The often cumbersome phase of discovery in court cases should proceed more efficiently following Gov. Mike Parson signing Senate Bill 224 into law.
The legislation, sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, will reduce the time and cost of lawsuits.
Senate Bill 224 reforms the rules for discovery in civil court cases and brings state law more in line with federal practices. The legislation limits the time-consuming and expensive phase of gathering evidence prior to a trial. The measure seeks to prevent abuses of the evidence-gathering process, which can raise costs and deny parties a speedy outcome.
“Discovery accounts for about 75 percent of the time and cost of any lawsuit,” Luetkemeyer said. “This legislation streamlines that process and will lower the cost and length of court proceedings for all parties. Plaintiffs who have been wronged can receive compensation sooner, and defendants facing frivolous lawsuits can have them resolved with minimum delay and cost. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Another provision included in legislation signed by the governor will make it easier for city officials in St. Joseph to identify the owners of neglected or abandoned property. House Bill 959 requires limited liability corporations (LLC) to disclose the actual person responsible for maintaining real estate owned by the LLC.
An amendment added to the bill by Luetkemeyer requires LLCs in St. Joseph to list a person responsible for maintaining the property. The legislative language, a top priority for the St. Joseph Community Alliance, will help city officials contact individuals responsible for abandoned and vacant properties.
“The LLC is a useful tool, but sometimes it is misused to shield individuals from responsibility they should accept,” Luetkemeyer said. “This minor addition to law will help city officials when they must unravel the complex web of a business organization to make sure people are keeping up with their properties like everyone else.”