State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, No. 79422

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtCOVINGTON
Citation945 S.W.2d 445
Decision Date27 May 1997
Docket NumberNo. 79422
PartiesSTATE ex rel. Daniel L. JOHNSON, Petitioner, v. Honorable Stephen K. GRIFFIN, Judge, Circuit Court, DeKalb County and Honorable Thomas Brown, III, Judge, Circuit Court, Cole County, Respondents.

Page 445

945 S.W.2d 445
STATE ex rel. Daniel L. JOHNSON, Petitioner,
v.
Honorable Stephen K. GRIFFIN, Judge, Circuit Court, DeKalb
County and Honorable Thomas Brown, III, Judge,
Circuit Court, Cole County, Respondents.
No. 79422.
Supreme Court of Missouri,
En Banc.
May 27, 1997.

Daniel L. Johnson, Cameron, pro se.

Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Attorney General, Tracy M. Synan, Assistant Attorney General, Jefferson City, for Respondents.

COVINGTON, Judge.

Relator Daniel L. Johnson seeks a writ of mandamus to compel the judge of the Circuit Court of Cole County to transfer to DeKalb County a case that Johnson alleges was improperly transferred from DeKalb County. After the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, denied Johnson's petition for a writ of mandamus, this Court issued an alternative writ of mandamus, which is now made permanent.

On July 10, 1996, Johnson, an inmate in the Western Missouri Correctional Center, filed in DeKalb County a petition against Mike Kemna, Steve Moore, and Fran Masters in their individual and official capacities as officers of the Western Missouri Correctional Center. Johnson sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that defendants had wrongfully denied him access to his institutional files. In paragraph nine of his petition, Johnson alleged, "Venue is proper under section 536.110.3, RSMo., where the County of DeKalb, State of Missouri, is the home residence of the Petitioner, as well as the geopgraphical [sic] area where such claims as alleged herein are to have arisen, as well as being the county in which the

Page 446

Defendants are emoployed [sic] at the WMCC."

The DeKalb County sheriff filed his return of service on July 19, 1996. On August 16, 1996, defendants filed their answer. In paragraph nine, defendants stated, "With regard to paragraph 9 of plaintiff's complaint, defendants admit that Western Missouri Correctional Center is in DeKalb County, Missouri. Defendants deny that plaintiff has pled a cause of action that invokes this Court's jurisdiction and venue, and deny all remaining allegations." On September 27, 1996, defendants filed a request for change of venue, alleging that venue is improper in DeKalb County and proper in Cole County. On October 10, 1996, the DeKalb County Circuit Court sustained defendants' motion and transferred the case to Cole County.

Mandamus is a discretionary writ, not a writ of right. State ex rel. Chassaing v. Mummert, 887 S.W.2d 573, 576 (Mo. banc 1994). Mandamus will lie only when there is a clear, unequivocal, and specific right. Id. The purpose of the writ is to execute, not adjudicate. Id. If there is a clear, presently existing right to have...

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5 practice notes
  • Mogley v. Fleming
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 7, 1999
    ...However, if a party fails to timely raise the issue of improper venue then the issue is deemed waived. State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446-47 (Mo. banc 1997); State ex rel. DePaul Health Center v. Mummert, 870 S.W.2d 820, 822 (Mo. banc 1994). "If venue is improper, it......
  • State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Com'n, No. 81757
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 31, 1999
    ...is well settled. Mandamus is a discretionary writ, and there is no right to have the writ issued. State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446 (Mo. banc 1997) (citing State ex rel. Chassaing v. Mummert, 887 S.W.2d 573, 576 (Mo. banc 1994)). Mandamus will lie only when there is a cl......
  • State ex rel. Mason v. County Legislature, No. WD 61185.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 28, 2002
    ...529, RSMo makes provision for mandamus. The purpose of mandamus is to execute and not to adjudicate. State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446 (Mo. banc 1997). Mandamus is a discretionary writ, and no right exists to have the writ issue. State ex rel. Mo. Growth Ass'n. v. State ......
  • State ex rel. Riordan v. Dierker, No. 79781
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 25, 1997
    ...right to have the case adjudicated in Cole County, a writ of mandamus is the appropriate remedy. See State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446 (Mo. banc The issue in this case is whether sec. 84.015, RSMo Supp.1996, provides exclusive venue in the City of St. Louis. This section......
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7 cases
  • Mogley v. Fleming
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 7, 1999
    ...However, if a party fails to timely raise the issue of improper venue then the issue is deemed waived. State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446-47 (Mo. banc 1997); State ex rel. DePaul Health Center v. Mummert, 870 S.W.2d 820, 822 (Mo. banc 1994). "If venue is improper, it inur......
  • State ex rel. Missouri Growth Ass'n v. State Tax Com'n, No. 81757
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • August 31, 1999
    ...is well settled. Mandamus is a discretionary writ, and there is no right to have the writ issued. State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446 (Mo. banc 1997) (citing State ex rel. Chassaing v. Mummert, 887 S.W.2d 573, 576 (Mo. banc 1994)). Mandamus will lie only when there is a cl......
  • State ex rel. Mason v. County Legislature, No. WD 61185.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 28, 2002
    ...529, RSMo makes provision for mandamus. The purpose of mandamus is to execute and not to adjudicate. State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446 (Mo. banc 1997). Mandamus is a discretionary writ, and no right exists to have the writ issue. State ex rel. Mo. Growth Ass'n. v. State ......
  • State v. the Honorable Max E. Bacon, SC83559
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • January 8, 2002
    ...venue in Greene County. I would quash the preliminary order. Notes: (FN1). See Rule 55.27(a)(3) (2000); State ex rel. Johnson v. Griffin, 945 S.W.2d 445, 446 (Mo. banc 1997); State ex rel. Breckenridge v. Sweeney, 920 S.W.2d 901, 902 (Mo. banc 1996); State ex rel. Clark v. Gallagher, 801 S.......
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