Missouri counties contest fee for deputy sheriff pay

Monday, August 31, 2009 | 4:27 p.m. CDT; updated 4:34 p.m. CDT, Monday, August 31, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — Officials of two Missouri counties have told a judge they think a 2008 law raising legal fees to fund better pay for deputy sheriffs is unconstitutional.

The law lets Missouri sheriffs charge an extra $10 to serve subpoenas and other court documents. The proceeds are deposited into a special state account.

In Cole County Circuit Court on Monday, lawyers for St. Charles and St. Louis counties argued the state has no constitutional right to demand that counties turn over the proceeds of a fee. The lawyers said counties should get to keep the money and decide how to use it, or the entire law should be found unconstitutional.

The attorney general's office contends the state has a legitimate interest in certain law enforcement matters.


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