Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 1
Laws in Force and Construction of Statutes

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Common law in force--effect on statutes--failure to render health careservices, no common law cause of action.

1.010. 1. The common law of England and all statutes and acts of parliament made prior to the fourth year of the reign of James the First, of a general nature, which are not local to that kingdom and not repugnant to or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, the constitution of this state, or the statute laws in force for the time being, are the rule of action and decision in this state, any custom or usage to the contrary notwithstanding, but no act of the general assembly or law of this state shall be held to be invalid, or limited in its scope or effect by the courts of this state, for the reason that it is in derogation of, or in conflict with, the common law, or with such statutes or acts of parliament; but all acts of the general assembly, or laws, shall be liberally construed, so as to effectuate the true intent and meaning thereof.

2. The general assembly expressly excludes from this section the common law of England as it relates to claims arising out of the rendering of or failure to render health care services by a health care provider, it being the intent of the general assembly to replace those claims with statutory causes of action.

(RSMo 1939 § 645, A.L. 1957 p. 587, A.L. 2015 S.B. 239)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 645; 1919 § 7048; 1909 § 8047

Definitions.

1.020. As used in the statutory laws of this state, unless otherwise specially provided or unless plainly repugnant to the intent of the legislature or to the context thereof:

(1) "Certified mail" or "certified mail with return receipt requested", includes certified mail carried by the United States Postal Service, or any parcel or letter carried by an overnight, express, or ground delivery service that allows a sender or recipient to electronically track its location and provides record of the signature of the recipient;

(2) "County or circuit attorney" means prosecuting attorney;

(3) "Executor" includes administrator where the subject matter applies to an administrator;

(4) "General election" means the election required to be held on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November, biennially;

(5) "Guardian", if used in a section in a context relating to property rights or obligations, means conservator of the estate as defined in chapter 475. "Guardianship", if used in a section in a context relating to rights and obligations other than property rights or obligations, means guardian of the person as defined in chapter 475;

(6) "Handicap" means a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, whether the impairment is congenital or acquired by accident, injury, or disease, and where the impairment is verified by medical findings;

(7) "Heretofore" means any time previous to the day when the statute containing it takes effect; and "hereafter" means the time after the statute containing it takes effect;

(8) "In vacation" includes any adjournment of court for more than one day whenever any act is authorized to be done by or any power given to a court, or judge thereof in vacation, or whenever any act is authorized to be done by or any power given to a clerk of any court in vacation;

(9) "Incompetent", if used in a section in a context relating to actual occupational ability without reference to a court adjudication of incompetency, means the actual ability of a person to perform in that occupation. "Incompetent", if used in a section in a context relating to the property rights and obligations of a person, means a disabled person as defined in chapter 475. "Incompetent", if used in a section in a context relating to the rights and obligations of a person other than property rights and obligations, means an incapacitated person as defined in chapter 475;

(10) "Justice of the county court" means commissioner of the county commission;

(11) "Month" and "year". "Month" means a calendar month, and "year" means a calendar year unless otherwise expressed, and is equivalent to the words year of our Lord;

(12) The word "person" may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate, and to partnerships and other unincorporated associations;

(13) "Personal property" includes money, goods, chattels, things in action and evidences of debt;

(14) "Place of residence" means the place where the family of any person permanently resides in this state, and the place where any person having no family generally lodges;

(15) "Preceding" and "following", when used by way of reference to any section of the statutes, mean the section next preceding or next following that in which the reference is made, unless some other section is expressly designated in the reference;

(16) "Property" includes real and personal property;

(17) "Real property" or "premises" or "real estate" or "lands" is coextensive with lands, tenements and hereditaments;

(18) "State", when applied to any of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" includes such district and territories;

(19) "Under legal disability" includes persons within the age of minority or of unsound mind or imprisoned;

(20) "Ward", if used in a section in a context relating to the property rights and obligations of a person, means a protectee as defined in chapter 475. "Ward", if used in a section in a context relating to the rights and obligations of a person other than property rights and obligations, means a ward as defined in chapter 475;

(21) "Will" includes the words testament and codicil;

(22) "Written" and "in writing" and "writing word for word" includes printing, lithographing, or other mode of representing words and letters, but in all cases where the signature of any person is required, the proper handwriting of the person, or his mark, is intended.

(RSMo 1939 §§ 649, 650, 653, 655, A. 1949 S.B. 1001, A.L. 1957 p. 587, A.L. 1978 H.B. 971, H.B. 1634, A.L. 1983 S.B. 44 & 45, A.L. 1988 S.B. 655, A.L. 2009 H.B. 652)

Prior revisions: 1929 §§ 649, 650, 653, 655; 1919 §§ 7052, 7053, 7056, 7058; 1909 §§ 8051, 8052, 8055, 8057

CROSS REFERENCE:

Criminal code definitions, 556.061

Registered mail defined.

1.025. As used in the statute laws of this state, "registered mail", when used with reference to the sending of notice or any article having no intrinsic value, includes certified mail as defined and certified under regulations of the United States Post Office Department.

(L. 1958 2d Ex. Sess. p. 173 § 1)

English is the common language of Missouri.

1.028. The general assembly recognizes that English is the common language used in Missouri and recognizes that fluency in English is necessary for full integration into our common American culture for reading readiness.

(L. 1998 S.B. 583 & 645 § 1, A.L. 1999 H.B. 889)

CROSS REFERENCES:

Access to English language services, resettling of refugees and immigrants, grants provided, 660.025

Adult basic education program, English language services provided to nonnative speakers, 161.227

Grants provided for instruction in the English language, when, 161.223

Wills and estates, translation to English, when, 474.382

Plural includes the singular--masculine includes feminine.

1.030. 1. Whenever, in any statute, words importing the plural number are used in describing or referring to any matter, parties or persons, any single matter, party or person is included, although distributive words are not used.

2. When any subject matter, party or person is described or referred to by words importing the singular number or the masculine gender, several matters and persons, and females as well as males, and bodies corporate as well as individuals, are included.

(RSMo 1939 §§ 651, 652, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 §§ 651, 652; 1919 §§ 7054, 7055; 1909 §§ 8053, 8054

Voter defined.

1.035. Whenever the word "voter" is used in the laws of this state it shall mean registered voter, or legal voter.

(L. 1973 H.B. 20, et al. § 27)

Computation of time.

1.040. The time within which an act is to be done shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last. If the last day is Sunday it shall be excluded.

(RSMo 1939 § 655, A. 1949 S.B. 1001, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 655; 1919 § 7058; 1909 § 8057

CROSS REFERENCE:

Civil code of procedure for cases at law, periods of time prescribed by the code, 506.060

Majority may act for all.

1.050. Words importing joint authority to three or more persons shall be construed as authority to a majority of the persons, unless otherwise declared in the law giving the authority.

(RSMo 1939 § 655, A. 1949 S.B. 1001, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 655; 1919 § 7058; 1909 § 8057

Powers of deputies.

1.060. When a statute requires an act to be done, which by law an agent or deputy as well may do as the principal, the requisition is satisfied by the performance of the act by an authorized agent or deputy.

(RSMo 1939 § 655, A. 1949 S.B. 1001, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 655; 1919 § 7058; 1909 § 8057

Reference to provisions in revised statutes.

1.070. 1. "RSMo" may be used as an abbreviation for the "Revised Statutes of Missouri" and "RSMo Supp.", when followed by the number of the year, means the Supplement to the Revised Statutes of Missouri published by the state after final adjournment of the session of the general assembly held in that year.

2. Whenever in the statute laws of this state a reference is made to several sections and the section numbers given in the reference are connected by the word "to", the reference includes both sections whose numbers are given and all intervening sections.

(1949 S.B. 1001 § 1.07, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

County to include St. Louis--county clerk to include register ofSt. Louis.

1.080. Whenever the word "county" is used in any law, general in its character to the whole state, it includes the city of St. Louis, unless such construction is inconsistent with the evident intent of the law, or of some law specially applicable to such city. Whenever the county clerk is authorized or required to perform an act by a law which applies to the city of St. Louis as well as to the counties of the state, the register of the city of St. Louis is authorized or required to perform the act insofar as it is to be performed in the city.

(RSMo 1939 § 655, A. 1949 S.B. 1001, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 655; 1919 § 7058; 1909 § 8057

CROSS REFERENCE:

County officers of St. Louis, duties required by law to include corresponding city officers, when, 105.260

Words and phrases, how construed.

1.090. Words and phrases shall be taken in their plain or ordinary and usual sense, but technical words and phrases having a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law shall be understood according to their technical import.

(RSMo 1939 § 655, A. 1949 S.B. 1001, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 655; 1919 § 7058; 1909 § 8057

Best interest of child, welfare policy of state.

1.092. The child welfare policy of this state is what is in the best interests of the child.

(L. 1995 H.B. 232 & 485 merged with S.B. 174)

Population, how determined--effective date of census--loss or gainin population for certain purposes, effect of.

1.100. 1. The population of any political subdivision of the state for the purpose of representation or other matters including the ascertainment of the salary of any county officer for any year or for the amount of fees he may retain or the amount he is allowed to pay for deputies and assistants is determined on the basis of the last previous decennial census of the United States. For the purposes of this section the effective date of the 1960 decennial census of the United States is July 1, 1961, and the effective date of each succeeding decennial census of the United States is July first of each tenth year after 1961; except that for the purposes of ascertaining the salary of any county officer for any year or for the amount of fees he may retain or the amount he is allowed to pay for deputies and assistants the effective date of the 1960 decennial census of the United States is January 1, 1961, and the effective date of each succeeding decennial census is January first of each tenth year after 1961.

2. Any law which is limited in its operation to counties, cities or other political subdivisions having a specified population or a specified assessed valuation shall be deemed to include all counties, cities or political subdivisions which thereafter acquire such population or assessed valuation as well as those in that category at the time the law passed. Once a city not located in a county has come under the operation of such a law a subsequent loss of population shall not remove that city from the operation of that law. No person whose compensation is set by a statutory formula, which is based in part on a population factor, shall have his compensation reduced due solely to an increase in the population factor.

(RSMo 1939 §§ 654, 13430, A.L. 1945 p. 1550, A. 1949 S.B. 1001, A.L. 1957 p. 587, A.L. 1959 H.B. 304, A.L. 1971 H.B. 154)

Prior revisions: 1929 §§ 654, 11808; 1919 §§ 7057, 11016; 1909 §§ 856, 10719

Effective 6-8-71

Reenactments, how construed.

1.120. The provisions of any law or statute which is reenacted, amended or revised, so far as they are the same as those of a prior law, shall be construed as a continuation of such law and not as a new enactment.

(RSMo 1939 § 683, A. 1949 S.B. 1001, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 683; 1919 § 7087; 1909 § 8086

Effective date of laws.

1.130. A law passed by the general assembly takes effect ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it is enacted; but if the general assembly recesses for thirty days or more, it may prescribe by joint resolution that laws previously passed and not effective take effect ninety days from the beginning of the recess, subject to the following exceptions:

(1) A law necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, which emergency is expressed in the body or preamble of the act and which is declared to be thus necessary by the general assembly, by a vote of two-thirds of its members elected to each house the vote to be taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journal, or a law making an appropriation for the current expenses of the state government, for the maintenance of the state institutions or for the support of public schools, takes effect as of the hour and minute of its approval by the governor; which hour and minute may be endorsed by the governor on the bill at the time of its approval;

(2) In case the general assembly, as to a law not of the character herein specified, provides that the law takes effect on a date in the future subsequent to the expiration of the period of ninety days herein mentioned the law takes effect on the date thus fixed by the general assembly;

(3) In case the general assembly provides that any law takes effect as provided in subdivision (1) of this section, the general assembly may provide in such law that the operative date of the law or parts of the law takes effect on a date subsequent to the effective date of the law.

(RSMo 1939 § 659, A.L. 1945 p. 1114, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 659; 1919 § 7067; 1909 § 8061

CROSS REFERENCE:

Effective date of constitutional amendments, Const. Art. XII § 2(b)

Severability of statute provisions.

1.140. The provisions of every statute are severable. If any provision of a statute is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, the remaining provisions of the statute are valid unless the court finds the valid provisions of the statute are so essentially and inseparably connected with, and so dependent upon, the void provision that it cannot be presumed the legislature would have enacted the valid provisions without the void one; or unless the court finds that the valid provisions, standing alone, are incomplete and are incapable of being executed in accordance with the legislative intent.

(1949 S.B. 1001 § 1.14, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Revisor may omit severability clauses from statutes, 3.030

Repealing law repealed, former law not revived, when.

1.150. When a law repealing a former law, clause or provision is itself repealed, it does not revive the former law, clause or provision, unless it is otherwise expressly provided; nor shall any law repealing any former law, clause or provision abate, annul or in any wise affect any proceedings had or commenced under or by virtue of the law so repealed, but the same is as effectual and shall be proceeded on to final judgment and termination as if the repealing law had not passed, unless it is otherwise expressly provided.

(RSMo 1939 § 658, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 658; 1919 § 7061; 1909 § 8060

Effect of repeal of penal statute.

1.160. No offense committed and no fine, penalty or forfeiture incurred, or prosecution commenced or pending previous to or at the time when any statutory provision is repealed or amended, shall be affected by the repeal or amendment, but the trial and punishment of all such offenses, and the recovery of the fines, penalties or forfeitures shall be had, in all respects, as if the provision had not been repealed or amended, except that all such proceedings shall be conducted according to existing procedural laws.

(RSMo 1939 § 4861, A.L. 1957 p. 587, A.L. 1993 S.B. 180, A.L. 2005 H.B. 353)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 4468; 1919 § 3709; 1909 § 4920

Repeal of law not to affect rights acquired thereunder.

1.170. The repeal of any statutory provision does not affect any act done or right accrued or established in any proceeding, suit or prosecution had or commenced in any civil case previous to the time when the repeal takes effect; but every such act, right and proceeding remains as valid and effectual as if the provisions so repealed had remained in force.

(RSMo 1939 § 660, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 660; 1919 § 7063; 1909 § 8062

Actions pending, how affected by repeal of law.

1.180. No action or plea pending at the time any statutory provisions are repealed shall be affected by the repeal; but the same shall proceed, in all respects, as if the statutory provisions had not been repealed, except that all proceedings had after the repeal becomes effective are governed by procedural rules and laws then in effect, insofar as they are applicable.

(RSMo 1939 § 662, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 662; 1919 § 7065; 1909 § 8064

Notices, how served.

1.190. Whenever any of the statutes of this state require or imply that a notice shall be given to any person concerning or affecting any right, property, claim, duty, matter or thing of any character or nature, unless the statutes expressly direct a different method of service, the delivery of a true copy of the notice to the person intended to be notified, or the leaving of a copy at his usual place of abode with some member of his family over the age of fifteen years, constitutes a valid and sufficient service of the notice.

(RSMo 1939 § 1437, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 1273; 1919 § 9156; 1909 § 10185

CROSS REFERENCES:

Notice of taking depositions, how served, 492.180

Service of papers under civil code, 506.100

Equality of citizens.

1.200. In all cases proper for the cognizance of the civil authority of this state and the courts of judicature in the same, all the citizens of the United States are equally entitled to the privileges of law and justice with the citizens of this state.

(RSMo 1939 § 647, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 647; 1919 § 7050; 1909 § 8049

Life begins at conception--unborn child, defined--failure to provideprenatal care, no cause of action for.

1.205. 1. The general assembly of this state finds that:

(1) The life of each human being begins at conception;

(2) Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being;

(3) The natural parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health, and well-being of their unborn child.

2. Effective January 1, 1988, the laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development, all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court and specific provisions to the contrary in the statutes and constitution of this state.

3. As used in this section, the term "unborn children" or "unborn child" shall include all unborn child or children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development.

4. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as creating a cause of action against a woman for indirectly harming her unborn child by failing to properly care for herself or by failing to follow any particular program of prenatal care.

(L. 1986 H.B. 1596)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Abortion regulations, Chap. 188

No imprisonment without authority of law.

1.210. No person's body shall be imprisoned or restrained unless by authority of law.

(RSMo 1939 § 648, A.L. 1957 p. 587)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 648; 1919 § 7051; 1909 § 8050

Cloning--use of state funds prohibited, definition.

1.217. No state funds shall be used for research with respect to the cloning of a human person. For purposes of this section, the term "cloning" means the replication of a human person by taking a cell with genetic material and cultivating such cell through the egg, embryo, fetal and newborn stages of development into a new human person.

(L. 1998 S.B. 722 § 17)

Religious freedom restoration act.

1.302. 1. A governmental authority may not restrict a person's free exercise of religion, unless:

(1) The restriction is in the form of a rule of general applicability, and does not discriminate against religion, or among religions; and

(2) The governmental authority demonstrates that application of the restriction to the person is essential to further a compelling governmental interest, and is not unduly restrictive considering the relevant circumstances.

2. As used in this section, "exercise of religion" shall be defined as an act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by religious belief, whether or not the religious exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.

3. As used in this section "demonstrates" means meets the burden of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.

(L. 2003 S.B. 12)

Applicability of religious freedom restorationact--limitations--relevant circumstances defined..

1.307. 1. Section 1.302 and this section apply to all state and local laws, resolutions and ordinances and the implementation of such laws, resolutions, and ordinances, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether adopted before or after August 28, 2003.

2. Nothing in section 1.302 and this section shall be construed to authorize any government to burden any religious belief, except that nothing in these sections shall be construed to establish or eliminate a defense to a civil action or criminal prosecution based on a federal, state, or local civil rights law.

3. Nothing in section 1.302 and this section shall be construed as allowing any person to cause physical injury to another person, to possess a weapon otherwise prohibited by law, to fail to provide monetary support for a child or to fail to provide health care for a child suffering from a life-threatening condition.

4. "Relevant circumstances" may include legitimate penological interests needed to protect the safety and security of incarcerated persons and correctional facilities, but shall not include reasonable requests by incarcerated individuals for the opportunity to pray, reasonable access to clergy, use of religious materials that are not violent or profane, and reasonable dietary requests.

(L. 2003 S.B. 12)

Big government get off my back act--certain federal mandates notsubject to appropriations or statutory authorization--no userfees to be increased for five-year period.

1.310. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Big Government Get Off My Back Act".

2. Any federal mandate compelling the state to enact, enforce, or administer a federal regulatory program shall be subject to authorization through appropriation or statutory enactment.

3. No user fees imposed by the state of Missouri shall increase for the five-year period beginning on August 28, 2009, unless such fee increase is to implement a federal program administered by the state or is a result of an act of the general assembly. For purposes of this section, "user fee" does not include employer taxes or contributions, assessments to offset the cost of examining insurance or financial institutions, any health-related taxes approved by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or any professional or occupational licensing fees set by a board of members of that profession or occupation and required by statute to be set at a level not to exceed the cost of administration.

4. For the five-year period beginning on August 28, 2009, any state agency proposing a rule as that term is defined in subdivision (6) of section 536.010, other than any rule promulgated as a result of a federal mandate, or to implement a federal program administered by the state or an act of the general assembly, shall either:

(1) Certify that the rule does not have an adverse impact on small businesses consisting of fewer than fifty full- or part-time employees; or

(2) Certify that the rule is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of the public; or

(3) Exempt any small business consisting of fewer than fifty full- or part-time employees from coverage.

5. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent or otherwise restrict an agency from promulgating emergency rules pursuant to section 536.025, or from rescinding any existing rule pursuant to section 536.021.

(L. 2009 H.B. 191 § 1, A.L. 2011 H.B. 45)

Promotion of responsible gun ownership--condemnation of unlawfultransfer or use of firearms in criminal or unlawful activity.

1.320. The general assembly of the state of Missouri strongly promotes responsible gun ownership, including parental supervision of minors in the proper use, storage, and ownership of all firearms, the prompt reporting of stolen firearms, and the proper enforcement of all state gun laws. The general assembly of the state of Missouri hereby condemns any unlawful transfer of firearms and the use of any firearm in any criminal or unlawful activity.

(L. 2013 H.B. 533 § 1)

Health care, no requirement to participate, no penalties--purchase orsale of health insurance in private system notprohibited--definitions.

1.330. 1. No law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.

2. A person or employer may pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required by law or rule to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment for lawful health care services and shall not be required by law or rule to pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.

3. Subject to reasonable and necessary rules that do not substantially limit a person's options, the purchase or sale of health insurance in private health care systems shall not be prohibited by law or rule.

4. This section does not:

(1) Affect which health care services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide;

(2) Affect which health care services are permitted by law;

(3) Prohibit care provided under workers' compensation as provided under state law;

(4) Affect laws or regulations in effect as of January 1, 2010;

(5) Affect the terms or conditions of any health care system to the extent that those terms and conditions do not have the effect of punishing a person or employer for paying directly for lawful health care services or a health care provider or hospital for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.

5. As used in this section, the following terms shall mean:

(1) "Compel", any penalties or fines;

(2) "Direct payment or pay directly", payment for lawful health care services without a public or private third party, not including an employer, paying for any portion of the service;

(3) "Health care system", any public or private entity whose function or purpose is the management of, processing of, enrollment of individuals for or payment for, in full or in part, health care services or health care data or health care information for its participants;

(4) "Lawful health care services", any health-related service or treatment to the extent that the service or treatment is permitted or not prohibited by law or regulation that may be provided by persons or businesses otherwise permitted to offer such services; and

(5) "Penalties or fines", any civil or criminal penalty or fine, tax, salary or wage withholding or surcharge or any named fee with a similar effect established by law or rule by a government-established, -created or -controlled agency that is used to punish or discourage the exercise of rights protected under this section.

(L. 2010 H.B. 1764 Adopted by referendum, Proposition C, August 3, 2010)


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