Court: Supreme Court of Missouri
Opinion Date: June 15, 2021
Judge: Patricia Breckenridge
Areas of Law: Personal Injury
The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the circuit court in favor of Michael Holmes on his claim that the state legal expense fund (SLEF) was obligated to pay his 2016 judgment against two former officers of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, holding that Holmes failed to show that he was entitled to a declaration that the State was obligated to pay his judgment out of SLEF.
On appeal, the State argued that the circuit court erroneously applied the version of Mo. Rev. Stat. 105.726.3 in effect when the former police officers filed a false report that caused Holmes’s wrongful arrest and conviction rather than the version in effect when Holmes filed his claim in a suit against the former officers. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment below, holding (1) a right to payment from SLEF does not arise until a claim is made, and therefore, section 105.726.3 governed Holmes’s claim; and (2) SLEF was prohibited from paying any claim or judgment against the police officers.
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