Missouri Circuit Courts

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The Missouri Circuit Courts are the state trial courts of original jurisdiction and general jurisdiction of the state of Missouri.


The Missouri Constitution provides for the Circuit Courts in Article V, Judicial Department.

Section 14: Circuit courts – jurisdiction – sessions.
(a) The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction over all cases and matters, civil and criminal. Such courts may issue and determine original remedial writs and shall sit at times and places within the circuit as determined by the circuit court.
(b) Procedures for the adjudication of small claims shall be as provided by law.
Section 15: Judicial circuits – establishment and changes – general terms and divisions – judges—presiding judge – court personnel.
1. The state shall be divided into convenient circuits of contiguous counties. In each circuit there shall be at least one circuit judge. The circuits may be changed or abolished by law as public convenience and the administration of justice may require, but no judge shall be removed from office during his term by reason of alteration of the geographical boundaries of a circuit. Any circuit or associate circuit judge may temporarily sit in any other circuit at the request of a judge thereof. In circuits having more than one judge, the court may sit in general term or in divisions. The circuit judges of the circuit may make rules for the circuit not inconsistent with the rules of the supreme court.
2. Each circuit shall have such number of circuit judges as provided by law.
3. The circuit and associate circuit judges in each circuit shall select by secret ballot a circuit judge from their number to serve as presiding judge. The presiding judge shall have general administrative authority over the court and its divisions.
4. Personnel to aid in the business of the circuit court shall be selected as provided by law or in accordance with a governmental charter of a political subdivision of this state. Where there is a separate probate division of the circuit court, the judge of the probate division shall, until otherwise provided by law, appoint a clerk and other nonjudicial personnel for the probate division.

List of circuits[edit]

There are 46 judicial circuits, each with various divisions, including associate circuit, small claims, municipal, family, probate, criminal, and juvenile. Each circuit covers at least one of Missouri's 114 counties and one independent city, St. Louis.

External links[edit]