Missouri judge rejects lawsuit about fee to increase deputy's pay

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | 4:37 p.m. CDT; updated 5:06 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 16, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri judge has rejected a challenge to a state law designed to bring in revenue to raise the pay and benefits of sheriffs' deputies.

Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan upheld the constitutionality of the 2008 law in his ruling Wednesday.

The measure instructs sheriffs to collect an extra $10 fee for serving legal documents. The fees move through county treasurers' offices into a special state account to finance higher salaries and benefits for deputies.

St. Charles and St. Louis counties filed suit over the law. They argued that under the Missouri Constitution, proceeds from the new fee should go directly to the county where the money was collected.

Missouri lawmakers approved the measure after learning that deputies in 91 counties were paid so little in 2007 that some qualified for public assistance such as food stamps.


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