Local court cases continue to increase

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The number of cases handled by the Barry County Circuit Clerk's office has increased 34 percent over the last five years, according to a year-end report released by Barry County Circuit Clerk Craig Williams.

In 2012, there were 6,272 cases filed in the Barry County Circuit Clerk's office, which is 3 percent more than the number of cases filed in 2011. Of those cases filed in 2012, 1,891 were criminal cases.

The criminal filings in 2012 consisted of 676 felonies, 751 misdemeanors, one municipal case, 36 conservation violations and six watercraft violations. A total of 421 cases were bound over to the circuit division for trial.

The circuit court's criminal division also processed 1,405 traffic violations. The number of arrest warrants issued in 2012 totalled 1,825. The court referred 46 cases to the drug and driving while intoxicated court, and 41 cases filed last year were search warrants.

Last year, 1,256 warrants were served on defendants by various law enforcement agencies, and 416 of those were recalled or withdrawn by the court. Those warrants included: initial appareance; failure to appear; and probation violations.

There are currently 1,652 active or outstanding warrants issued by the court.

The local court conducted five jury trials in 2012. Those trials included one civil case and one criminal case. A jury was not selected to serve on the final panel for the other three cases because those cases were settled or the defendants entered guilty pleas.

Civil division

On the civil side of the court docket, the Barry County Court handled 584 Circuit Level Division cases this past year. These cases included administrative reviews, contracts, injunctions, restraining orders, replevins, real estate actions, tort, tax liens, transcript judgments and cases seeking a judgment of over $25,000.

Some of the other cases handled by the circut court civil division in 2012 include: 202 probate cases; 586 domestic relations cases; 137 juvenile cases; 391 protection orders; 908 Associate Level Civil Division cases; 79 small claims; two mechanic liens; and 1,106 garnishments.

The majority of the court cases were heard by Circuit Judge Robert S. Wiley, Senior Judge Carr L. Woods and Associate Circuit Judges Victor W. Head and Robert J. Foulke. The Circuit Clerk's office is staffed by: Craig Williams, circuit clerk and ex officio recorder of deeds; Crystal Lowe, chief deputy clerk; Sherry Allee and Casey Ball, divisional clerks; Marty Stearns, drug court coordinator and deputy clerk; and Patricia Henderson, Reta Voelker, Shannon Pyle, Melissa Writer, Sara Samuelson, Kristina Hayes and Terra Stockton, deputy clerks.

According to Williams, the 2012 statistics were compiled through records maintained by the Justice Information System (JIS) provided by the State of Missouri and implemented by Barry County in 2005. All cases maintained by JIS can be tracked on Case.net, which can be accessed at www.courts.mo.gov.

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