16th Judicial Circuit Court of Jackson County
"The courts of justice shall be open to every person, and certain remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character, and that right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay."
Missouri Constitution, Bill of Rights
The Jackson County Circuit Court is a very busy place. In 2011, more than 73,285 people asked the Court to intervene in a dispute, provide justice to a victim, or settle a family matter. With a population of 674,158 people in 2010, that means almost 9.2 percent of the people in the County accessed the Court in 2011.
That’s a big number, and it does not include all the citizens who had a minor issue that was resolved in one of the 16 municipal courts in the county.
The 16th Judicial Circuit, located in Jackson County, Missouri is part of the state court system. There are 45 circuits in Missouri.
The circuit court is a court of general jurisdiction so, unless it is a municipal matter, most cases are filed with this court. Those include criminal, civil, probate, juvenile and small claims matters.
Cases that are appealed from the circuit court go to the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District which is located in Kansas City. If the case is appealed from there, it goes to the Missouri Supreme Court in Jefferson City.
The Jackson County Circuit Court is comprised of 19 circuit court judges, nine associate circuit court judges and eight commissioners. Circuit judges serve a term of six years, and associate circuit judges serve a term of four years. Commissioners are appointed to a four year term by the judges sitting as a whole, or as a court en banc.
The judges hear cases at four locations. The majority of the judges sit at the Kansas City Courthouse in downtown Kansas City, which is located at 415 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106.
About a third of the judges sit in eastern Jackson County at the Independence Courthouse located at 308 W. Kansas, Independence, Missouri 64050.
At the Criminal Justice Building, one circuit and one associate circuit judge oversee arraignments and preliminary hearings before a case is transferred to a trial division. That building is one block south of the downtown courthouse, and is located at 1315 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri.
Cases at the Family Court, which primarily handles juvenile matters, are overseen by one circuit court judge and three commissioners. The building at 625 E. 26th St. in Kansas City, Missouri, houses courtrooms, support staff and the Juvenile Detention Center.
In addition to the judicial functions, the Court also oversees the staff and services provided by the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center and two juvenile residential treatment facilities.
The Court is funded by the state and the county. In 2012, the yearly budget for all services provided is almost $50 million dollars. The Court employs 807 people in full and part time positions. It also has about 40 people who work on a temporary or back up basis.