Selected State Statutes: Missouri

Statutes: Missouri

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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

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.