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Missouri Court of Appeals denies motion to intervene in COVID-19 health order ruling

Greg Sims
Posted at 10:53 AM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 11:53:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, ruled against an appeal by several agencies across the state, including Jackson County, that attempted to intervene in a Cole County lawsuit last year limiting the health department’s response to COVID-19.

After the Cole County Circuit Court ruled in November that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services cannot enforce public health orders or close schools, multiple agencies appealed the decision.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt stated that Missouri would not appeal the decision on Dec. 2.

St. Louis County and Jackson County filed a joint motion to intervene with the ruling, and motions from the Cooper County Public Health Center, Livingston County Health Center and Jefferson County Health Center followed.

The Court of Appeals has now approved the initial decision from the circuit court.

On Dec. 22, the court denied the motion to intervene after the plaintiffs and DHSS opposed the motions, and after Schmitt said that he has exclusive authority in determining whether to appeal a decision.

The Court of Appeals stated that "because the trial court’s denial of the motions to intervene was affirmed," the intervenors were not able to pursue an appeal.