Peters v. Jackson Cnty. Sheriff, WD 80898

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtThomas H. Newton, Presiding Judge
Parties Michael A. PETERS, Appellant, v. JACKSON COUNTY SHERIFF, et al., Respondents.
Decision Date27 March 2018
Docket NumberWD 80898

543 S.W.3d 85

Michael A. PETERS, Appellant,
v.
JACKSON COUNTY SHERIFF, et al., Respondents.

WD 80898

Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.

OPINION FILED: March 27, 2018


Matthew Radefeld, Clayton, MO, Counsel for Appellant.

Audrey Danner, Kansas City, MO, Counsel for Respondent, Sheriff of Jackson County.

William Thompson, Jefferson City, MO, Counsel for Respondent, J. Bret Johnson.

Before Division One: Thomas H. Newton, P.J., Victor C. Howard, and Karen King Mitchell, JJ.

Thomas H. Newton, Presiding Judge

543 S.W.3d 86

Mr. Michael Peters appeals a Jackson County Circuit Court judgment dismissing with prejudice his declaratory-judgment petition which sought to remove his name from the Missouri Sex Offender Registry. Mr. Peters argues that the court erred in sustaining the sheriff’s motion to dismiss without allowing him an opportunity to respond and be heard on the merits of his claim that he was not required under either state or federal law to register as a sex offender for a 2001 criminal misdemeanor conviction. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Mr. Peters pleaded guilty on November 21, 2001, to one count of third-degree assault, § 565.070, RSMo. 2000. He claimed that his crime did not involve a minor, although the physical injury to which he admitted was, according to the sheriff’s motion to dismiss, caused by Mr. Peters touching the victim’s vagina.1 At some unspecified time in 2016, Mr. Peters was notified by the county sheriff’s office that he was required to register as a sex offender or risk immediate arrest for a felony. He duly registered, and then filed for declaratory judgment in August 2016, seeking to remove his name from the registry.2 That petition was dismissed.3 Mr. Peters then filed another petition for declaratory relief in February 2017. In that petition, Mr. Peters sought a declaration that he was not required to register as a sex offender under either state or federal law. He did not bring his claim for relief under section 589.400, which has narrow removal provisions for certain offenders.4 The sheriff filed a motion to dismiss within thirty days of service on the ground that the petition failed "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." The sheriff argued that Mr. Peters was required to register under both federal and state law and was not among those individuals eligible for removal under subsections 7 and 8 of Missouri’s Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA). §§ 589.400.7 and .8. The sheriff also argued that Mr. Peters was time-barred from filing a petition for removal under SORA, which requires that if a removal petition is "denied," the petitioner must "wait at least twelve months before petitioning the court again." § 589.400.9(2). According to the sheriff, the Jackson County Circuit Court had previously addressed Mr. Peters’s claims in dismissing Mr. Peters’s August 2016 petition.

543 S.W.3d 87

Fourteen days after the motion to dismiss was filed and without receiving a response to or hearing argument on the motion, the court found that Mr. Peters "has been required to register under federal law in the past" and that this registration requirement "triggers Missouri’s lifetime registration requirement." Citing section 589.400 and Doe v. Toelke , 389 S.W.3d 165 (Mo. banc 2012), the court dismissed Mr. Peters’s petition with prejudice.5 Mr. Peters timely filed this appeal.

Legal Analysis

In the sole point relied on, Mr. Peters argues that the trial court erred in granting the motion to dismiss without giving him an opportunity to respond because he has stated a cause of action and the rules of civil procedure afford him that opportunity. The sheriff responds not by addressing the merits but by relying on the argument that we can affirm on any ground asserted in the motion to dismiss and that Mr. Peters’s petition was time-barred under section 589.400, an issue not addressed by the trial court.

Because we find that the inclusion of matters outside the declaratory-judgment petition in the motion to dismiss required the trial court to consider matters outside the pleadings, it was required to treat the sheriff’s motion as one for summary judgment and to give the "parties reasonable opportunity to present all material pertinent to such a motion. Rule 55.27." Duvall v. Lawrence , 86 S.W.3d 74, 82 (Mo. App. E.D. 2002) ; see also Golden Valley Disposal, LLC v. Jenkins Diesel Power, Inc., 183 S.W.3d 635, 638 (Mo. App. S.D. 2006) (motions filed in "Case II" were presented as motions to dismiss, but, because documents from "Case I" were presented so the court could consider a res judicata argument, the appellate court was required to "treat the motions as requesting, and the trial court ruling as granting, a summary judgment in favor of defendants"); Defford v. Zurheide-Hermann, Inc. , 536 S.W.2d 804, 808 (Mo. App. 1976) ("A ‘speaking motion to dismiss’ for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, by referring to material not in the pleadings, such as a prior judgment, becomes in effect a motion for summary judgment."). Rule 55.27(a) requires that a motion asserting the plaintiff’s failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted "shall be treated as one for summary judgment" where the movant presents matters outside the pleadings and they are not excluded by the court.6 In that event, the motion shall be "disposed of as provided in Rule 74.04. All parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by Rule 74.04." Rule 55.27(a). The trial court entered its judgment fourteen days after the sheriff filed a motion to dismiss which referred therein to a prior judicial proceeding as well as the facts underlying Mr. Peters’s criminal conviction, matters that were outside the pleadings, thus converting it to a motion for summary judgment. Under Rule 74.04, this was an error. Mr. Peters had thirty days after service of the motion to respond. Rule 74.04(c)(2).7

543 S.W.3d 88

We would also note that, even had the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
5 practice notes
  • Carr v. Mo. Attorney Gen. Office, WD 80727
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • September 18, 2018
    ...a reviewing court is precluded from examining the circumstances underlying the prior conviction." Peters v. Jackson County Sheriff , 543 S.W.3d 85, 88 (Mo. App. 2018) (quoting U.S. v. Price , 777 F.3d 700, 704-05 (4th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted) ). Instead of the categoric......
  • MacColl v. Mo. State Highway Patrol & Boone Cnty., WD84739
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 3, 2022
    ...those who were convicted before 2006, by means of interim and final U.S. Department of Justice rules. 5 Peters v. Jackson Cnty. Sheriff, 543 S.W.3d 85, 88 (Mo. App. W.D. 2018) (citing 72 Fed.Reg. 8894 (Feb. 28, 2007) and 73 Fed.Reg. 38, 030 (July 2, 2008)); see also Horton v. State, 462 S.W......
  • Underwood v. Kahala, LLC, No. SD 35267
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 28, 2018
    ...not in the pleadings, such as a prior judgment, becomes in effect a motion for summary judgment." Peters v. Jackson County Sheriff , 543 S.W.3d 85, 87 (Mo. App. W.D. 2018) (internal quotation and citation omitted). "Under Rule 55.27(a), when the ... pleadings from another case are presented......
  • State v. Rigsby, WD 82018
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • November 19, 2019
    ...a reviewing court is precluded from examining the circumstances underlying the prior conviction . Peters v. Jackson Cnty. Sheriff , 543 S.W.3d 85, 88–89 (Mo. App. W.D. 2018) (emphasis added; citations and internal quotation marks omitted).The Supreme Court in Taylor explained that the "fact......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Carr v. Mo. Attorney Gen. Office, WD 80727
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • September 18, 2018
    ...a reviewing court is precluded from examining the circumstances underlying the prior conviction." Peters v. Jackson County Sheriff , 543 S.W.3d 85, 88 (Mo. App. 2018) (quoting U.S. v. Price , 777 F.3d 700, 704-05 (4th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted) ). Instead of the categoric......
  • MacColl v. Mo. State Highway Patrol & Boone Cnty., WD84739
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 3, 2022
    ...those who were convicted before 2006, by means of interim and final U.S. Department of Justice rules. 5 Peters v. Jackson Cnty. Sheriff, 543 S.W.3d 85, 88 (Mo. App. W.D. 2018) (citing 72 Fed.Reg. 8894 (Feb. 28, 2007) and 73 Fed.Reg. 38, 030 (July 2, 2008)); see also Horton v. State, 462 S.W......
  • Underwood v. Kahala, LLC, No. SD 35267
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 28, 2018
    ...not in the pleadings, such as a prior judgment, becomes in effect a motion for summary judgment." Peters v. Jackson County Sheriff , 543 S.W.3d 85, 87 (Mo. App. W.D. 2018) (internal quotation and citation omitted). "Under Rule 55.27(a), when the ... pleadings from another case are presented......
  • State v. Rigsby, WD 82018
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • November 19, 2019
    ...a reviewing court is precluded from examining the circumstances underlying the prior conviction . Peters v. Jackson Cnty. Sheriff , 543 S.W.3d 85, 88–89 (Mo. App. W.D. 2018) (emphasis added; citations and internal quotation marks omitted).The Supreme Court in Taylor explained that the "fact......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT