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Smooth Sailing So Far With Transition Of Municipal Court To Circuit Court

Cases from the city of Ste. Genevieve’s municipal court have so far been absorbed by the 24th Circuit Court with fewer problems than were initially feared.

There had been concerns that the changes would put an overwhelming burden on the Ste. Genevieve County Circuit Clerk’s Office and that it would unduly inconvenience defendants in municipal cases who previously could attend night court.

Circuit Clerk Julie Bova, whose office was most impacted by the change, said she and city of Ste. Genevieve prosecuting attorney Jeremy Brauer and their staffs have figured things out.

“It has been a learning process for us and for Jeremy Brauer’s office,” Bova said. “We’ve been able to communicate and work together very well to get all the kinks worked out and it seems to be running very smoothly now.”

“I think they’re going really efficiently,” said Brauer, the Park Hills attorney who prosecutes cases for the city of Ste. Genevieve. “The judge and I were talking about that today [November 27]. Once that transfer process was complete, I think it’s gone remarkably well.”

Timothy Inman, 24th Circuit associate judge, agreed that things have gone well.

“There don’t seem to be any problems,” he said. “We haven’t had any glitches so far.”

When the Missouri Supreme Court issued an order amending Rule 37 in 2017, adding new requirements for municipal judges and clerks and insisting on separation from police department functions, it essentially began forcing smaller communities to give up their municipal courts.

It was initially believed the Circuit Court would be taking over cases for both the cities of Ste. Genevieve and St. Mary, as the St. Mary Board of Aldermen had voted earlier this year to do that. But budget issues led the St. Mary aldermen to eliminate funding for the city’s one-man police department, thus bringing a halt to prosecutions.

See complete story in the December 4 edition of the Herald.

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