Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 510
Trials and Proceedings Before and After Trial

August 28, 2013




Court may direct attorneys to appear before it for conference.

510.010. 1. The court may in its discretion direct the attorneys for the parties to appear before it for a conference in the county where the case is pending to consider

(1) The simplification of the issues;

(2) The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;

(3) The possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof;

(4) The limitation of the number of expert witnesses;

(5) Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.

2. The court shall make an order which recites the action taken at the conference, the amendments allowed to the pleadings, and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and which limits the issues for trial to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of counsel; and such order when entered controls the subsequent course of the action, unless modified at the trial to prevent manifest injustice. The court in its discretion may establish by rule a pretrial calendar on which actions may be placed for consideration as above provided and may either confine the calendar to jury actions or to nonjury actions or extend it to all actions.

(L. 1943 p. 353 84)



Interrogatories to parties.

510.020. 1. Any party may serve upon any adverse party written interrogatories to be answered by the party served or, if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association, by any officer, director, partner or managing agent thereof competent to testify in its behalf.

2. The interrogatories shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath. The answers shall be signed by the person making them; and the party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers on the party submitting the interrogatories within fifteen days after the delivery of the interrogatories, unless the court, on motion and notice and for good cause shown, enlarges or shortens the time.

3. Objections to any interrogatories may be presented to the court within ten days after service thereof, with notice as in case of a motion; and answers shall be deferred until the objections are determined, which shall be at as early a time as is practicable.

4. No party may, without leave of court, serve more than one set of interrogatories to be answered by the same party.

(L. 1943 p. 353 85)



Production of documents, papers, tangibles--statements previously made, definition, obtained, how.

510.030. 1. Upon motion of any party showing good cause therefor and upon notice to all other parties, the court in which an action is pending may:

(1) Order any party to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing, by or on behalf of the moving party, of* any designated documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects, or tangible things, not privileged, which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and which are in his possession, custody, or control; or

(2) Order any party to permit entry upon designated land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting, measuring, surveying, sampling, or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation thereon. The order shall specify the time, place, and manner of making the inspection and taking the copies and photographs and may prescribe such terms and conditions as are just.

2. A party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that party. For purposes of this subsection, a statement previously made is a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, or a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, audio, video, motion picture or other recording, or a transcription thereof, of the party or of a statement made by the party and contemporaneously recorded.

(L. 1943 p. 353 86, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

*Word "or" appears in original rolls, an apparent typographical error.



Court may order physical and mental examinations.

510.040. In an action in which the mental or physical condition of a party is in controversy, the court in which the action is pending may order him to submit to a physical or mental examination by a physician, chosen by the party requesting the examination. The order may be made only on motion for good cause shown and upon notice to the party to be examined and to all other parties not in default and shall specify the time, place, manner, conditions, and scope of the examination and the person or persons by whom it is to be made. Such physician shall be deemed the witness of the party procuring the examination unless called as a witness in court by the opposing party. Upon his request and without cost to himself the party examined shall be furnished by such order with a full written report of the examination.

(L. 1943 p. 353 87)



Request for admission of genuineness of relevant documents.

510.050. 1. At any time after the pleadings are closed, a party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission by the latter of the genuineness of any relevant documents described in and exhibited with the request or of the truth of any relevant matters of fact pertaining to such documents set forth in the written request. Copies of the documents shall be delivered with the request unless copies have already been furnished. Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted unless, within a period designated in the request, not less than ten days after service thereof or within such further time as the court may allow on motion and notice, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which an admission is requested or setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters.

2. Any admission made by a party pursuant to such request is for the purpose of the pending action only and neither constitutes an admission by him for any other purpose nor may it be used against him in any other proceeding.

(L. 1943 p. 353 88)



Motion for order compelling answer to interrogatory.

510.060. 1. Upon the refusal of a party to answer any interrogatory submitted under section 510.020, the proponent of the question may move the court, on reasonable notice to all persons affected thereby, for an order compelling an answer. If the motion is granted and if the court finds that the refusal was without substantial justification the court shall require the refusing party to pay to the examining party the amount of the court costs incurred in obtaining the order. If the motion is denied and if the court finds that the motion was made without substantial justification, the court shall require the examining party to pay to the refusing party the amount of the court costs incurred in opposing the motion.

2. If any party or an officer, or general manager of a corporation refuses to obey an order made under subsection 1 requiring him to answer designated questions, or an order made under section 510.030 to produce any document or other thing for inspection, copying, or photographing, or to permit it to be done, or to permit entry upon land or other property, or an order made under section 510.040 requiring him to submit to a physical or mental examination, the court may make such orders in regard to the refusal as are just, and among others the following:

(1) An order that the matters regarding which the questions were asked or the character or description of the thing or land, or the contents of the paper, or the physical or mental condition of the party or any other designated facts shall be taken to be established for the purposes of the action in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order;

(2) An order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses, or prohibiting him from introducing in evidence designated documents or things or items of testimony, or from introducing evidence of physical or mental condition;

(3) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the action or proceeding or any part thereof, or rendering a judgment by default against the disobedient party.

3. If a party, after being served with a request under section 510.050 to admit the genuineness of any documents or the truth of any relevant matters of fact pertaining to such documents, files and serves a written sworn denial thereof and if the party requesting the admissions thereafter proves the genuineness of any such document or the truth of any such matter of fact pertaining to such documents, he may apply to the court for an order requiring the other party to pay him the court costs incurred in making such proof. Unless the court finds that there were good reasons for the denial or that the admissions sought were of no substantial importance, the order shall be made.

4. If a party or an officer, or general manager of a corporation willfully fails to appear before the officer who is to take his deposition, after being served with a proper notice, or fails to return answers to interrogatories submitted under section 510.020, after proper service of such interrogatories, the court on motion and notice may strike out all or any part of any pleading of that party, or dismiss the action or proceeding or any part thereof, or enter a judgment by default against that party.

(L. 1943 p. 353 89)



Cases shall be placed on docket, when.

510.070. As soon as possible after issue is joined in a case pending in circuit court or after ten days from the date a case reaches the trial court upon appeal, by change of venue or otherwise upon issue already joined, the clerk shall place the same upon the trial docket. Cases shall be set for trial in accordance with the rules and practice of the trial court except as such appeals may be otherwise especially provided for by law.

(L. 1943 p. 353 91)



Court may continue an action to a fixed day.

510.080. For good cause shown, the court may continue an action to a fixed day, or to a date for trial to be set thereafter. Every continuance granted on the application of a party may be at the cost of such party, if so ordered by the court.

(L. 1943 p. 353 92)



Application for continuance, how made.

510.090. Every application for a continuance shall, unless the adverse party consent that it be made orally in open court, be made by motion in writing, accompanied by the affidavit of the applicant, or of some other credible person, setting forth the facts on which the application is founded.

(RSMo 1939 1087, A.L. 1943 p. 353 93)

Prior revisions: 1929 936; 1919 1386; 1909 1956



Applications for a continuance on account of absence of witnesses shall show what.

510.100. Applications for a continuance on account of the absence of witnesses or their evidence shall show

(1) The facts showing the materiality of the evidence sought to be obtained and due diligence upon the part of the applicant to obtain such witness or testimony;

(2) The name and residence of such witness, if known, or, if not known, the use of diligence to obtain the same, and also facts showing reasonable grounds of belief that the attendance or testimony of such witness will be procured at the date to which the action may be continued or set for trial;

(3) What particular facts the affiant believes the witness will prove, and that he knows of no other person whose evidence or attendance he could have procured at the trial, by whom he can prove or so fully prove the same facts;

(4) That such witness is not absent by the connivance, consent, or procurement of the applicant, and such application is not made for vexation or delay, but in good faith for the purpose of obtaining a fair and impartial trial.

(RSMo 1939 1090, A.L. 1943 p. 353 94)

Prior revisions: 1929 939; 1919 1389; 1909 1959



Amendment of affidavit--overruled, when.

510.110. If the court shall be of the opinion that the affidavit is insufficient, it shall permit the same to be amended; and if after such amendment the affidavit does not contain a sufficient statement of facts as herein required, the court shall overrule the same; but if, upon the contrary, the court shall find the affidavit sufficient, the cause shall be continued, unless the opposite party will admit that the witness, if present, would swear to the facts set out in said affidavit, in which event the cause shall not be continued, but the party moving therefor shall read as the evidence of such witness the facts so stated in such affidavit and the opposing party may disprove the facts disclosed, or prove any contradictory statements made by such absent witness in relation to the matter in issue and on trial.

(RSMo 1939 1091, A.L. 1943 p. 353 95)

Prior revisions: 1929 940; 1919 1390; 1909 1960



Automatic stay of all administrative and court procedures for members of the general assembly, when--continuance when counsel or party is a member of general assembly.

510.120. 1. During the period beginning January first and ending June first of each year, or whenever the general assembly is in session, there shall be an automatic stay of all administrative and court proceedings in which any member of the general assembly has filed a written notice with the court or administrative hearing officer and with all parties to the proceeding that the member is:

(1) A necessary witness;

(2) A party to the action; or

(3) The initial attorney for any party or has filed an entry of appearance as an attorney for any party more than forty-five days prior to the filing of the written notice under this subsection.

2. The stay created by this section shall apply to all trials, motions, hearings, discovery responses, depositions, responses to motions, docket calls, and any other proceedings before any trial court or administrative tribunal, including municipal courts. The stay shall also apply to any order requiring the member to serve as a juror whenever the general assembly is in session.

3. The stay created by this section shall not apply:

(1) If the member waives the protections of this stay in the form of a written memorandum filed with the trial court or administrative tribunal;

(2) To any proceedings under chapter 288;

(3) To any proceedings involving a request for injunctive relief; or

(4) To any proceeding in which the member is charged with a felony or a class A misdemeanor.

4. The court of appeals shall have original jurisdiction over any application for termination or modification of the stay.

5. In all civil cases or administrative proceedings or in criminal cases pending in this state at any time when the general assembly is in veto session, special session, or holding out-of-session committee hearings, it shall be a sufficient cause for such continuance if it shall appear to the court, by written notice, that any party applying for such continuance, or any attorney, solicitor or counsel of such party is a member of either house of the general assembly, and in actual attendance on the out-of-session committee hearings, special session, or veto session of the same, and that the attendance of such party, attorney, solicitor or counsel is necessary to a fair and proper trial or other proceeding in such suit; and on the filing of such notice the court shall continue such suit and any and all motions or other proceedings therein, of every kind and nature, including the taking of depositions and discovery responses, and thereupon no trial or other proceedings of any kind or nature shall be had therein until the adjournment or recess for three days or more of the special session or veto session of the general assembly, nor for one day before or after or the day of any out-of-session committee hearings. Such notice shall be sufficient, if made within two days of the out-of-session committee hearings, special session, or veto session of the general assembly, showing that at the time of making the same such party, attorney, solicitor or counsel is scheduled to be in actual attendance upon such out-of-session committee hearings, special session, or veto session of the general assembly.

(RSMo 1939 1089, A.L. 1943 p. 353 96, A.L. 2003 H.B. 613, A.L. 2005 H.B. 688)

Prior revisions: 1929 938; 1919 1388; 1909 1958



Grievance resolution system for offenders, civil actions stayed, when.

510.125. 1. In any civil action brought in a court of this state by an offender convicted of a crime who is confined in any state prison or correctional facility, the court shall stay such case until the offender has exhausted such administrative remedies as are described in this section and are available to the offender.

2. The department of corrections shall maintain a system or systems for the resolution of grievances of offenders confined in each state prison or correctional facility. The systems may provide for:

(1) Time limits for replies to grievances at each decision level within the system;

(2) Priority processing of grievances which are of an emergency nature, including matters in which delay would subject the grievant to substantial risk of personal injury;

(3) Safeguards to avoid reprisals against any grievant or participant in the resolution of a grievance; and

(4) Review of the disposition of grievances by a person or other entity who did not render the original decision of the grievance.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections 1 and 2 of this section, the provisions of any federal statute governing a cause of action created by federal law shall control and take precedence in actions brought pursuant to such federal law.

(L. 1995 H.B. 424)



Voluntary dismissal--new trial.

510.130. 1. A plaintiff shall be allowed to dismiss his action without prejudice at any time before the same is finally submitted to the jury, or to the court sitting as a jury, or to the court, and not afterward. A plaintiff who has once so dismissed his action and thereafter files another action upon the same claim shall not be allowed to dismiss the same without prejudice after the jury has been impaneled, or after evidence has been introduced in a nonjury case, except

(1) Upon filing a stipulation to that effect signed by the opposite party; or

(2) On order of the court made on special motion in which the ground for said dismissal shall be set forth and which shall be supported by affidavit.

2. No party, who has been granted a dismissal at his request after an adverse ruling of the trial court preventing a recovery on his part, shall as a matter of right be granted more than one new trial or more than one appeal on the ground that the adverse ruling of the trial court preventing a recovery on his part was erroneous.

(L. 1943 p. 353 99)



Defendant may move for dismissal of an action--effect of motion.

510.140. For failure of the plaintiff to prosecute or to comply with this code or any order of court, a defendant may move for dismissal of an action or of any claim against him. After the plaintiff has completed the presentation of his evidence, the defendant, without waiving his right to offer evidence in the event the motion is not granted, or in the event that the motion is granted and the resulting judgment is later held erroneous, may move for a dismissal on the ground that upon the facts and the law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief.

(L. 1943 p. 353 100)



Effect of dismissals, with and without prejudice.

510.150. A dismissal without prejudice permits the party to bring another action for the same cause, unless the action is otherwise barred. A dismissal with prejudice operates as an adjudication upon the merits. Any voluntary dismissal other than one which the party is entitled to take without prejudice, and any involuntary dismissal other than one for lack of jurisdiction or for improper venue shall be with prejudice unless the court in its order for dismissal shall otherwise specify.

(L. 1943 p. 353 101)



Provisions applying to dismissal of counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party claim.

510.160. The provisions of sections 510.130 to 510.150 and 514.180, apply to the dismissal of any counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim.

(L. 1943 p. 353 102)



Dismissal of plaintiff's action not to affect counterclaim or cross-claim.

510.170. No dismissal, voluntary or involuntary, of a plaintiff's action in which a counterclaim or cross-claim has been filed shall operate to dismiss or discontinue such counterclaim or cross-claim.

(L. 1943 p. 353 103)



Consolidation of actions--separate trials of issues.

510.180. 1. Whenever several suits founded alone upon liquidated demands shall be pending in the same court by the same plaintiff, against the same defendant, or whenever several such suits are pending in the same court, by the same plaintiff, against several defendants, the court in which the same shall be prosecuted may, in its discretion, if it appear expedient, order such suits to be consolidated into one action.

2. The court in furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice may order a separate trial of any claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, or third-party claim, or of any separate issue or of any number of claims, cross-claims, counterclaims, third-party claims, or issues.

(RSMo 1939 1094, 1102, A.L. 1943 p. 353 97)

Prior revisions: 1929 943, 951; 1919 1393, 1401; 1909 1963, 1971



Right of trial by jury--waiver.

510.190. 1. The right of trial by jury as declared by the constitution or as given by a statute shall be preserved to the parties inviolate. In particular, any issue as to whether a release, composition, or discharge of plaintiff's original claim was fraudulently or otherwise wrongfully procured shall be tried by jury unless waived.

2. Parties shall be deemed to have waived trial by jury:

(1) By failing to appear at the trial;

(2) By filing with the clerk written consent in person or by attorney;

(3) By oral consent in court, entered on the minutes;

(4) By entering into trial before the court without objection.

3. In actions against the state when a statute provides for trial without a jury, the court, with the consent of both parties, may order a trial with a jury whose verdict has the same effect as if trial by jury had been a matter of right.

4. In actions where an infant or a mentally incapacitated person is a party and where an infant or mentally incapacitated person is represented by a legal representative, trial by jury shall be deemed to be waived under the circumstances set forth in subsection 2.

(RSMo 1939 1101, A.L. 1943 p. 353 98, A.L. 1983 S.B. 44 & 45)

Prior revisions: 1929 950; 1919 1400; 1909 1970



All trials upon the merits shall be conducted in open court.

510.200. All trials upon the merits shall be conducted in open court and so far as convenient in the regular courtroom. Trials may be conducted or motions heard outside the county where pending with the consent of all parties affected thereby.

(L. 1943 p. 353 90)



Formal exceptions unnecessary--objections.

510.210. Formal exceptions to rulings or orders of the court are unnecessary; but for all purposes for which an exception has heretofore been necessary it is sufficient that a party, at the time the ruling or order of the court is made or sought, makes known to the court the action which he desires the court to take or his objection to the action of the court and his grounds therefor except it shall not be necessary to state grounds for objections for instructions; and, if a party has no opportunity to object to a ruling or order at the time it is made, the absence of an objection does not thereafter prejudice him.

(L. 1943 p. 353 122, A.L. 1947 V. I p. 227)



Verdict, general or special.

510.220. The verdict of a jury is either general or special. A general verdict is one by which the jury pronounces generally upon all or any of the issues, either in favor of the plaintiff or defendant. A special verdict is one by which the jury finds the facts only, leaving the judgment to the court.

(RSMo 1939 1119, A.L. 1943 p. 353 106)

Prior revisions: 1929 968; 1919 1418; 1909 1988



General verdict, when rendered.

510.230. In every issue for the recovery of money only, or specific real or personal property, the jury shall render a general verdict.

(RSMo 1939 1120, A.L. 1943 p. 353 107)

Prior revisions: 1929 969; 1919 1419; 1909 1989



Court may direct issues to be made, when.

510.240. In all other cases, if at any time during the progress of any cause, it shall, in the opinion of the court, become necessary to determine any fact in controversy by the verdict of a jury, the court may direct an issue or issues to be made.

(RSMo 1939 1121, A.L. 1943 p. 353 108)

Prior revisions: 1929 970; 1919 1420; 1909 1990



Issues to be made only as directed by court.

510.250. No issue shall be made, except such as shall be directed by the court.

(RSMo 1939 1122, A.L. 1943 p. 353 109)

Prior revisions: 1929 971; 1919 1421; 1909 1991



Issues, how tried and disposed of.

510.260. The trial of such issues shall be by jury, and the issues shall be disposed of by a general or special verdict before a final judgment shall be made therein.

(RSMo 1939 1123, A.L. 1943 p. 353 110)

Prior revisions: 1929 972; 1919 1422; 1909 1992



Bifurcated trial may be requested by any party if punitive damages involved, procedure--post-trial motion for credit on punitive damages, procedure--credit not allowed, when--doctrine of remittitur and additur applied to awards.

510.263. 1. All actions tried before a jury involving punitive damages, including tort actions based upon improper health care, shall be conducted in a bifurcated trial before the same jury if requested by any party.

2. In the first stage of a bifurcated trial, in which the issue of punitive damages is submissible, the jury shall determine liability for compensatory damages, the amount of compensatory damages, including nominal damages, and the liability of a defendant for punitive damages. Evidence of defendant's financial condition shall not be admissible in the first stage of such trial unless admissible for a proper purpose other than the amount of punitive damages.

3. If during the first stage of a bifurcated trial the jury determines that a defendant is liable for punitive damages, that jury shall determine, in a second stage of trial, the amount of punitive damages to be awarded against such defendant. Evidence of such defendant's net worth shall be admissible during the second stage of such trial.

4. Within the time for filing a motion for new trial, a defendant may file a post-trial motion requesting the amount awarded by the jury as punitive damages be credited by the court with amounts previously paid by the defendant for punitive damages arising out of the same conduct on which the imposition of punitive damages is based. At any hearing, the burden on all issues relating to such a credit shall be on the defendant and either party may introduce relevant evidence on such motion. Such a motion shall be determined by the trial court within the time and according to procedures applicable to motions for new trial. If the trial court sustains such a motion the trial court shall credit the jury award of punitive damages by the amount found by the trial court to have been previously paid by the defendant arising out of the same conduct and enter judgment accordingly. If the defendant fails to establish entitlement to a credit under the provisions of this section, or the trial court finds from the evidence that the defendant's conduct out of which the prior punitive damages award arose was not the same conduct on which the imposition of punitive damages is based in the pending action, or the trial court finds the defendant unreasonably continued the conduct after acquiring actual knowledge of the dangerous nature of such conduct, the trial court shall disallow such credit, or, if the trial court finds that the laws regarding punitive damages in the state in which the prior award of punitive damages was entered substantially and materially deviate from the law of the state of Missouri and that the nature of such deviation provides good cause for disallowance of the credit based on the public policy of Missouri, then the trial court may disallow all or any part of the credit provided by this section.

5. The credit allowable under this section shall not apply to causes of action for libel, slander, assault, battery, false imprisonment, criminal conversation, malicious prosecution or fraud.

6. The doctrines of remittitur and additur, based on the trial judge's assessment of the totality of the surrounding circumstances, shall apply to punitive damage awards.

7. As used in this section, "punitive damage award" means an award for punitive or exemplary damages or an award for aggravating circumstances.

8. Discovery as to a defendant's assets shall be allowed only after a finding by the trial court that it is more likely than not that the plaintiff will be able to present a submissible case to the trier of fact on the plaintiff's claim of punitive damages.

(L. 1987 H.B. 700 39, A.L. 2005 H.B. 393)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Applicability of statutes changes to cases filed after August 28, 2005, 538.305



Limitations on punitive damages in certain cases.

510.265. 1. No award of punitive damages against any defendant shall exceed the greater of:

(1) Five hundred thousand dollars; or

(2) Five times the net amount of the judgment awarded to the plaintiff against the defendant.

Such limitations shall not apply if the state of Missouri is the plaintiff requesting the award of punitive damages, or the defendant pleads guilty to or is convicted of a felony arising out of the acts or omissions pled by the plaintiff.

2. The provisions of this section shall not apply to civil actions brought under section 213.111 that allege a violation of section 213.040, 213.045, 213.050, or 213.070, to the extent that the alleged violation of section 213.070 relates to or involves a violation of section 213.040, 213.045, or 213.050, or subdivision (3) of section 213.070 as it relates to housing.

(L. 2005 H.B. 393)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Applicability of statute changes to cases filed after August 28, 2005, 538.305



Jury shall assess amount of money of recovery, when.

510.270. When a verdict shall be found for the plaintiff in an action for the recovery of money only, the jury shall also assess the amount of the recovery; so, also, if they find for the defendant in case of offsets or other demand for money. When exemplary or punitive damages are allowed by the jury, the amount thereof shall be separately stated in the verdict.

(RSMo 1939 919, 1124, A.L. 1943 p. 353 111)

Prior revisions: 1929 767, 973; 1919 1223, 1423; 1909 1797, 1993



Motion for directed verdict.

510.280. The demurrer to the evidence and the request for peremptory instructions are abolished and in lieu thereof a party may make a motion for a directed verdict. A party who moves for a directed verdict at the close of the evidence offered by an opponent may offer evidence in the event that the motion is not granted, without having reserved the right so to do and to the same extent as if the motion had not been made. A motion for a directed verdict which is not granted is not a waiver of trial by jury even though all parties to the action have moved for directed verdicts. Upon motion for directed verdict by a party opposing a claim the court, whether so requested or not, may dismiss the claim without prejudice if justice so requires.

(L. 1943 p. 353 112)



Denial of motion for directed verdict--motion to set aside verdict, judgment--motion for new trial.

510.290. Whenever a motion for a directed verdict made at the close of all the evidence is denied or for any reason is not granted the court is deemed to have submitted the action to the jury subject to a later determination of the legal questions raised by the motion. Within ten days after the reception of a verdict, a party who has moved for a directed verdict may move to have the verdict and any judgment entered thereon set aside and to have judgment entered in accordance with his motion for a directed verdict; or if a verdict was not returned, such party, within ten days after the jury has been discharged, may move for judgment in accordance with his motion for a directed verdict. A motion for a new trial may be joined with this motion, or a new trial may be prayed for in the alternative. If a verdict was returned the court may allow the judgment to stand or may reopen the judgment and either order a new trial or direct the entry of judgment as if the requested verdict had been directed. If no verdict was returned the court may direct the entry of judgment as if the requested verdict had been directed or may order a new trial.

(L. 1943 p. 353 113)



Instructions.

510.300. 1. At the close of all the evidence, or at such earlier time during the trial as the court may reasonably direct, any party may request that the court instruct the jury in writing on the law applicable to the issues in evidence in the case. Such instructions so requested to be submitted in writing by the party requesting the same, and may be given or refused by the court according to the law and the evidence in the case. The court may also instruct the jury in writing of its own motion. The court shall afford ample opportunity for counsel to examine the instructions before the same are given and to make objections out of the hearing of the jury.

2. Instructions which are refused shall be so marked by the court and filed with the clerk. All instructions given shall be carried by the jury to their room and returned and filed at the conclusion of their deliberations. All instructions refused and all instructions given shall be kept as part of the record of the cause.

(RSMo 1939 1118, A.L. 1943 p. 353 105)

Prior revisions: 1929 967; 1919 1417; 1909 1987



Procedure in cases tried upon facts without a jury.

510.310. 1. In cases tried upon the facts without a jury, the court shall rule upon all objections to evidence as in jury cases. Where the court is of the opinion that the evidence is not admissible, it shall not receive the evidence, but where the evidence is brief and is not privileged, the court shall permit the same and any cross-examination relating thereto or evidence in rebuttal thereof to be taken down by the court reporter or otherwise preserved, apart from the evidence received.

2. At or after the trial, the court shall render such judgment as it thinks right upon the law and the evidence. If any party shall so request before final submission of the case, the court shall dictate to the court reporter, or prepare and file a brief opinion containing a statement of the grounds for its decision and the method of determining any damages awarded; and may, or if specifically requested by counsel, shall, include its findings on any of the principal controverted fact issues. All fact issues upon which no specific findings are made shall be deemed found in accordance with the result reached.

3. Upon motion of a party made not later than ten days after entry of judgment the court may amend the judgment and opinion. The motion may be made with a motion for a new trial.

4. No findings of fact, except such as shall have been specifically requested, and no conclusions of law or objections to the judgment or to the opinion of the court are necessary for purposes of review. The question of the sufficiency of the evidence to support the judgment may be raised whether or not the question was raised in the trial court. The appellate court shall review the case upon both the law and the evidence as in suits of an equitable nature. The judgment shall not be set aside unless clearly erroneous, and due regard shall be given to the opportunity of the trial court to judge of the credibility of the witnesses. The appellate court shall consider any evidence which was rejected by the trial court and duly preserved for the appeal when the appellate court believes such evidence to be admissible. The appellate court may also order any rejected evidence to be taken by deposition or under a reference and returned to said court.

(L. 1943 p. 353 114)



Trial or proceeding shall not be terminated by expiration of term.

510.320. No trial or proceeding in any civil or criminal case shall be terminated by the expiration of the term at which it was commenced, but such trial or proceeding may proceed until it is concluded in all respects as if the term had not expired, or same may be continued to an adjourned or special term, or to the next regular term, as the court may direct.

(RSMo 1939 2023)

Prior revision: 1929 1859



Granting of new trial.

510.330. A new trial may be granted for any of the reasons for which new trials have heretofore been granted. A new trial may be granted to all or any of the parties and on all or part of the issues after trial by jury, court or referee. On a motion for a new trial in an action tried without a jury, the court may open the judgment if one has been entered, take additional testimony, amend findings of fact or make new findings, and direct the entry of a new judgment. Only one new trial shall be allowed on the ground that the verdict is against the weight of the evidence. Every order allowing a new trial shall specify of record the ground or grounds on which said new trial is granted.

(L. 1943 p. 353 115)



Motion for new trial when based upon affidavits.

510.350. When a motion for new trial is based upon affidavits they shall be served with the motion. The opposing party has ten days after such service within which to serve opposing affidavits, which period may be extended for an additional period not exceeding twenty days either by the court for good cause shown or by the parties by written stipulation. The court may permit reply affidavits.

(L. 1943 p. 353 117)



When motion for new trial deemed denied.

510.360. If the motion for new trial is not passed on within ninety days after the motion is filed, it is deemed denied for all purposes.

(L. 1943 p. 353 118)



Court may order a new trial, when.

510.370. Not later than thirty days after entry of judgment, the court of its own initiative may order a new trial for any reason for which it might have granted a new trial on motion of a party, and every order granting a new trial shall specify the grounds therefor.

(L. 1943 p. 353 119)



Abolishment of motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and motion in arrest of judgment.

510.380. The motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and the motion in arrest of judgment are hereby abolished and the objections which were heretofore made on such motions may be raised in a motion for a new trial or upon motion filed at the same time as is required for motion for a new trial, praying for appropriate relief in the premises.

(L. 1943 p. 353 120)



Death or other disability of judge--power of substitute.

510.390. If by reason of his going out of office, death, sickness, or other disability, a judge before whom an action has been tried is unable to perform the duties to be performed by the court under this code after a verdict is returned or findings of fact are filed, then any other judge sitting in or assigned to the court in which the action was tried may perform those duties; but if such other judge is satisfied that he cannot perform those duties because he did not preside at the trial or for any other reason, he may in his discretion grant a new trial.

(L. 1943 p. 353 121)

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