner has proved the allegation of domestic violence against a child by a preponderance of the evidence, the court may issue a full order of protection for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year. The court may allow as evidence any in camera videotape made of the testimony of the child pursuant to section 491.699. The provisions of section 491.075 relating to admissibility of statements of a child under the age of fourteen shall apply to any hearing under the provisions of sections 455.500 to 455.538. Upon motion by either party, the guardian ad litem or the court-appointed special advocate, and after a hearing by the court, the full order of protection may be renewed for a period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year from the expiration date of the originally issued full order of protection. The court may, upon finding that it is in the best interest of the child, include a provision that any full order of protection for one year shall automatically renew unless the respondent requests a hearing by thirty days prior to the expiration of the order. If for good cause a hearing cannot be held on the motion to renew or to terminate the automatic renewal of the full order of protection prior to the expiration date of the originally issued full order of protection, an ex parte order of protection may be issued until a hearing is held on the motion. When an automatic renewal is not authorized, upon motion by either party, the guardian ad litem or the court appointed special advocate, and after a hearing by the court, the second full order of protection may be renewed for an additional period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year from the expiration date of the second full order of protection. If for good cause a hearing cannot be held on the motion to renew the second full order of protection prior to the expiration date of the second order, an ex parte order of protection may be issued until a hearing is held on the motion. For purposes of this subsection, a finding by the court of a subsequent act of abuse is not required for a renewal order of protection.

2. The court shall cause a copy of the petition and notice of the date set for the hearing on such petition and any ex parte order of protection to be personally served upon the respondent by personal process server as provided by law or by any sheriff or police officer at least three days prior to such hearing. Such shall be served at the earliest time, and service of such shall take priority over service in other actions, except those of a similar emergency nature. The court shall cause a copy of any full order of protection to be served upon or mailed by certified mail to the respondent at the respondent’s last known address. Failure to serve or mail a copy of the full order of protection to the respondent shall not affect the validity or enforceability of a full order of protection.

3. A copy of any order of protection granted under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be issued to the petitioner and to the local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the petitioner resides. The clerk shall also issue a copy of any order of protection to the local law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining the Missouri uniform law enforcement system (MULES) or any other comparable law enforcement system the same day the order is granted. The law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining MULES shall enter information contained in the order for purposes of verification within twenty-four hours from the time the order is granted. A notice of expiration or of termination of any order of protection shall be issued to such local law enforcement agency and to the law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining MULES or any other comparable law enforcement system. The law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining the applicable law enforcement system shall enter such information in the system. The information contained in an order of protection may be entered in the Missouri uniform law enforcement system or comparable law enforcement system using a direct automated data transfer from the court automated system to the law enforcement system.

4. A copy of the petition and notice of the date set for the hearing on such petition and any order of protection granted pursuant to sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be issued to the juvenile office in the jurisdiction where the petitioner resides. A notice of expiration or of termination of any order of protection shall be issued to such juvenile office.

5. The court shall cause a copy of any objection filed by the respondent and notice of the date set for the hearing on such objection to an automatic renewal of a full order of protection for a period of one year to be personally served upon the petitioner by a personal process server as provided by law or by a sheriff or police officer at least three days prior to such hearing. Such service of process shall be served at the earliest time and shall take priority over service in other actions except those of a similar emergency nature.

455.520. Temporary relief available--ex parte orders

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Any ex parte order of protection granted under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be to protect the victim from domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault and may include such terms as the court reasonably deems necessary to ensure the victim’s safety, including but not limited to:

(1) Restraining the respondent from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, molesting, or disturbing the peace of the victim;

(2) Restraining the respondent from entering the family home of the victim except as specifically authorized by the court;

(3) Restraining the respondent from communicating with the victim in any manner or through any medium, except as specifically authorized by the court;

(4) A temporary order of custody of minor children.

2. No ex parte order of protection excluding the respondent from the family home shall be issued unless the court finds that:

(1) The order is in the best interests of the child or children remaining in the home;

(2) The verified allegations of domestic violence present a substantial risk to the child or children unless the respondent is excluded; and

(3) A remaining adult family or household member is able to care adequately for the child or children in the absence of the excluded party.

455.523. Full order of protection--relief available

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Any full order of protection granted under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be to protect the victim from domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault may include such terms as the court reasonably deems necessary to ensure the petitioner’s safety, including but not limited to:

(1) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from committing domestic violence or sexual assault, threatening to commit domestic violence or sexual assault, stalking, molesting, or disturbing the peace of the victim;

(2) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from entering the family home of the victim, except as specifically authorized by the court;

(3) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from communicating with the victim in any manner or through any medium, except as specifically authorized by the court.

2. When the court has, after hearing for any full order of protection, issued an order of protection, it may, in addition:

(1) Award custody of any minor child born to or adopted by the parties when the court has jurisdiction over such child and no prior order regarding custody is pending or has been made, and the best interests of the child require such order be issued;

(2) Award visitation;

(3) Award child support in accordance with supreme court rule 88.01 and chapter 452;

(4) Award maintenance to petitioner when petitioner and respondent are lawfully married in accordance with chapter 452;

(5) Order respondent to make or to continue to make rent or mortgage payments on a residence occupied by the victim if the respondent is found to have a duty to support the victim or other dependent household members;

(6) Order the respondent to participate in a court-approved counseling program designed to help stop violent behavior or to treat substance abuse;

(7) Order the respondent to pay, to the extent that he or she is able, the costs of his or her treatment, together with the treatment costs incurred by the victim;

(8) Order the respondent to pay a reasonable fee for housing and other services that have been provided or that are being provided to the victim by a shelter for victims of domestic violence;

(9) Order a wireless service provider, in accordance with the process, provisions, and requirements set out in subdivisions (1) to (6) of subsection 9 of section 455.050, to transfer the billing responsibility for and rights to the wireless telephone number or numbers of any minor children in the petitioner’s care to the petitioner, if the petitioner is not the wireless service accountholder.

455.524. Order of protection, retention of jurisdiction--compliance review

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. The court shall retain jurisdiction over the full order of protection issued under sections 455.500 to 455.538 for its entire duration. The court may schedule compliance review hearings to monitor the respondent’s compliance with the order.

2. The terms of the child order of protection issued under this chapter are enforceable by all remedies available at law for the enforcement of a judgment, and the court may punish a respondent who willfully violates the child order of protection to the same extent as provided by law for contempt of the court in any suit or proceeding cognizable by the court.

455.526. Assignment of wages

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

The court may order the person obligated to pay support or maintenance to make an assignment of a part of his periodic earnings or other income to the person entitled to receive the payments in accordance with chapter 452, RSMo.

455.528. Modification of orders, when--termination--order not res judicata, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. After notice to the parties and the guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate and hearing, the court may modify an order of protection of a child at any time, upon subsequent motion filed by either party, the guardian ad litem, or the court-appointed special advocate together with an affidavit showing a change in circumstances sufficient to warrant the modification. All full orders of protection of a child shall be final orders and appealable and shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one hundred eighty days except as otherwise provided herein.

2. Any order for child support, custody, temporary custody, visitation or maintenance entered under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall terminate prior to the time fixed in the order upon the issuance of a subsequent order pursuant to chapter 452, RSMo, or any other Missouri statute.

3. No order entered pursuant to sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be res judicata to any subsequent proceeding, including, but not limited to, any action brought under chapter 452, RSMo.

455.530. Grounds for modification of orders

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Provisions of any order respecting maintenance or support may be modified only as to installments occurring subsequent to the motion for modification and only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable.

2. Provisions of any order respecting custody may be modified only if the court finds, upon the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior order or that were unknown to the court at the time of the prior order, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or his custodian and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.

3. Provisions of any order respecting visitation may be modified when the modification would serve the best interests of the child.

455.534. Proceedings independent of others

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

All proceedings under sections 455.500 to 455.538 are independent of any proceedings for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, separate maintenance and other actions between the parties and are in addition to any other available civil or criminal remedies, unless otherwise specifically provided in sections 455.500 to 455.538.

455.536. Costs and legal fees

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

The court may order a respondent to pay a reasonable amount for the cost to the petitioner of maintaining any proceeding under sections 455.500 to 455.538 and for attorney’s fees, including sums for legal services rendered and costs incurred prior to the commencement of the proceeding or after entry of judgment.

455.538. Law enforcement agencies response to violation of order--arrest for violation, penalties--custody to be returned to rightful party, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a party, against whom a protective order for a child has been entered, has committed an act in violation of that order, the officer shall have the authority to arrest the respondent whether or not the violation occurred in the presence of the arresting officer.

2. When a person, against whom an order of protection for a child has been entered, fails to surrender custody of minor children to the person to whom custody was awarded in an order of protection, the law enforcement officer shall arrest the respondent, and shall turn the minor children over to the care and custody of the party to whom such care and custody was awarded.

3. The same procedures, including those designed to protect constitutional rights, shall be applied to the respondent as those applied to any individual detained in police custody.

4. (1) Violation of the terms and conditions of an ex parte or full order of protection with regard to domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, child custody, communication initiated by the respondent, or entrance upon the premises of the victim’s dwelling unit or place of employment or school, or being within a certain distance of the petitioner or a child of the petitioner, of which the respondent has notice, shall be a class A misdemeanor, unless the respondent has previously pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty in any division of the circuit court of violating an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection within five years of the date of the subsequent violation, in which case the subsequent violation shall be a class E felony. Evidence of a prior plea of guilty or finding of guilt shall be heard by the court out of the presence of the jury prior to submission of the case to the jury. If the court finds the existence of a prior plea of guilty or finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court shall decide the extent or duration of sentence or other disposition and shall not instruct the jury as to the range of punishment or allow the jury to assess and declare the punishment as a part of its verdict.

(2) For purposes of this subsection, in addition to the notice provided by actual service of the order, a party is deemed to have notice of an order of protection for a child if the law enforcement officer responding to a call of a reported incident of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or violation of an order of protection for a child presents a copy of the order of protection to the respondent.

5. The fact that an act by a respondent is a violation of a valid order of protection for a child shall not preclude prosecution of the respondent for other crimes arising out of the incident in which the protection order is alleged to have been violated.

Title XXXVII. Criminal Procedure

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Wiretapping

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

542.402. Penalty for illegal wiretapping, permitted activities

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Except as otherwise specifically provided in sections 542.400 to 542.422, a person is guilty of a class E felony and upon conviction shall be punished as provided by law, if such person:

(1) Knowingly intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire communication;

(2) Knowingly uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when such device transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of such communication; provided, however, that nothing in sections 542.400 to 542.422 shall be construed to prohibit the use by law enforcement officers of body microphones and transmitters in undercover investigations for the acquisition of evidence and the protection of law enforcement officers and others working under their direction in such investigations;

(3) Knowingly discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire communication, when he knows or has reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire communication in violation of this subsection; or

(4) Knowingly uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wire communication, when he knows or has reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire communication in violation of this subsection.

2. It is not unlawful under the provisions of sections 542.400 to 542.422:

(1) For an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, or agent of any communication common carrier, whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire communication, to intercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course of his employment while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of his service or to the protection of the rights or property of the carrier of such communication, however, communication common carriers shall not utilize service observing or random monitoring except for mechanical or service quality control checks;

(2) For a person acting under law to intercept a wire or oral communication, where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception;

(3) For a person not acting under law to intercept a wire communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act.

Title XXXVIII. Crimes and Punishments; Peace Officers and Public Defenders

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Chapter 556. Preliminary Provisions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

556.061. Code definitions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

In this code, unless the context requires a different definition, the following terms shall mean:

(1) “Access”, to instruct, communicate with, store data in, retrieve or extract data from, or otherwise make any use of any resources of, a computer, computer system, or computer network;

(2) “Affirmative defense”:

(a) The defense referred to is not submitted to the trier of fact unless supported by evidence; and

(b) If the defense is submitted to the trier of fact the defendant has the burden of persuasion that the defense is more probably true than not;

(3) “Burden of injecting the issue”:

(a) The issue referred to is not submitted to the trier of fact unless supported by evidence; and

(b) If the issue is submitted to the trier of fact any reasonable doubt on the issue requires a finding for the defendant on that issue;

(4) “Commercial film and photographic print processor”, any person who develops exposed photographic film into negatives, slides or prints, or who makes prints from negatives or slides, for compensation. The term commercial film and photographic print processor shall include all employees of such persons but shall not include a person who develops film or makes prints for a public agency;

(5) “Computer”, the box that houses the central processing unit (CPU), along with any internal storage devices, such as internal hard drives, and internal communication devices, such as internal modems capable of sending or receiving electronic mail or fax cards, along with any other hardware stored or housed internally. Thus, computer refers to hardware, software and data contained in the main unit. Printers, external modems attached by cable to the main unit, monitors, and other external attachments will be referred to collectively as peripherals and discussed individually when appropriate. When the computer and all peripherals are referred to as a package, the term “computer system” is used. Information refers to all the information on a computer system including both software applications and data;

(6) “Computer equipment”, computers, terminals, data storage devices, and all other computer hardware associated with a computer system or network;

(7) “Computer hardware”, all equipment which can collect, analyze, create, display, convert, store, conceal or transmit electronic, magnetic, optical or similar computer impulses or data. Hardware includes, but is not limited to, any data processing devices, such as central processing units, memory typewriters and self-contained laptop or notebook computers; internal and peripheral storage devices, transistor-like binary devices and other memory storage devices, such as floppy disks, removable disks, compact disks, digital video disks, magnetic tape, hard drive, optical disks and digital memory; local area networks, such as two or more computers connected together to a central computer server via cable or modem; peripheral input or output devices, such as keyboards, printers, scanners, plotters, video display monitors and optical readers; and related communication devices, such as modems, cables and connections, recording equipment, RAM or ROM units, acoustic couplers, automatic dialers, speed dialers, programmable telephone dialing or signaling devices and electronic tone-generating devices; as well as any devices, mechanisms or parts that can be used to restrict access to computer hardware, such as physical keys and locks;

(8) “Computer network”, two or more interconnected computers or computer systems;

(9) “Computer program”, a set of instructions, statements, or related data that directs or is intended to direct a computer to perform certain functions;

(10) “Computer software”, digital information which can be interpreted by a computer and any of its related components to direct the way they work. Software is stored in electronic, magnetic, optical or other digital form. The term commonly includes programs to run operating systems and applications, such as word processing, graphic, or spreadsheet programs, utilities, compilers, interpreters and communications programs;

(11) “Computer-related documentation”, written, recorded, printed or electronically stored material which explains or illustrates how to configure or use computer hardware, software or other related items;

(12) “Computer system”, a set of related, connected or unconnected, computer equipment, data, or software;

(13) “Confinement”:

(a) A person is in confinement when such person is held in a place of confinement pursuant to arrest or order of a court, and remains in confinement until:

a. A court orders the person’s release; or

b. The person is released on bail, bond, or recognizance, personal or otherwise; or

c. A public servant having the legal power and duty to confine the person authorizes his release without guard and without condition that he return to confinement;

(b) A person is not in confinement if:

a. The person is on probation or parole, temporary or otherwise; or

b. The person is under sentence to serve a term of confinement which is not continuous, or is serving a sentence under a work-release program, and in either such case is not being held in a place of confinement or is not being held under guard by a person having the legal power and duty to transport the person to or from a place of confinement;

(14) “Consent”: consent or lack of consent may be expressed or implied. Assent does not constitute consent if:

(a) It is given by a person who lacks the mental capacity to authorize the conduct charged to constitute the offense and such mental incapacity is manifest or known to the actor; or

(b) It is given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, intoxication, a drug-induced state, or any other reason is manifestly unable or known by the actor to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct charged to constitute the offense; or

(c) It is induced by force, duress or deception;

(15) “Controlled substance”, a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in schedules I through V as defined in chapter 195;

(16) “Criminal negligence”, failure to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or a result will follow, and such failure constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation;

(17) “Custody”, a person is in custody when he or she has been arrested but has not been delivered to a place of confinement;

(18) “Damage”, when used in relation to a computer system or network, means any alteration, deletion, or destruction of any part of the computer system or network;

(19) “Dangerous felony”, the felonies of arson in the first degree, assault in the first degree, attempted rape in the first degree if physical injury results, attempted forcible rape if physical injury results, attempted sodomy in the first degree if physical injury results, attempted forcible sodomy if physical injury results, rape in the first degree, forcible rape, sodomy in the first degree, forcible sodomy, assault in the second degree if the victim of such assault is a special victim as defined in subdivision (14) of section 565.002, kidnapping in the first degree, kidnapping, murder in the second degree, assault of a law enforcement officer in the first degree, domestic assault in the first degree, elder abuse in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, armed criminal action, conspiracy to commit an offense when the offense is a dangerous felony, vehicle hijacking when punished as a class A felony, statutory rape in the first degree when the victim is a child less than twelve years of age at the time of the commission of the act giving rise to the offense, statutory sodomy in the first degree when the victim is a child less than twelve years of age at the time of the commission of the act giving rise to the offense, child molestation in the first or second degree, abuse of a child if the child dies as a result of injuries sustained from conduct chargeable under section 568.060, child kidnapping, parental kidnapping committed by detaining or concealing the whereabouts of the child for not less than one hundred twenty days under section 565.153, and an “intoxication-related traffic offense” or “intoxication-related boating offense” if the person is found to be a “habitual offender” or “habitual boating offender” as such terms are defined in section 577.001;

(20) “Dangerous instrument”, any instrument, article or substance, which, under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury;

(21) “Data”, a representation of information, facts, knowledge, concepts, or instructions prepared in a formalized or other manner and intended for use in a computer or computer network. Data may be in any form including, but not limited to, printouts, microfiche, magnetic storage media, punched cards and as may be stored in the memory of a computer;

(22) “Deadly weapon”, any firearm, loaded or unloaded, or any weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or serious physical injury, may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, dagger, billy club, blackjack or metal knuckles;

(23) “Digital camera”, a camera that records images in a format which enables the images to be downloaded into a computer;

(24) “Disability”, a mental, physical, or developmental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or the ability to provide adequately for one’s care or protection, whether the impairment is congenital or acquired by accident, injury or disease, where such impairment is verified by medical findings;

(25) “Elderly person”, a person sixty years of age or older;

(26) “Felony”, an offense so designated or an offense for which persons found guilty thereof may be sentenced to death or imprisonment for a term of more than one year;

(27) “Forcible compulsion” either:

(a) Physical force that overcomes reasonable resistance; or

(b) A threat, express or implied, that places a person in reasonable fear of death, serious physical injury or kidnapping of such person or another person;

(28) “Incapacitated”, a temporary or permanent physical or mental condition in which a person is unconscious, unable to appraise the nature of his or her conduct, or unable to communicate unwillingness to an act;

(29) “Infraction”, a violation defined by this code or by any other statute of this state if it is so designated or if no sentence other than a fine, or fine and forfeiture or other civil penalty, is authorized upon conviction;

(30) “Inhabitable structure”, a vehicle, vessel or structure:

(a) Where any person lives or carries on business or other calling; or

(b) Where people assemble for purposes of business, government, education, religion, entertainment, or public transportation; or

(c) Which is used for overnight accommodation of persons.

Any such vehicle, vessel, or structure is inhabitable regardless of whether a person is actually present. If a building or structure is divided into separately occupied units, any unit not occupied by the actor is an inhabitable structure of another;

(31) “Knowingly”, when used with respect to:

(a) Conduct or attendant circumstances, means a person is aware of the nature of his or her conduct or that those circumstances exist; or

(b) A result of conduct, means a person is aware that his or her conduct is practically certain to cause that result;

(32) “Law enforcement officer”, any public servant having both the power and duty to make arrests for violations of the laws of this state, and federal law enforcement officers authorized to carry firearms and to make arrests for violations of the laws of the United States;

(33) “Misdemeanor”, an offense so designated or an offense for which persons found guilty thereof may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of which the maximum is one year or less;

(34) “Of another”, property that any entity, including but not limited to any natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, association, governmental subdivision or instrumentality, other than the actor, has a possessory or proprietary interest therein, except that property shall not be deemed property of another who has only a security interest therein, even if legal title is in the creditor pursuant to a conditional sales contract or other security arrangement;

(35) “Offense”, any felony or misdemeanor;

(36) “Physical injury”, slight impairment of any function of the body or temporary loss of use of any part of the body;

(37) “Place of confinement”, any building or facility and the grounds thereof wherein a court is legally authorized to order that a person charged with or convicted of a crime be held;

(38) “Possess” or “possessed”, having actual or constructive possession of an object with knowledge of its presence. A person has actual possession if such person has the object on his or her person or within easy reach and convenient control. A person has constructive possession if such person has the power and the intention at a given time to exercise dominion or control over the object either directly or through another person or persons. Possession may also be sole or joint. If one person alone has possession of an object, possession is sole. If two or more persons share possession of an object, possession is joint;

(39) “Property”, anything of value, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, in possession or in action;

(40) “Public servant”, any person employed in any way by a government of this state who is compensated by the government by reason of such person’s employment, any person appointed to a position with any government of this state, or any person elected to a position with any government of this state. It includes, but is not limited to, legislators, jurors, members of the judiciary and law enforcement officers. It does not include witnesses;

(41) “Purposely”, when used with respect to a person’s conduct or to a result thereof, means when it is his or her conscious object to engage in that conduct or to cause that result;

(42) “Recklessly”, consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow, and such disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation;

(43) “Serious emotional injury”, an injury that creates a substantial risk of temporary or permanent medical or psychological damage, manifested by impairment of a behavioral, cognitive or physical condition. Serious emotional injury shall be established by testimony of qualified experts upon the reasonable expectation of probable harm to a reasonable degree of medical or psychological certainty;

(44) “Serious physical injury”, physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part of the body;

(45) “Services”, when used in relation to a computer system or network, means use of a computer, computer system, or computer network and includes, but is not limited to, computer time, data processing, and storage or retrieval functions;

(46) “Sexual orientation”, male or female heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality by inclination, practice, identity or expression, or having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one’s gender;

(47) “Vehicle”, a self-propelled mechanical device designed to carry a person or persons, excluding vessels or aircraft;

(48) “Vessel”, any boat or craft propelled by a motor or by machinery, whether or not such motor or machinery is a principal source of propulsion used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, or any boat or craft more than twelve feet in length which is powered by sail alone or by a combination of sail and machinery, and used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, but not any boat or craft having, as the only means of propulsion, a paddle or oars;

(49) “Voluntary act”:

(a) A bodily movement performed while conscious as a result of effort or determination. Possession is a voluntary act if the possessor knowingly procures or receives the thing possessed, or having acquired control of it was aware of his or her control for a sufficient time to have enabled him or her to dispose of it or terminate his or her control; or

(b) An omission to perform an act of which the actor is physically capable. A person is not guilty of an offense based solely upon an omission to perform an act unless the law defining the offense expressly so provides, or a duty to perform the omitted act is otherwise imposed by law;

(50) “Vulnerable person”, any person in the custody, care, or control of the department of mental health who is receiving services from an operated, funded, licensed, or certified program.

Chapter 557. General Sentencing Provisions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

557.011. Authorized dispositions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Every person found guilty of an offense shall be dealt with by the court in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, except that for offenses defined outside this code and not repealed, the term of imprisonment or the fine that may be imposed is that provided in the statute defining the offense; however, the conditional release term of any sentence of a term of years shall be determined as provided in subsection 4 of section 558.011.

2. Whenever any person has been found guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor the court shall make one or more of the following dispositions of the offender in any appropriate combination. The court may:

(1) Sentence the person to a term of imprisonment as authorized by chapter 558;

(2) Sentence the person to pay a fine as authorized by chapter 560;

(3) Suspend the imposition of sentence, with or without placing the person on probation;

(4) Pronounce sentence and suspend its execution, placing the person on probation;

(5) Impose a period of detention as a condition of probation, as authorized by section 559.026.

3. Whenever any person has been found guilty of an infraction, the court shall make one or more of the following dispositions of the offender in any appropriate combination. The court may:

(1) Sentence the person to pay a fine as authorized by chapter 560;

(2) Suspend the imposition of sentence, with or without placing the person on probation;

(3) Pronounce sentence and suspend its execution, placing the person on probation.

4. Whenever any organization has been found guilty of an offense, the court shall make one or more of the following dispositions of the organization in any appropriate combination. The court may:

(1) Sentence the organization to pay a fine as authorized by chapter 560;

(2) Suspend the imposition of sentence, with or without placing the organization on probation;

(3) Pronounce sentence and suspend its execution, placing the organization on probation;

(4) Impose any special sentence or sanction authorized by law.

5. This chapter shall not be construed to deprive the court of any authority conferred by law to decree a forfeiture of property, suspend or cancel a license, remove a person from office, or impose any other civil penalty. An appropriate order exercising such authority may be included as part of any sentence.

6. In the event a sentence of confinement is ordered executed, a court may order that an individual serve all or any portion of such sentence on electronic monitoring; except that all costs associated with the electronic monitoring shall be charged to the person on house arrest. If the judge finds the person unable to afford the costs associated with electronic monitoring, the judge may order that the person be placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring if the county commission agrees to pay the costs of such monitoring. If the person on house arrest is unable to afford the costs associated with electronic monitoring and the county commission does not agree to pay from the general revenue of the county the costs of such electronic monitoring, the judge shall not order that the person be placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring.

Chapter 558. Imprisonment

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

558.002. Fines for felonies

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. Except as otherwise provided for an offense outside this code, a person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine which does not exceed:

(1) For a class C, D, or E felony, ten thousand dollars;

(2) For a class A misdemeanor, two thousand dollars;

(3) For a class B misdemeanor, one thousand dollars;

(4) For a class C misdemeanor, seven hundred fifty dollars;

(5) For a class D misdemeanor, five hundred dollars;

(6) For an infraction, four hundred dollars; or

(7) If the person has gained money or property through the commission of the offense, to pay an amount, fixed by the court, not exceeding double the amount of the person’s gain from the commission of the offense.

2. A sentence to pay a fine, when imposed on a corporation for an offense defined in this code or for any offense defined outside this code for which no specific corporate fine is specified, shall be a sentence to pay an amount, fixed by the court, which does not exceed:

(1) For a felony, twenty thousand dollars;

(2) For a misdemeanor, ten thousand dollars;

(3) For an infraction, one thousand dollars; or

(4) If the corporation has gained money or property through the commission of the offense, to pay an amount, fixed by the court, not exceeding double the amount of the corporation’s gain from the commission of the offense.

3. As used in this section the term “gain” means the amount of money or the value of property derived from the commission of the offense. The amount of money or value of property returned to the victim of the offense or seized by or surrendered to lawful authority prior to the time sentence is imposed shall be deducted from the fine. When the court imposes a fine based on gain the court shall make a finding as to the amount of the offender’s gain from the crime. If the record does not contain sufficient evidence to support such a finding, the court may conduct a hearing upon the issue.

558.011. Sentence of imprisonment, terms--conditional release

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. The authorized terms of imprisonment, including both prison and conditional release terms, are:

(1) For a class A felony, a term of years not less than ten years and not to exceed thirty years, or life imprisonment;

(2) For a class B felony, a term of years not less than five years and not to exceed fifteen years;

(3) For a class C felony, a term of years not less than three years and not to exceed ten years;

(4) For a class D felony, a term of years not to exceed seven years;

(5) For a class E felony, a term of years not to exceed four years;

(6) For a class A misdemeanor, a term not to exceed one year;

(7) For a class B misdemeanor, a term not to exceed six months;

(8) For a class C misdemeanor, a term not to exceed fifteen days.

2. In cases of class D and E felonies, the court shall have discretion to imprison for a special term not to exceed one year in the county jail or other authorized penal institution, and the place of confinement shall be fixed by the court. If the court imposes a sentence of imprisonment for a term longer than one year upon a person convicted of a class D or E felony, it shall commit the person to the custody of the department of corrections.

3. (1) When a regular sentence of imprisonment for a felony is imposed, the court shall commit the person to the custody of the department of corrections for the term imposed under section 557.036, or until released under procedures established elsewhere by law.

(2) A sentence of imprisonment for a misdemeanor shall be for a definite term and the court shall commit the person to the county jail or other authorized penal institution for the term of his or her sentence or until released under procedure established elsewhere by law.

4. (1) Except as otherwise provided, a sentence of imprisonment for a term of years for felonies other than dangerous felonies as defined in section 556.061, and other than sentences of imprisonment which involve the individual’s fourth or subsequent remand to the department of corrections shall consist of a prison term and a conditional release term. The conditional release term of any term imposed under section 557.036 shall be:

(a) One-third for terms of nine years or less;

(b) Three years for terms between nine and fifteen years;

(c) Five years for terms more than fifteen years; and the prison term shall be the remainder of such term. The prison term may be extended by the board of probation and parole pursuant to subsection 5 of this section.

(2) “Conditional release” means the conditional discharge of an offender by the board of probation and parole, subject to conditions of release that the board deems reasonable to assist the offender to lead a law-abiding life, and subject to the supervision under the state board of probation and parole. The conditions of release shall include avoidance by the offender of any other offense, federal or state, and other conditions that the board in its discretion deems reasonably necessary to assist the releasee in avoiding further violation of the law.

5. The date of conditional release from the prison term may be extended up to a maximum of the entire sentence of imprisonment by the board of probation and parole. The director of any division of the department of corrections except the board of probation and parole may file with the board of probation and parole a petition to extend the conditional release date when an offender fails to follow the rules and regulations of the division or commits an act in violation of such rules. Within ten working days of receipt of the petition to extend the conditional release date, the board of probation and parole shall convene a hearing on the petition. The offender shall be present and may call witnesses in his or her behalf and cross-examine witnesses appearing against the offender. The hearing shall be conducted as provided in section 217.670. If the violation occurs in close proximity to the conditional release date, the conditional release may be held for a maximum of fifteen working days to permit necessary time for the division director to file a petition for an extension with the board and for the board to conduct a hearing, provided some affirmative manifestation of an intent to extend the conditional release has occurred prior to the conditional release date. If at the end of a fifteen-working-day period a board decision has not been reached, the offender shall be released conditionally. The decision of the board shall be final.

Chapter 565. Offenses Against the Person

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

565.072. Domestic assault, first degree--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the first degree if he or she attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under section 565.002.

2. The offense of domestic assault in the first degree is a class B felony unless in the course thereof the person inflicts serious physical injury on the victim, in which case it is a class A felony.

565.073. Domestic assault in the second degree, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the second degree if the act involves a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under section 565.002, and he or she:

(1) Knowingly causes physical injury to such domestic victim by any means, including but not limited to, use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or by choking or strangulation; or

(2) Recklessly causes serious physical injury to such domestic victim; or

(3) Recklessly causes physical injury to such domestic victim by means of any deadly weapon.

2. The offense of domestic assault in the second degree is a class D felony.

565.074. Domestic assault, third degree--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the third degree if he or she attempts to cause physical injury or knowingly causes physical pain or illness to a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under section 565.002.

2. The offense of domestic assault in the third degree is a class E felony.

565.076. Domestic assault, fourth degree--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree if the act involves a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under section 565.002, and:
(1) The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury, physical pain, or illness to such domestic victim;
(2) With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to such domestic victim by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument;
(3) The person purposely places such domestic victim in apprehension of immediate physical injury by any means;
(4) The person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to such domestic victim;
(5) The person knowingly causes physical contact with such domestic victim knowing he or she will regard the contact as offensive; or
(6) The person knowingly attempts to cause or causes the isolation of such domestic victim by unreasonably and substantially restricting or limiting his or her access to other persons, telecommunication devices or transportation for the purpose of isolation.
2. The offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor, unless the person has previously been found guilty of the offense of domestic assault, of any assault offense under this chapter, or of any offense against a domestic victim committed in violation of any county or municipal ordinance in any state, any state law, any federal law, or any military law which if committed in this state two or more times would be a violation of this section, in which case it is a class E felony. The offenses described in this subsection may be against the same domestic victim or against different domestic victims.

565.090. Harassment, first degree--penalty--exception

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of harassment in the first degree if he or she, without good cause, engages in any act with the purpose to cause emotional distress to another person, and such act does cause such person to suffer emotional distress.

2. The offense of harassment in the first degree is a class E felony.

3. This section shall not apply to activities of federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement officers conducting investigations of violation of federal, state, county, or municipal law.

565.091. Harassment, second degree--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of harassment in the second degree if he or she, without good cause, engages in any act with the purpose to cause emotional distress to another person.
2. The offense of harassment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor, unless the person has previously pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of a violation of this section, of any offense committed in violation of any county or municipal ordinance in any state, any state law, any federal law, or any military law which if committed in this state would be chargeable or indictable as a violation of any offense listed in this subsection, in which case it is a class E felony.
3. This section shall not apply to activities of federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement officers conducting investigations of violations of federal, state, county, or municipal law.

565.150. Interference with custody--penalty--restitution

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of interference with custody if, knowing that he or she has no legal right to do so, he or she takes or entices from legal custody any person entrusted by order of a court to the custody of another person or institution.

2. The offense of interference with custody is a class A misdemeanor unless the person taken or enticed away from legal custody is removed from this state, detained in another state or concealed, in which case it is a class E felony.

3. Upon a finding of guilt for an offense under this section, the court may, in addition to or in lieu of any sentence or fine imposed, assess as restitution against the defendant and in favor of the legal custodian or parent, any reasonable expenses incurred by the legal custodian or parent in searching for or returning the child.

565.153. Parental kidnapping--penalty--restitution

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. In the absence of a court order determining rights of custody or visitation to a child, a person having a right of custody of the child commits the offense of parental kidnapping if he or she removes, takes, detains, conceals, or entices away that child within or without the state, without good cause, and with the intent to deprive the custody right of another person or a public agency also having a custody right to that child.

2. Parental kidnapping is a class E felony, unless committed by detaining or concealing the whereabouts of the child for:

(1) Not less than sixty days but not longer than one hundred nineteen days, in which case, the offense is a class D felony;

(2) Not less than one hundred twenty days, in which case, the offense is a class B felony.

3. A subsequently obtained court order for custody or visitation shall not affect the application of this section.

4. Upon a finding of guilt for an offense under this section, the court may, in addition to or in lieu of any sentence or fine imposed, assess as restitution against the defendant and in favor of the legal custodian or parent, any reasonable expenses incurred by the legal custodian or parent in searching for or returning the child.

565.156. Child abduction--penalty--restitution

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of child abduction if he or she:

(1) Intentionally takes, detains, entices, conceals or removes a child from a parent after being served with process in an action affecting marriage or paternity but prior to the issuance of a temporary or final order determining custody; or

(2) At the expiration of visitation rights outside the state, intentionally fails or refuses to return or impedes the return of the child to the legal custodian in Missouri; or

(3) Conceals, detains, or removes the child for payment or promise of payment at the instruction of a person who has no legal right to custody; or

(4) Retains in this state for thirty days a child removed from another state without the consent of the legal custodian or in violation of a valid court order of custody; or

(5) Having legal custody of the child pursuant to a valid court order, removes, takes, detains, conceals or entices away that child within or without the state, without good cause, and with the intent to deprive the custody or visitation rights of another person, without obtaining written consent as is provided under section 452.377.

2. The offense of child abduction is a class E felony.

3. Upon a finding of guilt for an offense under this section, the court may, in addition to or in lieu of any sentence or fine imposed, assess as restitution against the defendant and in favor of the legal custodian or parent, any reasonable expenses incurred by the legal custodian or parent in searching for or returning the child.

565.160. Defenses to parental kidnapping and child abduction

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

It shall be an absolute defense to the offenses of interference with custody, parental kidnapping, and child abduction that:

(1) The person had custody of the child pursuant to a valid court order granting legal custody or visitation rights which existed at the time of the alleged violation, except that this defense is not available to persons charged with child abduction under subdivision (5) of subsection 1 of section 565.156;

(2) After expiration of a period of custody or visitation granted by court order, the person failed to return the child as a result of circumstances beyond such person’s control, and the person notified or made a reasonable attempt to notify the other parent or legal custodian of the child of such circumstance within twenty-four hours after the expiration of the period of custody or visitation and returned the child as soon as possible; or

(3) The person was fleeing an incident or pattern of domestic violence.

565.225. Definitions--stalking, first degree--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. As used in this section and section 565.227, the term “disturbs” shall mean to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that serves no legitimate purpose and that would cause a reasonable person under the circumstances to be frightened, intimidated, or emotionally distressed.
2. A person commits the offense of stalking in the first degree if he or she purposely, through his or her course of conduct, disturbs or follows with the intent of disturbing another person and:
(1) Makes a threat communicated with the intent to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety, the safety of his or her family or household member, or the safety of domestic animals or livestock as defined in section 276.606 kept at such person’s residence or on such person’s property. The threat shall be against the life of, or a threat to cause physical injury to, or the kidnapping of the person, the person’s family or household members, or the person’s domestic animals or livestock as defined in section 276.606 kept at such person’s residence or on such person’s property; or
(2) At least one of the acts constituting the course of conduct is in violation of an order of protection and the person has received actual notice of such order; or
(3) At least one of the actions constituting the course of conduct is in violation of a condition of probation, parole, pretrial release, or release on bond pending appeal; or
(4) At any time during the course of conduct, the other person is seventeen years of age or younger and the person disturbing the other person is twenty-one years of age or older; or
(5) He or she has previously been found guilty of domestic assault, violation of an order of protection, or any other crime where the other person was the victim; or
(6) At any time during the course of conduct, the other person is a participant of the address confidentiality program under sections 589.660 to 589.681, and the person disturbing the other person knowingly accesses or attempts to access the address of the other person.
3. Any law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person he or she has probable cause to believe has violated the provisions of this section.
4. This section shall not apply to activities of federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement officers conducting investigations of any violation of federal, state, county, or municipal law.
5. The offense of stalking in the first degree is a class E felony, unless the defendant has previously been found guilty of a violation of this section or section 565.227, or any offense committed in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this state, would be chargeable or indictable as a violation of any offense listed in this section or section 565.227, or unless the victim is intentionally targeted as a law enforcement officer, as defined in section 556.061, or the victim is targeted because he or she is a relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to a law enforcement officer, in which case stalking in the first degree is a class D felony.

565.227. Stalking, second degree--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of stalking in the second degree if he or she purposely, through his or her course of conduct, disturbs, or follows with the intent to disturb another person.
2. This section shall not apply to activities of federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement officers conducting investigations of any violation of federal, state, county, or municipal law.
3. Any law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person he or she has probable cause to believe has violated the provisions of this section.
4. The offense of stalking in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor, unless the defendant has previously been found guilty of a violation of this section or section 565.225, or of any offense committed in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this state, would be chargeable or indictable as a violation of any offense listed in this section or section 565.225, or unless the victim is intentionally targeted as a law enforcement officer, as defined in section 556.061, or the victim is targeted because he or she is a relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to a law enforcement officer, in which case stalking in the second degree is a class E felony.

565.240. Unlawful posting of certain information over the Internet, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of unlawful posting of certain information over the internet if he or she knowingly posts the name, home address, Social Security number, or telephone number of any person on the internet intending to cause great bodily harm or death, or threatening to cause great bodily harm or death to such person.

2. The offense of unlawful posting of certain information over the internet is a class C misdemeanor.

565.252. Invasion of privacy, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of invasion of privacy if he or she knowingly:

(1) Photographs, films, videotapes, produces, or otherwise creates an image of another person, without the person’s consent, while the person is in a state of full or partial nudity and is in a place where one would have a reasonable expectation of privacy; or

(2) Photographs, films, videotapes, produces, or otherwise creates an image of another person under or through the clothing worn by that other person for the purpose of viewing the body of or the undergarments worn by that other person without that person’s consent.

2. Invasion of privacy is a class A misdemeanor unless:

(1) A person who creates an image in violation of this section distributes the image to another or transmits the image in a manner that allows access to that image via computer;

(2) A person disseminates or permits the dissemination by any means, to another person, of a videotape, photograph, or film obtained in violation of this section;

(3) More than one person is viewed, photographed, filmed or videotaped during the same course of conduct; or

(4) The offense was committed by a person who has previously been found guilty of invasion of privacy in which case invasion of privacy is a class E felony.

3. Prior findings of guilt shall be pleaded and proven in the same manner required by the provisions of section 558.021.

4. As used in this section, “same course of conduct” means more than one person has been viewed, photographed, filmed, or videotaped under the same or similar circumstances pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether at the same or different times.

Chapter 566. Sexual Offenses

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

566.030. Rape in the first degree, penalties--suspended sentences not granted, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of rape in the first degree if he or she has sexual intercourse with another person who is incapacitated, incapable of consent, or lacks the capacity to consent, or by the use of forcible compulsion. Forcible compulsion includes the use of a substance administered without a victim’s knowledge or consent which renders the victim physically or mentally impaired so as to be incapable of making an informed consent to sexual intercourse.

2. The offense of rape in the first degree or an attempt to commit rape in the first degree is a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than five years, unless:

(1) The offense is an aggravated sexual offense, in which case the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than fifteen years;

(2) The person is a persistent or predatory sexual offender as defined in section 566.125 and subjected to an extended term of imprisonment under said section;

(3) The victim is a child less than twelve years of age, in which case the required term of imprisonment is life imprisonment without eligibility for probation or parole until the offender has served not less than thirty years of such sentence or unless the offender has reached the age of seventy-five years and has served at least fifteen years of such sentence, unless such rape in the first degree is described under subdivision (4) of this subsection; or

(4) The victim is a child less than twelve years of age and such rape in the first degree or attempt to commit rape in the first degree was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhumane, in that it involved torture or depravity of mind, in which case the required term of imprisonment is life imprisonment without eligibility for probation, parole or conditional release.

3. Subsection 4 of section 558.019 shall not apply to the sentence of a person who has been found guilty of rape in the first degree or attempt to commit rape in the first degree when the victim is less than twelve years of age, and “life imprisonment” shall mean imprisonment for the duration of a person’s natural life for the purposes of this section.

4. No person found guilty of rape in the first degree or an attempt to commit rape in the first degree shall be granted a suspended imposition of sentence or suspended execution of sentence.

566.031. Rape in the second degree, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of rape in the second degree if he or she has sexual intercourse with another person knowing that he or she does so without that person’s consent.

2. The offense of rape in the second degree is a class D felony.

566.032. Statutory rape and attempt to commit, first degree, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of statutory rape in the first degree if he or she has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than fourteen years of age.

2. The offense of statutory rape in the first degree or an attempt to commit statutory rape in the first degree is a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than five years, unless:

(1) The offense is an aggravated sexual offense, or the victim is less than twelve years of age in which case the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than ten years; or

(2) The person is a persistent or predatory sexual offender as defined in section 566.125 and subjected to an extended term of imprisonment under said section.

566.034. Statutory rape, second degree, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of statutory rape in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he or she has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.

2. The offense of statutory rape in the second degree is a class D felony.

566.060. Sodomy in the first degree, penalties--suspended sentence not granted, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sodomy in the first degree if he or she has deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is incapacitated, incapable of consent, or lacks the capacity to consent, or by the use of forcible compulsion. Forcible compulsion includes the use of a substance administered without a victim’s knowledge or consent which renders the victim physically or mentally impaired so as to be incapable of making an informed consent to sexual intercourse.

2. The offense of sodomy in the first degree or an attempt to commit sodomy in the first degree is a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than five years, unless:

(1) The offense is an aggravated sexual offense, in which case the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than ten years;

(2) The person is a persistent or predatory sexual offender as defined in section 566.125 and subjected to an extended term of imprisonment under said section;

(3) The victim is a child less than twelve years of age, in which case the required term of imprisonment is life imprisonment without eligibility for probation or parole until the offender has served not less than thirty years of such sentence or unless the offender has reached the age of seventy-five years and has served at least fifteen years of such sentence, unless such sodomy in the first degree is described under subdivision (4) of this subsection; or

(4) The victim is a child less than twelve years of age and such sodomy in the first degree or attempt to commit sodomy in the first degree was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhumane, in that it involved torture or depravity of mind, in which case the required term of imprisonment is life imprisonment without eligibility for probation, parole or conditional release.

3. Subsection 4 of section 558.019 shall not apply to the sentence of a person who has been found guilty of sodomy in the first degree or an attempt to commit sodomy in the first degree when the victim is less than twelve years of age, and “life imprisonment” shall mean imprisonment for the duration of a person’s natural life for the purposes of this section.

4. No person found guilty of sodomy in the first degree or an attempt to commit sodomy in the first degree shall be granted a suspended imposition of sentence or suspended execution of sentence.

566.061. Sodomy in the second degree, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sodomy in the second degree if he or she has deviate sexual intercourse with another person knowing that he or she does so without that person’s consent.

2. The offense of sodomy in the second degree is a class D felony.

566.062. Statutory sodomy and attempt to commit, first degree, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of statutory sodomy in the first degree if he or she has deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is less than fourteen years of age.

2. The offense of statutory sodomy in the first degree or an attempt to commit statutory sodomy in the first degree is a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than five years, unless:

(1) The offense is an aggravated sexual offense or the victim is less than twelve years of age, in which case the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment or a term of years not less than ten years; or

(2) The person is a persistent or predatory sexual offender as defined in section 566.125 and subjected to an extended term of imprisonment under said section.

566.064. Statutory sodomy, second degree, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of statutory sodomy in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he or she has deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.

2. The offense of statutory sodomy in the second degree is a class D felony.

566.067. Child molestation, first degree, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of child molestation in the first degree if he or she subjects another person who is less than fourteen years of age to sexual contact and the offense is an aggravated sexual offense.

2. The offense of child molestation in the first degree is a class A felony and, if the victim is a child less than twelve years of age, the person shall serve his or her term of imprisonment without eligibility for probation, parole, or conditional release.

566.068. Child molestation, second degree, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of child molestation in the second degree if he or she:

(1) Subjects a child who is less than twelve years of age to sexual contact; or

(2) Being more than four years older than a child who is less than seventeen years of age, subjects the child to sexual contact and the offense is an aggravated sexual offense.

2. The offense of child molestation in the second degree is a class B felony.

566.083. Sexual misconduct involving a child, penalty--applicability of section--affirmative defense not allowed, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sexual misconduct involving a child if such person:

(1) Knowingly exposes his or her genitals to a child less than fifteen years of age under circumstances in which he or she knows that his or her conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the child;

(2) Knowingly exposes his or her genitals to a child less than fifteen years of age for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, including the child;

(3) Knowingly coerces or induces a child less than fifteen years of age to expose the child’s genitals for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, including the child; or

(4) Knowingly coerces or induces a child who is known by such person to be less than fifteen years of age to expose the breasts of a female child through the internet or other electronic means for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, including the child.

2. The provisions of this section shall apply regardless of whether the person violates this section in person or via the internet or other electronic means.

3. It is not a defense to prosecution for a violation of this section that the other person was a peace officer masquerading as a minor.

4. The offense of sexual misconduct involving a child is a class E felony unless the person has previously been found guilty of an offense under this chapter or the person has previously been found guilty of an offense in another jurisdiction which would constitute an offense under this chapter, in which case it is a class D felony.

566.093. First degree sexual misconduct, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sexual misconduct in the first degree if such person:

(1) Exposes his or her genitals under circumstances in which he or she knows that his or her conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm;

(2) Has sexual contact in the presence of a third person or persons under circumstances in which he or she knows that such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm; or

(3) Has sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse in a public place in the presence of a third person.

2. The offense of sexual misconduct in the first degree is a class B misdemeanor unless the person has previously been found guilty of an offense under this chapter, or has previously been found guilty of an offense in another jurisdiction which would constitute an offense under this chapter, in which case it is a class A misdemeanor.

566.095. Second degree sexual misconduct, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sexual misconduct in the second degree if he or she solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct under circumstances in which he or she knows that such request or solicitation is likely to cause affront or alarm.

2. The offense of sexual misconduct in the second degree is a class C misdemeanor.

566.100. Sexual abuse in the first degree, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sexual abuse in the first degree if he or she subjects another person to sexual contact when that person is incapacitated, incapable of consent, or lacks the capacity to consent, or by the use of forcible compulsion.

2. The offense of sexual abuse in the first degree is a class C felony unless the victim is less than fourteen years of age, or it is an aggravated sexual offense, in which case it is a class B felony.

566.101. Sexual abuse, second degree, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sexual abuse in the second degree if he or she purposely subjects another person to sexual contact without that person’s consent.

2. The offense of sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor, unless it is an aggravated sexual offense, in which case it is a class E felony.

566.111. Sex with an animal, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sex with an animal if he or she engages in sexual conduct with an animal.

2. The offense of sex with an animal is a class A misdemeanor unless the person has previously been found guilty of an offense under this section or has previously been found guilty of an offense in another jurisdiction which would constitute an offense under this section, in which case the offense is a class E felony.

3. In addition to any penalty imposed or as a condition of probation the court may:

(1) Prohibit the offender from harboring animals or residing in any household where animals are present during the period of probation; or

(2) Order all animals in the offender’s possession subject to a civil forfeiture action under chapter 513; or

(3) Order psychological evaluation and counseling of the offender at the offender’s expense.

4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit generally accepted animal husbandry, farming and ranching practices or generally accepted veterinary medical practices.

5. For purposes of this section, the following terms mean:

(1) “Animal”, every creature, either alive or dead, other than a human being;(2) “Sexual conduct with an animal”, any touching of an animal with the genitals or any touching of the genitals or anus of an animal for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the person’s sexual desire.

566.151. Enticement of a child, penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person twenty-one years of age or older commits the offense of enticement of a child if he or she persuades, solicits, coaxes, entices, or lures whether by words, actions or through communication via the internet or any electronic communication, any person who is less than fifteen years of age for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct.

2. It is not a defense to a prosecution for a violation of this section that the other person was a peace officer masquerading as a minor.

3. Enticement of a child or an attempt to commit enticement of a child is a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment shall be not less than five years and not more than thirty years. No person convicted under this section shall be eligible for parole, probation, conditional release, or suspended imposition or execution of sentence for a period of five calendar years.

566.203. Abusing an individual through forced labor--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of abusing an individual through forced labor by knowingly providing or obtaining the labor or services of a person:

(1) By causing or threatening to cause serious physical injury to any person;

(2) By physically restraining or threatening to physically restrain another person;

(3) By blackmail;

(4) By means of any scheme, plan, or pattern of behavior intended to cause such person to believe that, if the person does not perform the labor services, the person or another person will suffer serious physical injury, physical restraint, or financial harm; or

(5) By means of the abuse or threatened abuse of the law or the legal process.

2. A person who is found guilty of the crime of abuse through forced labor shall not be required to register as a sexual offender pursuant to the provisions of section 589.400, unless such person is otherwise required to register pursuant to the provisions of such section.

3. The offense of abuse through forced labor is a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not less than five years and not more than twenty years and a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars. If death results from a violation of this section, or if the violation includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, sexual abuse when punishable as a class B felony, or an attempt to commit sexual abuse when punishable as a class B felony, or an attempt to kill, it shall be punishable for a term of years not less than five years or life and a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

566.206. Trafficking for the purpose of slavery, involuntary servitude, peonage, or forced labor--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of trafficking for the purposes of slavery, involuntary servitude, peonage, or forced labor if he or she knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means, including but not limited to through the use of force, abduction, coercion, fraud, deception, blackmail, or causing or threatening to cause financial harm, another person for labor or services, for the purposes of slavery, involuntary servitude, peonage, or forced labor, or benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in such activities.

2. A person who is found guilty of the offense of trafficking for the purposes of slavery, involuntary servitude, peonage, or forced labor shall not be required to register as a sexual offender pursuant to the provisions of section 589.400, unless he or she is otherwise required to register pursuant to the provisions of such section.

3. Except as provided in subsection 4 of this section, the offense of trafficking for the purposes of slavery, involuntary servitude, peonage, or forced labor is a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not less than five years and not more than twenty years and a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

4. If death results from a violation of this section, or if the violation includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, sexual abuse when punishable as a class B felony or an attempt to commit sexual abuse when the sexual abuse attempted is punishable as a class B felony, or an attempt to kill, it shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not less than five years or life and a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

566.209. Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the crime of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation if a person knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, advertises the availability of or obtains by any means, including but not limited to through the use of force, abduction, coercion, fraud, deception, blackmail, or causing or threatening to cause financial harm, another person for the use or employment of such person in a commercial sex act, sexual conduct, a sexual performance, or the production of explicit sexual material as defined in section 573.010, without his or her consent, or benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in such activities.

2. The crime of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation is a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not less than five years and not more than twenty years and a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars. If a violation of this section was effected by force, abduction, or coercion, the crime of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation is a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not less than ten years or life and a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

566.210. Sexual trafficking of a child, first degree, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sexual trafficking of a child in the first degree if he or she knowingly:

(1) Recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means, including but not limited to through the use of force, abduction, coercion, fraud, deception, blackmail, or causing or threatening to cause financial harm, a person under the age of twelve to participate in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of explicit sexual material as defined in section 573.010, or benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in such activities;

(2) Causes a person under the age of twelve to engage in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of explicit sexual material as defined in section 573.010; or

(3) Advertises the availability of a person under the age of twelve to participate in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of explicit sexual material as defined in section 573.010.

2. It shall not be a defense that the defendant believed that the person was twelve years of age or older.

3. The offense of sexual trafficking of a child in the first degree is a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment without eligibility for probation or parole until the offender has served not less than twenty-five years of such sentence. Subsection 4 of section 558.019 shall not apply to the sentence of a person who has been found guilty of sexual trafficking of a child less than twelve years of age, and “life imprisonment” shall mean imprisonment for the duration of a person’s natural life for the purposes of this section.

566.211. Sexual trafficking of a child, second degree, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of sexual trafficking of a child in the second degree if he or she knowingly:

(1) Recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means, including but not limited to through the use of force, abduction, coercion, fraud, deception, blackmail, or causing or threatening to cause financial harm, a person under the age of eighteen to participate in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of explicit sexual material as defined in section 573.010, or benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in such activities;

(2) Causes a person under the age of eighteen to engage in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of explicit sexual material as defined in section 573.010; or

(3) Advertises the availability of a person under the age of eighteen to participate in a commercial sex act, a sexual performance, or the production of explicit sexual material as defined in section 573.010.

2. It shall not be a defense that the defendant believed that the person was eighteen years of age or older.

3. The offense sexual trafficking of a child in the second degree is a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not less than ten years or life and a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars if the child is under the age of eighteen. If a violation of this section was effected by force, abduction, or coercion, the crime of sexual trafficking of a child shall be a felony for which the authorized term of imprisonment is life imprisonment without eligibility for probation or parole until the defendant has served not less than twenty-five years of such sentence.

566.215. Contributing to human trafficking through the misuse of documentation, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of contributing to human trafficking through the misuse of documentation when he or she knowingly:

(1) Destroys, conceals, removes, confiscates, or possesses a valid or purportedly valid passport, government identification document, or other immigration document of another person while committing offenses or with the intent to commit offenses, pursuant to sections 566.203 to 566.218; or

(2) Prevents, restricts, or attempts to prevent or restrict, without lawful authority, a person’s ability to move or travel by restricting the proper use of identification, in order to maintain the labor or services of a person who is the victim of an offense committed pursuant to sections 566.203 to 566.218.

2. A person who is found guilty of the offense of contributing to human trafficking through the misuse of documentation shall not be required to register as a sexual offender pursuant to the provisions of section 589.400, unless he or she is otherwise required to register pursuant to the provisions of such section.

3. The offense of contributing to human trafficking through the misuse of documentation is a class E felony.

Chapter 568. Offenses Against the Family

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

568.020. Incest--penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of incest if he or she marries or purports to marry or engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a person he or she knows to be, without regard to legitimacy, his or her:

(1) Ancestor or descendant by blood or adoption; or

(2) Stepchild, while the marriage creating that relationship exists; or

(3) Brother or sister of the whole or half-blood; or

(4) Uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the whole blood.

2. The offense of incest is a class E felony.

3. The court shall not grant probation to a person who has previously been found guilty of an offense under this section.

568.060. Abuse or neglect of a child, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. As used in this section, the following terms shall mean:

(1) “Abuse”, the infliction of physical, sexual, or mental injury against a child by any person eighteen years of age or older. For purposes of this section, abuse shall not include injury inflicted on a child by accidental means by a person with care, custody, or control of the child, or discipline of a child by a person with care, custody, or control of the child, including spanking, in a reasonable manner;

(2) “Abusive head trauma”, a serious physical injury to the head or brain caused by any means, including but not limited to shaking, jerking, pushing, pulling, slamming, hitting, or kicking;

(3) “Mental injury”, an injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity or the emotional condition of a child as evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment of the ability of the child to function within his or her normal range of performance or behavior;

(4) “Neglect”, the failure to provide, by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of a child under the age of eighteen years, the care reasonable and necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of the child, when such failure presents a substantial probability that death or physical injury or sexual injury would result;

(5) “Physical injury”, physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition, including but not limited to bruising, lacerations, hematomas, welts, or permanent or temporary disfigurement and impairment of any bodily function or organ;

(6) “Serious emotional injury”, an injury that creates a substantial risk of temporary or permanent medical or psychological damage, manifested by impairment of a behavioral, cognitive, or physical condition. Serious emotional injury shall be established by testimony of qualified experts upon the reasonable expectation of probable harm to a reasonable degree of medical or psychological certainty;

(7) “Serious physical injury”, a physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part of the body.

2. A person commits the offense of abuse or neglect of a child if such person knowingly causes a child who is less than eighteen years of age:

(1) To suffer physical or mental injury as a result of abuse or neglect; or

(2) To be placed in a situation in which the child may suffer physical or mental injury as the result of abuse or neglect.

3. A person commits the offense of abuse or neglect of a child if such person recklessly causes a child who is less than eighteen years of age to suffer from abusive head trauma.

4. A person does not commit the offense of abuse or neglect of a child by virtue of the sole fact that the person delivers or allows the delivery of a child to a provider of emergency services.

5. The offense of abuse or neglect of a child is:

(1) A class D felony, without eligibility for probation, parole, or conditional release until the defendant has served no less than one year of such sentence, unless the person has previously been found guilty of a violation of this section or of a violation of the law of any other jurisdiction that prohibits the same or similar conduct or the injury inflicted on the child is a serious emotional injury or a serious physical injury, in which case abuse or neglect of a child is a class B felony, without eligibility for probation or parole until the defendant has served not less than five years of such sentence; or

(2) A class A felony if the child dies as a result of injuries sustained from conduct chargeable under the provisions of this section.

6. Notwithstanding subsection 5 of this section to the contrary, the offense of abuse or neglect of a child is a class A felony, without eligibility for probation, parole, or conditional release until the defendant has served not less than fifteen years of such sentence, if:

(1) The injury is a serious emotional injury or a serious physical injury;

(2) The child is less than fourteen years of age; and

(3) The injury is the result of sexual abuse or sexual abuse in the first degree as defined under section 566.100 or sexual exploitation of a minor as defined under section 573.023.

7. The circuit or prosecuting attorney may refer a person who is suspected of abuse or neglect of a child to an appropriate public or private agency for treatment or counseling so long as the agency has consented to taking such referrals. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the discretion of the circuit or prosecuting attorney to prosecute a person who has been referred for treatment or counseling pursuant to this subsection.

8. Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the requirement that every element of any crime referred to herein must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

9. Discipline, including spanking administered in a reasonable manner, shall not be construed to be abuse under this section.

568.065. Genital mutilation of a female child, penalty--affirmative defenses

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of genital mutilation if he or she:

(1) Excises or infibulates, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora, vulva or clitoris of a female child less than seventeen years of age; or

(2) Is a parent, guardian or other person legally responsible for a female child less than seventeen years of age and permits the excision or infibulation, in whole or in part, of the labia majora, labia minora, vulva or clitoris of such female child.

2. The offense of genital mutilation is a class B felony.

3. Belief that the conduct described in subsection 1 of this section is required as a matter of custom, ritual or standard practice, or consent to the conduct by the child on whom it is performed or by the child’s parent or legal guardian, shall not be an affirmative defense to a charge pursuant to this section.

4. It is a defense if the conduct which constitutes genital mutilation was:

(1) Necessary to preserve the health of the child on whom it is performed and is performed by a person licensed to practice medicine in this state; or

(2) Performed on a child who is in labor or who has just given birth and is performed for medical purposes connected with such labor or birth by a person licensed to practice medicine in this state.

568.175. Trafficking in children, penalty

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person or entity commits the offense of trafficking in children if he, she, or it offers, gives, receives or solicits any money, consideration or other thing of value for the delivery or offer of delivery of a child to another person or entity for purposes of adoption, or for the execution of a consent to adopt or waiver of consent to future adoption or a consent to termination of parental rights.

2. An offense is not committed under this section if the money, consideration or thing of value or conduct is permitted under chapter 453 relating to adoption.

3. The offense of trafficking in children is a class D felony.

Chapter 569. Arson, Burglary, Trespass, and Related Offenses

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

569.095. Tampering with computer data--penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of tampering with computer data if he or she knowingly and without authorization or without reasonable grounds to believe that he has such authorization:

(1) Modifies or destroys data or programs residing or existing internal to a computer, computer system, or computer network; or

(2) Modifies or destroys data or programs or supporting documentation residing or existing external to a computer, computer system, or computer network; or

(3) Discloses or takes data, programs, or supporting documentation, residing or existing internal or external to a computer, computer system, or computer network; or

(4) Discloses or takes a password, identifying code, personal identification number, or other confidential information about a computer system or network that is intended to or does control access to the computer system or network;

(5) Accesses a computer, a computer system, or a computer network, and intentionally examines information about another person;

(6) Receives, retains, uses, or discloses any data he knows or believes was obtained in violation of this subsection.

2. The offense of tampering with computer data is a class A misdemeanor, unless the offense is committed for the purpose of devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or to obtain any property, the value of which is seven hundred fifty dollars or more, in which case it is a class E felony.

Chapter 570. Stealing and Related Offenses

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

570.223. Identity theft — penalty — restitution — other civil remedies available — exempted activities

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of identity theft if he or she knowingly and with the intent to deceive or defraud obtains, possesses, transfers, uses, or attempts to obtain, transfer or use, one or more means of identification not lawfully issued for his or her use.

2. The offense of identity theft is a class B misdemeanor unless the identity theft results in the theft or appropriation of credit, money, goods, services, or other property:

(1) Not exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars in value, in which case it is a class A misdemeanor;

(2) Exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars and not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars in value, in which case it is a class D felony;

(3) Exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars and not exceeding seventy-five thousand dollars in value, in which case it is a class C felony;

(4) Exceeding seventy-five thousand dollars in value, in which case it is a class B felony.

3. In addition to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, the court may order that the defendant make restitution to any victim of the offense. Restitution may include payment for any costs, including attorney fees, incurred by the victim:

(1) In clearing the credit history or credit rating of the victim; and

(2) In connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt, lien, or other obligation of the victim arising from the actions of the defendant.

4. In addition to the criminal penalties in subsections 2 and 3 of this section, any person who commits an act made unlawful by subsection 1 of this section shall be liable to the person to whom the identifying information belonged for civil damages of up to five thousand dollars for each incident, or three times the amount of actual damages, whichever amount is greater. A person damaged as set forth in subsection 1 of this section may also institute a civil action to enjoin and restrain future acts that would constitute a violation of subsection 1 of this section. The court, in an action brought under this subsection, may award reasonable attorneys’ fees to the plaintiff.

5. If the identifying information of a deceased person is used in a manner made unlawful by subsection 1 of this section, the deceased person’s estate shall have the right to recover damages pursuant to subsection 4 of this section.

6. Civil actions under this section must be brought within five years from the date on which the identity of the wrongdoer was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.

7. Civil action pursuant to this section does not depend on whether a criminal prosecution has been or will be instituted for the acts that are the subject of the civil action. The rights and remedies provided by this section are in addition to any other rights and remedies provided by law.

8. This section and section 570.224 shall not apply to the following activities:

(1) A person obtains the identity of another person to misrepresent his or her age for the sole purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages, tobacco, going to a gaming establishment, or another privilege denied to minors;

(2) A person obtains means of identification or information in the course of a bona fide consumer or commercial transaction;

(3) A person exercises, in good faith, a security interest or right of offset by a creditor or financial institution;

(4) A person complies, in good faith, with any warrant, court order, levy, garnishment, attachment, or other judicial or administrative order, decree, or directive, when any party is required to do so;

(5) A person is otherwise authorized by law to engage in the conduct that is the subject of the prosecution.

9. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 2 of this section, every person who has previously been found guilty of identity theft or attempted identity theft, and who subsequently is found guilty of identity theft or attempted identity theft of credit, money, goods, services, or other property not exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars in value is guilty of a class E felony and shall be punished accordingly.

10. If credit, property, or services are obtained by two or more acts from the same person or location, or from different persons by two or more acts which occur in approximately the same location or time period so that the identity thefts are attributable to a single scheme, plan, or conspiracy, the acts may be considered as a single identity theft and the value may be the total value of all credit, property, and services involved.

Chapter 571. Weapons Offenses

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

General Provisions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

571.010. Definitions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall mean:

(1) “Antique, curio or relic firearm” , any firearm so defined by the National Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. Title 26, Section 5845, and the United States Treasury/Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, 27 CFR Section 178.11:

(a) “Antique firearm” is any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898, said ammunition not being manufactured any longer; this includes any matchlock, wheel lock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type ignition system, or replica thereof;

(b) “Curio or relic firearm” is any firearm deriving value as a collectible weapon due to its unique design, ignition system, operation or at least fifty years old, associated with a historical event, renown personage or major war;

(2) “Blackjack” , any instrument that is designed or adapted for the purpose of stunning or inflicting physical injury by striking a person, and which is readily capable of lethal use;

(3) “Blasting agent”, any material or mixture, consisting of fuel and oxidizer that is intended for blasting, but not otherwise defined as an explosive under this section, provided that the finished product, as mixed for use of shipment, cannot be detonated by means of a numbered 8 test blasting cap when unconfined;

(4) “Concealable firearm” , any firearm with a barrel less than sixteen inches in length, measured from the face of the bolt or standing breech;

(5) “Deface” , to alter or destroy the manufacturer’s or importer’s serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark;

(6) “Detonator”, any device containing a detonating charge that is used for initiating detonation in an explosive, including but not limited to, electric blasting caps of instantaneous and delay types, non-electric blasting caps for use with safety fuse or shock tube and detonating cord delay connectors;

(7) “Explosive weapon” , any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas bomb or similar device designed or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death, serious physical injury, or substantial property damage; or any device designed or adapted for delivering or shooting such a weapon. For the purposes of this subdivision, the term “explosive” shall mean any chemical compound mixture or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion, including but not limited to, dynamite and other high explosives, pellet powder, initiating explosives, detonators, safety fuses, squibs, detonating cords, igniter cords, and igniters or blasting agents;

(8) “Firearm” , any weapon that is designed or adapted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;

(9) “Firearm silencer” , any instrument, attachment, or appliance that is designed or adapted to muffle the noise made by the firing of any firearm;

(10) “Gas gun” , any gas ejection device, weapon, cartridge, container or contrivance other than a gas bomb that is designed or adapted for the purpose of ejecting any poison gas that will cause death or serious physical injury, but not any device that ejects a repellant or temporary incapacitating substance;

(11) “Intoxicated” , substantially impaired mental or physical capacity resulting from introduction of any substance into the body;

(12) “Knife” , any dagger, dirk, stiletto, or bladed hand instrument that is readily capable of inflicting serious physical injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person. For purposes of this chapter, “knife” does not include any ordinary pocketknife with no blade more than four inches in length;

(13) “Knuckles” , any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance that is designed or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious physical injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles;

(14) “Machine gun” , any firearm that is capable of firing more than one shot automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger;

(15) “Projectile weapon” , any bow, crossbow, pellet gun, slingshot or other weapon that is not a firearm, which is capable of expelling a projectile that could inflict serious physical injury or death by striking or piercing a person;

(16) “Rifle” , any firearm designed or adapted to be fired from the shoulder and to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire a projectile through a rifled bore by a single function of the trigger;

(17) “Short barrel” , a barrel length of less than sixteen inches for a rifle and eighteen inches for a shotgun, both measured from the face of the bolt or standing breech, or an overall rifle or shotgun length of less than twenty-six inches;

(18) “Shotgun” , any firearm designed or adapted to be fired from the shoulder and to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire a number of shot or a single projectile through a smooth bore barrel by a single function of the trigger;

(19) “Spring gun” , any fused, timed or nonmanually controlled trap or device designed or adapted to set off an explosion for the purpose of inflicting serious physical injury or death;

(20) “Switchblade knife” , any knife which has a blade that folds or closes into the handle or sheath, and:

(a) That opens automatically by pressure applied to a button or other device located on the handle; or

(b) That opens or releases from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or by the application of centrifugal force.

571.070. Possession of firearm unlawful for certain persons--penalty--exception

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of unlawful possession of a firearm if such person knowingly has any firearm in his or her possession and:

(1) Such person has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this state, or of a crime under the laws of any state or of the United States which, if committed within this state, would be a felony; or

(2) Such person is a fugitive from justice, is habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition, or is currently adjudged mentally incompetent.

2. Unlawful possession of a firearm is a class D felony, unless a person has been convicted of a dangerous felony as defined in section 556.061, in which case it is a class C felony.

3. The provisions of subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of this section shall not apply to the possession of an antique firearm.

571.095. Confiscation of firearms and ammunition, when--exceptions

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

Upon conviction for or attempting to commit a felony in violation of any law perpetrated in whole or in part by the use of a firearm, the court may, in addition to the penalty provided by law for such offense, order the confiscation and disposal or sale or trade to a licensed firearms dealer of firearms and ammunition used in the commission of the crime or found in the possession or under the immediate control of the defendant at the time of his or her arrest. The proceeds of any sale or gains from trade shall be the property of the police department or sheriff’s department responsible for the defendant’s arrest or the confiscation of the firearms and ammunition. If such firearms or ammunition are not the property of the convicted felon, they shall be returned to their rightful owner if he or she is known and was not a participant in the crime. Any proceeds collected under this section shall be deposited with the municipality or by the county treasurer into the county sheriff’s revolving fund established in section 50.535.

Chapter 573. Pornography and Related Offenses

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

573.110. Nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, offense of--definitions--elements--exemptions--immunity from liability, when--penalty--private cause of action, when

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. As used in this section and section 573.112, the following terms mean:

(1) “Computer”, a device that accepts, processes, stores, retrieves, or outputs data and includes, but is not limited to, auxiliary storage and telecommunications devices connected to computers;

(2) “Computer program”, a series of coded instructions or statements in a form acceptable to a computer that causes the computer to process data and supply the results of the data processing;

(3) “Data”, a representation in any form of information, knowledge, facts, concepts, or instructions including, but not limited to, program documentation, that is prepared or has been prepared in a formalized manner and is stored or processed in or transmitted by a computer or in a system or network. Data is considered property and may be in any form including, but not limited to, printouts, magnetic or optical storage media, punch cards, data stored internally in the memory of the computer, or data stored externally that is accessible by the computer;

(4) “Image”, a photograph, film, videotape, digital recording, or other depiction or portrayal of an object, including a human body;

(5) “Intimate parts”, the fully unclothed, partially unclothed, or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, or anus or, if the person is female, a partially or fully exposed nipple, including exposure through transparent clothing;

(6) “Private mobile radio services”, private land mobile radio services and other communications services characterized by the public service commission as private mobile radio services;

(7) “Public mobile services”, air-to-ground radio telephone services, cellular radio telecommunications services, offshore radio, rural radio services, public land mobile telephone services, and other common carrier radio communications services;

(8) “Sexual act”, sexual penetration, masturbation, or sexual activity;

(9) “Sexual activity”, any:

(a) Knowing touching or fondling by the victim or another person or animal, either directly or through clothing, of the sex organs, anus, or breast of the victim or another person or animal for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal;

(b) Transfer or transmission of semen upon any part of the clothed or unclothed body of the victim for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the victim or another;

(c) Act of urination within a sexual context;

(d) Bondage, fetter, sadism, or masochism; or

(e) Sadomasochism abuse in any sexual context.

2. A person commits the offense of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images if he or she:

(1) Intentionally disseminates an image with the intent to harass, threaten, or coerce another person:

(a) Who is at least eighteen years of age;

(b) Who is identifiable from the image itself or information displayed in connection with the image; and

(c) Who is engaged in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed, in whole or in part;

(2) Obtains the image under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private; and

(3) Knows or should have known that the person in the image did not consent to the dissemination.

3. The following activities are exempt from the provisions of this section:

(1) The intentional dissemination of an image of another identifiable person who is engaged in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed if the dissemination is made for the purpose of a criminal investigation that is otherwise lawful;

(2) The intentional dissemination of an image of another identifiable person who is engaged in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed if the dissemination is for the purpose of, or in connection with, the reporting of unlawful conduct;

(3) The intentional dissemination of an image of another identifiable person who is engaged in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed if the image involves voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting; or

(4) The intentional dissemination of an image of another identifiable person who is engaged in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed if the dissemination serves a lawful public purpose.

4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose liability upon the following entities solely as a result of content or information provided by another person:

(1) An interactive computer service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. Section 230(f)(2);

(2) A provider of public mobile services or private mobile radio services; or

(3) A telecommunications network or broadband provider.

5. A person convicted under this section is subject to the forfeiture provisions under sections 513.600 to 513.660.

6. The offense of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images is a class D felony.

7. In addition to the criminal penalties listed in subsection 6 of this section, the person in violation of the provisions of this section shall also be subject to a private cause of action from the depicted person. Any successful private cause of action brought under this subsection shall result in an award equal to ten thousand dollars or actual damages, whichever is greater, and in addition shall include attorney’s fees. Humiliation or embarrassment shall be an adequate showing that the plaintiff has incurred damages; however, no physical manifestation of either humiliation or embarrassment is necessary for damages to be shown.

573.112. Threatenting the noncensensual dissemination of private sexual images – Felony class

Updated: 
March 27, 2020

1. A person commits the offense of threatening the nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual image s if he or she gains or attempts to gain anything of value, or coerces or attempts to coerce another person to act or refrain from acting, by threatening to disseminate an image of another person, which was obtained under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private, against the will of such person:

(1) Who is at least eighteen years of age;

(2) Who is identifiable from the image itself or information displayed in connection with the image; and

(3) Who is engaged in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed, in whole or in part.

2. The offense of threatening the nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images is a class E felony.

573.200. Child used in sexual performance--penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of use of a child in a sexual performance if, knowing the character and content thereof, the person employs, authorizes, or induces a child less than eighteen years of age to engage in a performance which includes sexual conduct or, being a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of such child, consents to the participation by such child in such sexual performance.

2. The offense of use of a child in a sexual performance is a class C felony, unless in the course thereof the person inflicts serious emotional injury on the child, in which case the offense is a class B felony.

3. The court shall not grant a suspended imposition of sentence or a suspended execution of sentence to a person who has previously been found guilty of an offense under this section.

573.205. Promoting sexual performance by a child--penalties

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the offense of promoting a sexual performance by a child if, knowing the character and content thereof, the person promotes a performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than eighteen years of age or produces, or directs any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than eighteen years of age.

2. The offense of promoting a sexual performance by a child is a class C felony.

3. The court shall not grant a suspended imposition of sentence or a suspended execution of sentence to a person who has previously been found guilty of an offense under this section.

Chapter 574. Offenses Against Public Order

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

574.020. Private peace disturbance

Updated: 
November 14, 2019

1. A person commits the crime of private peace disturbance if he is on private property and unreasonably and pur-posely causes alarm to another person or persons on the same premises by:

(1) Threatening to commit a crime against any person; or

(2) Fighting.

2. Private peace disturbance is a class C misdemeanor.