Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 506
Commencement of Actions and General Provisions

August 28, 2013




Citation of code--to govern certain procedures.

506.010. This code shall be known and cited as "The Civil Code of Missouri" and shall govern the procedure in the supreme court, court of appeals, and divisions of the circuit court in all suits and proceedings of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases at law or in equity, unless otherwise provided by law. It shall be construed to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action. Such code shall not apply, however, to the practice and procedure before a circuit or associate circuit judge in the small claims court or the municipal division of the circuit court except to the extent that such provisions are otherwise specifically made applicable.

(L. 1943 p. 353 2, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 1985 S.B. 5, et al.)

Effective 1-1-87



Code not to apply to criminal practice, exception.

506.020. This code shall not apply to practice and procedure in criminal cases except to the extent that its provisions or any of them are now or hereafter may be made applicable by statute. If it occur that inadvertently this (civil) code may effect any change in the practice and procedure in criminal cases as the same exists at the time of the passage of said code, the supreme court shall and is hereby directed to immediately promulgate a rule restoring such a provision or provisions of said criminal practice and procedure to the end that the present practice and procedure in criminal cases shall not be changed except by a legislative act passed for that specific purpose.

(L. 1943 p. 353 145)



Power of supreme court to promulgate rules to harmonize code.

506.030. If any part of this code shall be found to be in conflict or discordant with other parts of this code or with other statutes relating to civil procedure, the supreme court shall have power to promulgate rules necessary to harmonize the same so as to promote the orderly administration of justice. No such rule shall abridge, enlarge or modify the substantive rights of any litigant. Such rules shall be effective until superseded by legislative enactment.

(L. 1943 p. 353 10)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Supreme court may prescribe rules of practice and procedure, Const. Art. V 5



One form of action.

506.040. There shall be one form of action to be known as "civil action".

(RSMo 1939 847, A.L. 1943 p. 353 4)

Prior revisions: 1929 696; 1919 1153; 1909 1727



Order of court and motion defined.

506.050. Every direction of a court or judge, made or entered in writing and not included in a judgment, is denominated an order, and an application for an order is a motion.

(RSMo 1939 1238)

Prior revisions: 1929 1072; 1919 1523; 1909 2092



Periods of time prescribed or allowed by code--how computed.

506.060. 1. In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by this code, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday, nor a legal holiday. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.

2. When by this code or by a notice given thereunder or by order of the court an act is required or allowed to be done at or within a specified time, the court for cause shown may, at any time in its discretion:

(1) With or without motion or notice, order the period enlarged if application therefor is made before the expiration of the period originally prescribed or as extended by a previous order; or

(2) Upon motion permit the act to be done after the expiration of the specified period where the failure to act was the result of excusable neglect; but it may not enlarge the period for filing a motion for or granting a new trial, or for commencing an action or taking an appeal as provided by this code.

3. The period of time provided for the doing of any act or the taking of any proceeding is not affected or limited by the expiration of a term of court. The expiration of a term of court in no way affects the power of a court to do any act or take any proceeding in any civil action which it is otherwise by law authorized to take and which is pending before it.

4. A written motion, other than one which may be heard ex parte, and notice of the hearing thereof shall be served not later than five days before the time specified for the hearing, unless a different period is fixed by law or court rule or by order of the court. Such an order may for cause shown be made on ex parte application. When a motion is supported by an affidavit, the affidavit shall be served with the motion; and, except as otherwise provided by law in connection with motion for new trial, opposing affidavits may be served not later than one day before the hearing, unless the court permits them to be served at some other time.

(L. 1943 p. 353 6, A.L. 2003 H.B. 613)



Court deemed always open for filing certain papers.

506.080. The courts shall be deemed always open for the purpose of filing any pleading or other proper paper, of issuing and returning mesne and final process, and of making and directing all interlocutory motions, orders and rules.

(L. 1943 p. 353 7)



Clerk's office open, when.

506.090. The clerk's office with the clerk or a deputy in attendance shall be open during business hours on all days except Sundays and legal holidays. All motions and applications in the clerk's office for issuing mesne process, for issuing final process to enforce and execute judgments, and for other proceedings which do not require allowance or order of the court are grantable as of course by the clerk; but this action may be suspended or altered or rescinded by the court upon cause shown.

(L. 1943 p. 353 8)



How papers shall be served.

506.100. 1. Every pleading subsequent to the original petition, every written motion other than one which may be heard ex parte, and every written notice, appearance, demand, offer of judgment, designation of record on appeal, and similar paper which by statute, court rule or order is required to be served, shall be served upon each of the parties affected thereby, but no service need be made on parties in default for failure to appear except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims for relief against them shall be served upon them in the manner provided for service summons in this code.

2. Whenever under this code service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney of record the service shall be made upon the attorney unless service upon the party himself is ordered by the court. The service may be made

(1) Upon the attorney or a party, by delivering a copy to him;

(2) Upon the attorney, by leaving a copy at his office with his clerk or with an attorney employed by or associated with the attorney to be served;

(3) Upon a party, by leaving a copy at his usual place of abode with some person of his family over the age of fifteen years.

3. In any action in which there are unusually large numbers of defendants, the court, upon motion or of its own initiative, may order that service of the pleadings of the defendants and replies thereto need not be made as between the defendants and that any crossclaim, counterclaim or matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense contained therein shall be deemed to be denied or avoided by all other parties and that the filing of any such pleading and service thereof upon the plaintiff constitutes due notice of it to the parties. A copy of every such order shall be served upon the parties in such manner and form as the court directs.

4. All papers after the petition required to be served upon a party shall be filed with the court either before service or within five days thereafter.

5. The filing of pleadings and other papers with the court as required by this code shall be made by filing them with the clerk of the court except that a judge may permit the papers to be filed with him, in which event he shall note thereon the filing date and forthwith transmit them to the office of the clerk.

(L. 1943 p. 353 5)



How suits may be instituted in courts of record.

506.110. 1. Suits may be instituted in courts of record, except when the statute law of this state otherwise provides, either:

(1) By filing in the office of the clerk of the court a petition setting forth the plaintiff's cause or causes of action, and the remedy sought, and by the voluntary appearance of the adverse party thereto; or

(2) By filing such petition in such office, and suing out thereon a writ of summons against the person or of attachment against the property of the defendant.

2. The filing of a petition in a court of record, or a statement or account before a court not of record, and suing out of process therein, shall be taken and deemed the commencement of a suit.

(RSMo 1939 876, A.L. 1943 p. 353 23, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 724; 1919 1182; 1909 1756

(1996) Subsection 2 of this section is overruled by supreme court rule 53.01. Keys v. Nigro, 913 S.W.2d 947 (Mo.App.W.D.).



Issuance and serving of summons or other process.

506.120. Upon the filing of the petition, the clerk shall forthwith issue the required summons or other process, and except as otherwise provided herein deliver it for service to the sheriff or to a person specially appointed to serve it. Upon request of the plaintiff, separate or additional summons shall issue against any defendants, including alias and pluries summons.

(L. 1943 p. 353 24)



Summons shall be signed by clerk--contents.

506.130. The summons shall be signed by the clerk and dated the day it is issued, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and the time within which the place where the defendant is required to appear and defend as provided by law, and shall notify him that in case of his failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the petition.

(L. 1943 p. 353 25)



Who shall serve process--fees paid to special process server may be taxed as costs in a claim.

506.140. 1. Service of process, except as otherwise provided, shall be made by a sheriff, or such sheriff's deputy, or in case the sheriff in any cause is for any reason disqualified, then process may be issued to and served by the coroner of the county in which such process is to be served; or some person, other than a sheriff or coroner, may be specially appointed by the court or the circuit clerk following procedures established by local court rules for service of process in any cause, but such appointment shall be valid for service of the process only for which such person was specially appointed.

2. A party may file an application to the court requesting that any fees paid to a special process server be awarded in any judgment entered in the action. The court may enter judgment in the reasonable amount of such fees.

(L. 1943 p. 353 26, A.L. 1992 S.B. 818, A.L. 1996 S.B. 869)

Effective 7-1-97

CROSS REFERENCE:

Coroner to execute process, when, 58.190, 58.200



Process server authorized to carry concealed firearm.

506.145. Any person authorized to issue or serve process is authorized to carry a concealed firearm, the provisions of any other law to the contrary notwithstanding.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60 578.010)

Effective 1-1-79



Summons and petition, how served--service by mail, authorized when--notice by mail and acknowledgment form.

506.150. 1. The summons and petition shall be served together. Service shall be made as follows:

(1) Upon an individual, including an infant or disabled or incapacitated person not having a legally appointed guardian or conservator, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to him personally or by leaving a copy of the summons and of the petition at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of his family over the age of fifteen years, or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to an agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process;

(2) If the infant or disabled or incapacitated person has a legally appointed conservator, by serving a copy of the summons and of the petition on such conservator as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection;

(3) Upon a domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership, or other unincorporated association, when by law it may be sued as such, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to an officer, partner, a managing or general agent, or by leaving the copies at any business office of the defendant with the person having charge thereof, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or required by law to receive service of process and, if the agent is one authorized by statute to receive service and the statute so requires, by also mailing a copy to the defendant;

(4) Upon a domestic corporation that has been dissolved according to law, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to the last registered agent of the corporation or upon the secretary of state, and if upon the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall send a copy of the summons and petition by registered mail, requesting a return receipt signed by addressee only, addressed to each member of the last board of directors of the corporation at the address of such directors, as shown by the secretary of state's records;

(5) Upon a public, municipal, governmental, or quasi-public corporation or body, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to the clerk of the county commission in the case of a county, to the mayor or city clerk or city attorney in the case of a city, and to the chief executive officer in the case of any other public, municipal, governmental or quasi-public corporation or body. If there is, for the time being, no such officer as is specified by this subdivision, the court may designate an appropriate officer to whom the copies of the summons and petition may be delivered in order to effect service.

2. When a defendant shall acknowledge in writing, endorsed on the writ, signed by his own proper signature, the service of such writ, and waive the necessity of the service thereof by an officer, such acknowledgment shall be deemed as valid as service in the manner provided by law.

3. In all cases when the defendant shall refuse to hear the writ read or to receive a copy of the writ or petition, the offer of the officer to read the same or to deliver a copy thereof, and such refusal, shall be sufficient service of such writ.

4. Service of the summons and petition upon a defendant of any class referred to in subdivision (1) or (3) of subsection 1 of this section may be made by the plaintiff or by any person authorized to serve process pursuant to section 506.140, by mailing a copy of the summons and petition by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be served, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment conforming substantially to the form contained in subsection 5 of this section and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the sender. If no acknowledgment of service under this subsection is received by the sender within thirty days after the date of mailing, service of the summons and petition shall be made as otherwise provided by this section or supreme court rule. Unless good cause is shown for not doing so, the court shall order the payment of the costs of personal service by the person served if such person does not complete and return within thirty days after mailing the notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons.

5. The acknowledgment form required by subsection 4 of this section shall be substantially as follows: Notice and Acknowledgment for Service by Mail Circuit Court for .............. County Division ......... Civil Action, File Number A.B., )

)

Plaintiff, )

) vs. )

) C.D., )

)

Defendant. ) NOTICE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF SUMMONS AND PETITION NOTICE TO: (Insert the name and address of the person to be served.)

The enclosed summons and petition are served pursuant to section 506.150, RSMo.

You must complete the acknowledgment part of this form and return one copy of the completed form to the sender within thirty days.

You must sign and date the acknowledgment. If you are served on behalf of a corporation, unincorporated association, including a partnership, or other entity, you must indicate under your signature your relationship to that entity. If you are served on behalf of another person and you are authorized to receive process, you must indicate under your signature your authority.

If you do not complete and return the form to the sender within thirty days, you or the party on whose behalf you are being served may be required to pay any expenses incurred in serving a summons and petition in any other manner permitted by law.

If you do complete and return this form, you or the party on whose behalf you are being served must answer the petition within thirty days. If you fail to do so, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the petition.

I declare, under penalty of filing a false affidavit, that this Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt of Summons and Petition was mailed on (insert date). ................................................

Signature ................................................ Relationship to Entity/Authority to Receive Service of Process .................................................

(Date of Signature)

(L. 1943 p. 353 27, A.L. 1974 H.B. 1639, A.L. 1983 S.B. 44 & 45, A.L. 1985 S.B. 5, et al., A.L. 1988 S.B. 425)



Service by mail or publication.

506.160. 1. Service by mail or by publication shall be allowed in all cases affecting a fund, will, trust estate, specific property, or any interest therein, or any res or status within the jurisdiction of the court, or in any special proceedings in which notice by mail or by publication is authorized, including but not limited to actions to quiet title and actions to ascertain and determine title to real estate. If the defendant so served does not appear, judgment may be rendered affecting said property, res or status within the jurisdiction of the court as to said defendant, but such service shall not warrant a general judgment against such defendant.

2. A party desiring service by mail shall allege and state either in his verified petition or in a separate affidavit any one or more of the same specific grounds for substituted service as set forth in subsection 3, or shall state any other facts showing why personal service cannot be had on the defendant or defendants in this state. Such petition or affidavit shall be verified by oath of the party or of someone in his behalf, and shall state the address of the party to be served by mail. Upon the filing of such petition or affidavit with the judge or clerk, the clerk shall serve a copy of the summons and of the petition by registered mail, requesting a return receipt signed by addressee only, addressed to the defendant at the address furnished by plaintiff.

3. If the plaintiff or other person for plaintiff shall allege in his verified petition, or at the time of filing same, or at any time thereafter, shall file an affidavit stating that part or all of the defendants are nonresidents of the state, or is a corporation of another state, kingdom or country, and cannot be personally served in this state in the manner prescribed by law for personal service, or have absconded or absented themselves from their usual place of abode in this state, or that they have concealed themselves so that the ordinary process of law cannot be personally served upon them, and the affidavit or the verified petition shall state the present known address of the defendant, if known, or in lieu thereof state that said address of the defendant is unknown, the court or judge or clerk thereof shall issue an order of publication of notice to such defendant or defendants, notifying such defendant or defendants of the commencement of the action, and stating briefly the object and general nature thereof, and describing the property, if any, to be affected. The notice shall also contain the name of the court and the names of the parties to the suit, and shall state the name and address of the attorney for plaintiff, if any, otherwise the plaintiff's address, and shall state that unless said named defendant or defendants file an answer or other pleading or shall otherwise appear and defend against the petition within forty-five days after the date of the first publication, to be stated in the published notice, provided, the court or judge thereof may extend the date within which any such defendant may plead or otherwise appear to a date certain beyond such forty-five day limit judgment by default will be rendered against them. Such notice shall be published at least once each week for four consecutive weeks in some newspaper of general circulation published in the county where suit is instituted, if there be such newspaper published there, which the plaintiff or his attorney of record may designate; if no such newspaper be published in such county, then in some such paper published in this state, which the plaintiff or his attorney of record may designate as most likely to give notice to the defendant or defendants to be notified. If the present known address of the defendant is given, the clerk shall within ten days after said order of publication mail a copy of the notice to each defendant whose address has been stated in the affidavit or verified petition. The clerk shall file a certificate certifying that copies of the notice have been mailed as required by this section, in all cases where the present known address has been given, and such certificates shall be conclusive and binding upon the parties.

4. When the names of one or more defendants are unknown to plaintiff, he may so state in his verified petition, or in a separate affidavit for order of publication, and the court or judge or clerk thereof shall issue an order of publication of notice to the unknown defendant or defendants in the same manner prescribed in subsection 3, and the notice of publication shall be published in like manner. It shall be sufficient to name or describe said unknown defendants as the heirs, grantees, or successors of the person to whom the property to be affected was last known to have been transferred.

5. Whenever publication of notice is ordered for service by mail or by publication in a newspaper, the court may also in its discretion, order that a summons be issued and delivered with a copy of the petition to the sheriff or other person especially appointed to serve the same, for personal service in the ordinary manner if the same can be had.

6. In any of the cases mentioned in subsection 1, the plaintiff may cause a copy of the petition, with a copy of the summons, to be delivered to each defendant residing or being without this state, and at any place within the United States or their territories summoning said defendant to appear and plead within thirty days after service upon said defendant; and if the defendant shall refuse to receive such copy of the petition and summons, the offer of the officer to deliver same to him or them, and such refusal, shall be as effectual service as though such copies were actually delivered to such defendant. Such service may be made by any officer authorized by law to serve process in civil actions within the state or territory where such service is made, or by his deputy, and shall be proved by the affidavit of such officer, or deputy, stating the time and manner of such service, made before the clerk or judge of the court of which affiant is an officer. Such clerk or judge shall certify to the official character of the affiant, and to his authority to serve process in civil actions within the state or territory where such service was made. When such certificate is made by a clerk or judge of a court of record, the same shall be attested by the seal of such court, and when the same is made by a judge of a court not of record, the official character of such judge shall also be certified by the proper officer of the state, under his official seal. Any return of service, made and certified as above provided, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in such return. If the plaintiff, or his attorney of record, in any of the causes mentioned in subsection 1, shall allege in his verified petition, or at the time of filing same, or at any time thereafter shall make the affidavit required by subsection 3, and shall file in said cause proof of service of process on any defendant or defendants, in conformity with the provisions of this section, it shall not be necessary for such plaintiff or plaintiffs to obtain the order for service by mail or by publication provided for in this section or to procure the publication provided in this section.

(L. 1943 p. 353 28, A.L. 1945 p. 640)



Where process may be served.

506.170. All process may be served anywhere within the territorial limits of the state and may be forwarded to the sheriff of any county for the purpose of service.

(L. 1943 p. 353 29)



Proof of service.

506.180. 1. Every officer to whom any writ of process shall be directed and delivered for service shall make return thereof in writing of the time, place and manner of service of such writ, and shall sign his name to such return.

2. If service of such process is, by order of the court, directed to and delivered to a person, other than an officer, for service, such person shall make affidavit as to the time, place and manner of his service thereof.

3. Service by mail shall be proved by a certificate of the clerk that he has mailed a copy of the summons and of the petition as required by law and the order of the court and by the return registered mail receipt mentioned in subsection 2 of section 506.160, which shall be filed as a paper in the particular lawsuit.

4. Service by publication shall be proved by an affidavit showing the dates upon which and the newspaper in which the notice of publication was published. A copy of the notice shall be attached to the affidavit which shall be filed in the cause. The clerk's certificate that he has mailed a copy of the notice to each defendant whose address was stated in the motion for order of publication and the date of the mailing shall likewise be filed.

5. No person shall be arrested, held to bail, or imprisoned, on any mesne process or execution founded upon any civil action whatsoever.

(RSMo 1939 884, 909, 14969, A.L. 1943 p. 353 30)

Prior revisions: 1929 732, 757, 13776; 1919 1189, 1213, 10404; 1909 1763, 1787, 590



Court may allow process, return or proof of service to be amended, when.

506.190. At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process, return, or proof of service thereof to be amended, unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.

(L. 1943 p. 353 31)



Service on nonresidents, generally.

506.192. Service of process outside the state and return thereof shall be made in accordance with supreme court rule 54.20.(b).

(L. 1988 H.B. 1660)

*Interested persons should note the following was part of H.B. 1660 passed by the 84th G.A., 1988.

"Section B. Supreme court rule 54.20 is amended so that as amended it reads as follows:

Rule 54.20. Proof of Service

(a) Within the State--Officer's Returns--Affidavits of Service

(1) Every officer to whom summons or other process shall be delivered for service within the state shall make return thereof in writing as to the time, place and manner of service of such writ, and shall sign such return.

(2) If service of such process is made by a person other than an officer such person shall make affidavit as to the time, place and manner of service thereof.

(b) Outside the State--Officer's Returns--Affidavits of Service

(1) Every officer to whom summons or other process shall be delivered for service outside the state shall make an affidavit before the clerk or judge of the court of which affiant is an officer or other person authorized to administer oaths in such state as to the official character of the affiant and to his authority to serve process in civil actions within the state or territory where such service was made. The court may consider the affidavit or any other evidence in determining whether service has been properly made.

(2) If service of such process is made by a person appointed by the court in which the action is pending such person shall file an affidavit stating the time, place and manner of such service. The court may consider the affidavit or any other evidence in determining whether service has been properly made.

(c) Certificate of Secretary of State, Secretary of Public Service Commission and Superintendent of Insurance--Mailing of Notice. The notice specified in Rule 54.15 shall be proved by the affidavit of the official mailing such notice. The affidavit shall be endorsed upon or attached to the original papers to which it relates and it, together with the return registered or certified mail receipt, shall be forthwith filed in the court in which the action is pending.

(d) Clerk's Certificate--Service by Mail. Service by mail shall be proved by the certificate of the clerk that he has mailed a copy of the summons and petition and by the filing of the return registered or certified receipt.

(e) Affidavit--Certificate--Service by Publication. Service by publication shall be proved by an affidavit showing the dates upon which and the newspaper in which the notice was published. A copy of the notice shall be attached to the affidavit which shall be filed. The clerk's certificate that a copy of the notice upon order for service by publication and a copy of the petition were mailed to defendant at the address stated in the plaintiff's petition or in the affidavit for order of publication and the date of the mailing shall likewise be filed.

(f) Refusal to Receive Service. When the person to be served or an agent authorized by him to accept service of process, either within or outside the state, shall refuse to receive copies thereof, the offer of the server to deliver copies thereof, and such refusal, when these facts are shown on the server's return, shall be service."



Definitions.

506.200. 1. The term "person", as used in section 506.210, shall mean:

(1) The owner of the motor vehicle or trailer, whether it is being used and operated personally by said owner or by his agent;

(2) An agent using and operating the motor vehicle or trailer for his principal;

(3) Any person who is in charge of the motor vehicle or trailer and of the use and operation thereof with the express or implied consent of the owner.

2. The term "restricted, registered mail" means mail which carries on the face thereof in a conspicuous place, where it will not be obliterated, the endorsement, "deliver to addressee only", and which also requires a return receipt or a statement by the postal authorities that the addressee refused to receive and receipt for such mail.

(L. 1941 p. 435 3, 7)



Use of highways by nonresidents shall constitute an agreement.

506.210. The use and operation of a motor vehicle or trailer in this state on the public highways thereof by a person who is a nonresident of this state shall be deemed:

(1) An agreement by him that he, his executor, administrator or other legal representative shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state in all civil actions and proceedings brought against him, his executor, administrator or other legal representative by either a resident or a nonresident plaintiff, for damages to person or property, including actions for death, growing or arising out of such use and operation; and

(2) An appointment by such nonresident, his executor, administrator or other legal representative of the secretary of state of Missouri as his lawful attorney and agent upon whom may be served all process in suits pertaining to such actions and proceedings;

(3) An agreement by such nonresident that any process in any suit so served shall be of the same legal force and validity as if personally served in this state.

(L. 1941 p. 435 1, A.L. 1955 p. 310)



Provisions apply to former residents.

506.220. All provisions of sections 506.200 to 506.320 shall extend to and apply to any such person or persons, who, at the time that such right or cause of action arose, was or were residents of this state, but who have subsequently thereto become nonresidents of this state.

(L. 1941 p. 435 2)



Form of process.

506.230. All process in suits under sections 506.200 to 506.320 shall be in form and substance the same as now provided for in suits against residents of this state.

(L. 1941 p. 435 4)



Service of process.

506.240. 1. Service of process under sections 506.200 to 506.320 shall be made by delivering a copy of the summons, with a copy of the petition attached, to the secretary of state of Missouri at his office, or in his absence, to the chief clerk of the secretary of state, at his office, and such service shall be sufficient service upon such nonresident.

2. The secretary of state shall immediately mail to the defendant, and to each of them if there be more than one, by restricted, registered mail, addressed to the defendant at his last known address, residence or place of abode a notice of such service and a copy of such process and petition.

(L. 1941 p. 435 5, A. 1949 H.B. 2116, A.L. 1978 S.B. 755)



Form of notification.

506.250. The notification provided for in section 506.240 shall be substantially in the following form, to wit:

To (here insert the name of each defendant and his residence, the last known place of abode as definitely as known), you will take notice that original process in suit against you, a copy of which is hereto attached, was duly served upon you at Jefferson City, Cole county, Missouri, by serving same on the secretary of state of the state of Missouri, or his chief clerk. Dated at ...., Missouri, this .... day of ...., 20.. .

................. ...............

(Secretary of state)

(L. 1941 p. 435 6, A. 1949 H.B. 2116)



Notification other than by mail.

506.260. In lieu of mailing such notification to the defendant in a foreign state, plaintiff may cause said notification to be personally served in the foreign state on the defendant by an adult person not a party to the suit by delivering said notification to the defendant or by offering to make such delivery in case defendant refuses to accept same, or by having said notification served on defendant by an officer duly qualified to serve legal process in the state or jurisdiction where the defendant is found and the officer's return showing such service to have been made filed in the case on or before the return day of the process, or within such further time as the court may allow. Upon such service a general judgment may be taken against defendant or defendants.

(L. 1941 p. 435 8)



Proof of mailing or delivery of notice.

506.270. Proof of the mailing or personal delivery of said notification to such nonresident by an adult person not an officer serving same shall be made by affidavit of the party doing said acts. All affidavits of service shall be endorsed upon or attached to the original papers to which they relate and including the returned registry receipt shall be forthwith filed with the court in which such action is filed and pending.

(L. 1941 p. 435 9)



Provisions cumulative.

506.280. The foregoing provisions relative to service of process in suits against nonresidents shall not be deemed to prevent actual personal service in this state upon a nonresident in the time, manner, form, or under the conditions provided for service on residents, and nothing contained in sections 506.200 to 506.320 shall be construed as in any manner limiting, affecting or repealing any cause of action, right, or method of procedure now provided by law, but the provisions of said sections are cumulative and in addition to any such existing right, remedy, cause of action, and method of procedure.

(L. 1941 p. 435 10)



Venue for actions.

506.290. 1. Any suit under the provisions of sections 506.200 to 506.320* shall be filed in the county in which the cause of action accrues or in the county where the plaintiff resides, and if there be other defendants in such action who are residents of the state of Missouri, then such action shall be brought in any county in which any one of said defendants resides, or in the county within which the plaintiff resides and the defendant may be found.

2. Any civil suit under the provisions of section 570.223 for a person charged with identity theft may be filed:

(1) In the county in which the offense is committed;

(2) If the offense is committed partly in one county and partly in another, or if the elements of the offense occur in more than one county, then in any of the counties where any element of the offense occurred;

(3) In the county in which the defendant resides;

(4) In the county in which the victim resides; or

(5) In the county in which the property obtained or attempted to be obtained was located.

(L. 1941 p. 435 11, A.L. 1949 p. 328, A.L. 2004 H.B. 959)

*Section 506.320 was repealed by S.B. 869 in 1996.



Continuance to be granted, when.

506.300. The court in which such action is pending shall grant such continuance to a nonresident defendant as may be proper to afford him reasonable opportunity to defend such action.

(L. 1941 p. 435 12)



Secretary of state shall keep records.

506.310. It shall be the duty of the secretary of state to keep a record of all process served upon him, or his chief clerk, under the provisions of sections 506.200 to 506.320, which record will show the day and hour of service of every such process.

(L. 1941 p. 435 13)



Actions against nonresidents for injuries caused by watercraft--venue.

506.330. In an action in any court of this state, arising out of injury to person or property caused by any watercraft while operating in the waters of this state, including the Missouri portion of boundary rivers, or moored in such waters or against shoreland in this state, when the owner or operator is a nonresident of this state or a corporation not incorporated under the laws of this state, service of the original notice may be made upon such nonresident owner or operator or upon such foreign corporation in the manner provided in section 506.340. The venue of such an action shall be the county in which the damage occurred and the presence of such watercraft and the doing of said damage within the territory comprising the state of Missouri, together with the subsequent removal of said watercraft from the jurisdiction of the state of Missouri, shall constitute a waiver by the owner or operator thereof of any objection to the venue of such an action commenced in a proper court of this state.

(L. 1951 p. 363 1)



Service, how made.

506.340. Service shall be made by mailing a copy of the original summons to the secretary of state, and such service shall be sufficient; provided that a copy of the service shall be forthwith sent by registered mail to the defendant and the defendant's return receipt and an affidavit of plaintiff or his attorney as to compliance herewith are filed in this action.

(L. 1951 p. 363 2, A.L. 1978 S.B. 755)



Person in charge of watercraft to report injuries--penalty.

506.350. The person in charge of such watercraft shall report within twenty-four hours to the sheriff of the county wherein the injury occurred the names and addresses of the owners and operators of the watercraft, and the names and addresses of all other persons on board the same at the time of the injury, together with a brief statement as to how the accident occurred. Failure to make the report required by this section will subject the owner of the watercraft to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars and not more than five hundred dollars.

(L. 1951 p. 363 3)



Prisoner litigation reform act.

506.360. Sections 506.360 to 506.390 shall be known and may be cited as the "Prisoner Litigation Reform Act".

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 1)



Definitions.

506.363. For the purposes of sections 506.360 to 506.390, "offender" and "correctional center" shall have the same meaning as defined in section 217.010; and the terms "court costs" and "fees" shall have the same meaning as defined in section 488.010.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 2, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al.)



Procedure for nonprepayment of fees.

506.366. An offender seeking to bring a civil action or to appeal a judgment in a civil action without the prepayment of fees or security due to indigency shall submit a request to the court to proceed without the prepayment of fees. The request shall include a certified copy of the offender's correctional center account statement, which shall be provided by the department of corrections for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition or notice of appeal.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 3)



Partial payment of court costs, when.

506.369. 1. If the court receiving a motion pursuant to section 506.366 determines that an offender is unable to pay the full amount of court costs due with respect to a case, the court shall assess a partial payment of the twenty percent of the greater of the following:

(1) The average monthly deposits to the offender's account for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint or notice of appeal requiring the payment of a fee; or

(2) The average monthly balance in the offender's account for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint or notice of appeal requiring the payment of a fee.

2. If a trial court has entered an order pursuant to subsection 1 of this section upon the filing of plaintiff's petition, the determination of the court shall apply to the case until final judgment is entered by either the trial or an appellate court.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 4, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al.)



Monthly payments.

506.372. If the court has entered an order for payment of fees in installments pursuant to section 506.369, the offender shall make monthly payments to the department of corrections of twenty percent of the preceding month's income credited to the offender's account until the fees are paid in full. The department of corrections shall forward payments from the offender's account to the department of revenue for deposit to the general revenue fund until the fees are paid in full. The department of corrections shall establish written guidelines for the priority of payment consistent with state and federal law.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 5, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al.)



Dismissal of action, when.

506.375. Notwithstanding any court costs which have been paid, the court shall dismiss an offender's civil action or appeal from a judgment in a civil action at any time, including before service on the defendant, if the court determines any of the following:

(1) The allegation of indigency is untrue;

(2) The litigation is frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or

(3) The defendant is immune from the cause of action.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 6, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al.)



Payment of costs in judgment.

506.378. If a judgment against an offender includes the payment of costs, the offender shall pay the full amount of costs ordered in the same manner as provided in section 506.372 or as otherwise authorized by law.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 7)

(2004) Prisoner litigation reform act does not authorize a motion court to order indigent offenders to pay costs in Rule 29.15 proceedings. Roberson v. State, 140 S.W.3d 634 (Mo.App.W.D.).



Court to review complaint.

506.381. 1. The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible, or as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which an offender seeks redress from a governmental entity, officer or employee and shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint:

(1) Is frivolous, malicious or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or

(2) Seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

2. If a civil action or appeal of a civil judgment is dismissed on the grounds that it was frivolous, malicious or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court may order attorneys' fees and court costs to the defendant, and payment shall be made pursuant to section 506.372.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 8)



Exhaustion of administrative remedies required--dismissal--limitations on remedies.

506.384. 1. No civil action may be brought by an offender, except for a constitutional deprivation, until all administrative remedies are exhausted.

2. If a claim is, on its face, frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief, the court may dismiss the underlying claim without first requiring the exhaustion of administrative remedies.

3. A civil action pursued by an offender in a court of this state alleging in whole or in part a violation of federal law shall be subject to all limitations on remedies established by federal law.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 9)



Damages to be paid, how.

506.387. Monetary damages awarded to an offender in connection with a civil action filed by an offender or paid in settlement of such a civil action which are payable from funds appropriated by the general assembly or by a political subdivision, or from an insurance policy purchased by the state or political subdivision upon the payment of the offender's attorney fees, if any, shall first be paid directly to satisfy any obligation to pay for the costs of incarceration, and to satisfy any outstanding court orders requiring the offender to pay victim compensation, restitution, costs, bail, judgments, fines or other court-imposed fees in connection with a criminal prosecution or sentence. The full amount owed shall be deducted and paid directly to the correctional facility or entity owed. Notice to the offender shall be satisfied by certified mail or personal notice.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 10)



Notification of crime victims pending payment.

506.390. Before payment of any compensatory damages awarded to an offender in connection with a civil action brought against any correctional facility or against any official or agent of such correctional facility, the attorney general shall make reasonable efforts to notify the victims of the crime for which the offender was convicted and incarcerated concerning the pending payment of any such compensatory damages.

(L. 1997 S.B. 56 11, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al.)



Actions in which outstate service is authorized--jurisdiction of Missouri courts applicable, when.

506.500. 1. Any person or firm, whether or not a citizen or resident of this state, or any corporation, who in person or through an agent does any of the acts enumerated in this section, thereby submits such person, firm, or corporation, and, if an individual, his personal representative, to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state as to any cause of action arising from the doing of any of such acts:

(1) The transaction of any business within this state;

(2) The making of any contract within this state;

(3) The commission of a tortious act within this state;

(4) The ownership, use, or possession of any real estate situated in this state;

(5) The contracting to insure any person, property or risk located within this state at the time of contracting;

(6) Engaging in an act of sexual intercourse within this state with the mother of a child on or near the probable period of conception of that child.

2. Any person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this state, who has lived in lawful marriage within this state, submits himself to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state as to all civil actions for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation and all obligations arising for maintenance of a spouse, support of any child of the marriage, attorney's fees, suit money, or disposition of marital property, if the other party to the lawful marriage lives in this state or if a third party has provided support to the spouse or to the children of the marriage and is a resident of this state.

3. Only causes of action arising from acts enumerated in this section may be asserted against a defendant in an action in which jurisdiction over him is based upon this section.

(L. 1967 p. 660 1, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1275, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253)

(2000) Nonresident trademark infringement defendant''s website, which had not been accessed by any Missouri resident, did not give rise to sufficient contacts with state to allow court to exercise personal jurisdiction. Uncle Sam''s Outfitters, Inc. v. Uncle Sam''s Army Navy Outfitters-Manhattan, Inc., 96 F.Supp.2d 919 (E.D.Mo.).

(2000) Foreign microbrewery, which advertised and sold beer club memberships to state residents using the internet and telephones and delivered beer to residents, was subject to personal jurisdiction; state interest in regulation of the sale and delivery of alcoholic beverages outweighed burden on defendant. State ex rel. Nixon v. Beer Nuts, Ltd., 29 S.W.3d 828 (Mo.App.E.D.).

(2002) Maintenance of an internet website allowing visitors to site to make hotel room reservations is not sufficient contact with Missouri to subject defendant to personal jurisdiction for alleged tort that occurred in another state. Bell v. Imperial Palace Hotel/Casino, 200 F.Supp.2d 1082 (E.D.Mo.).



Service, how made--affidavit.

506.510. 1. Service of process upon any person who is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state, as provided in section 506.500, may be made by personally serving the process upon the defendant outside this state, or upon a corporation by serving the process upon a managing officer or any person or corporation who shall be designated as a registered agent by such corporation in any of the several states, and shall have the same force and effect as though the process had been served within this state.

2. The process, together with a copy of the petition, and necessary fees shall be sent to a court of record or court officer at the place where the defendant may be served with process, and may be personally served upon the defendant by the person authorized to serve process at that place.

3. An affidavit of the person serving the process shall be returned to the office of the clerk or judge from which it issued. The affidavit shall state the time, manner and place of service of the process and of the copy of the petition. The court may consider the affidavit, or any other competent evidence, in determining whether service has been properly made.

(L. 1967 p. 660 2)



Personal judgment authorized--default judgment, when.

506.520. 1. When jurisdiction over a person, firm, or corporation who is outside this state is acquired in accordance with the provisions of sections 506.500 and 506.510, the court shall have the power to render a personal judgment against such person, firm, or corporation.

2. No default judgment shall be entered until the expiration of at least thirty days after service of process. A default judgment rendered on service of process provided by sections 506.500 to 506.520 may be set aside only on a showing which would be timely and sufficient to set aside a default judgment rendered on ordinary service of process within this state.

(L. 1967 p. 660 3)

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