Join MMACJA Now
Did You Know?
- There are approximately 589 municipal courts in Missouri.
- 399 municipal courts hold court in city facilities.
- 280 lawyers serve 340 municipalities as judge.
- 59 courts are presided over by nonlawyer judges.
- 37 non-lawyers serve as municipal judges.
- Several cities have full-time municipal judges.
- Neither the state nor OSCA provide funding for municipal courts
- Most municipal courts are held in the evening.
- Most Court Administrators are members of Missouri Association of Court Administrators (MACA).
- Most court administrators are appointed by the city, not the judge.
The association consists of over 350 municipal and associate circuit judges from the state of Missouri and our goal is to assist our members in performing their duties as judges.
The association was founded in 1965 to assist judges in municipal and magistrate courts in performing their duties in a uniform and professional manner. In 1979 after the enactment of the court reform amendment to the state constitution, the name of the organization was changed to its current moniker.
The association is not officially affiliated with any government or with the circuit courts or the Missouri Supreme Court.
We believe the main advantage of membership in this association is the excellent educational program presented at both the Annual Courts Conference held on Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning prior to Memorial Day each year at The Lodge of Four Seasons and the regional seminars held each November.
MMACJA provides the opportunity for municipal judges to obtain the continuing legal education required by the Missouri Supreme Court.
- All municipal judges serving the many cities of our state must complete 15 hours of legal education each year in order to serve in their judicial capacity.
- Lay judges complete 15 hours each year of judicial education.
- Lawyer judges must complete at least 5 hours of judicial training each year. (Lawyers are required to complete 15 hours annually, but judges who are attorneys need 5 hours specifically geared to their duties as municipal judges).
Each year in May the association convenes its Annual Court Conference at the Lake of the Ozarks to provide its members and others with 15 hours of judicial education programs, including an ethics component as required by Supreme Court Rules. Each November members of MMACJA present Regional Seminars in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield and Cape Girardeau, which provides 4 hours of CLE. The association in conjunction with OSCA also holds a Non-Lawyer Municipal Judge Certification and New Judge Orientation each year for the newly appointed judges.
MMACJA has been instrumental in securing legislation to support municipal courts.
- In 1997, a bill was passed which authorized a $1.00 court costs per case to be setaside in a judicial education fund to ensure the ability of judges and court personnel to attend educational programs. This statute allows a municipal court to maintain a balance of $1500.00 per eligible person to encourage the continuing education of those who serve our municipal courts.
- In response to numerous requests from various constituencies, MMACJA lobbied to allow municipal judges to solemnize marriages. This came to fruition in 1998 with the passage of the amendment to include municipal judges among those who may perform marriages. The association took the lead in publishing a booklet which provides guidelines and a voluntary code of ethics for those solemnizing marriages, as well as several model ceremonies for the weddings. Judges across the state, from Supreme Court Judges to municipal judges, have found this booklet to be a great source.
- The board of directors has provided to all municipal judges a Model Court Operating Rule which may be adopted by the municipal judge to guide the judge and the court administrator in carrying out the duties imposed on them by law.
The Supreme Court has established a Municipal Judge Education Committee to serve the needs of municipal judges. The committee consists of thirteen judges, most of whom are members of MMACJA. In conjunction with this committee, our association assures all municipal judges are provided the opportunity to maintain the highest level of judicial education for the betterment of each municipal court we serve.