EFFECTIVE 7-1-21: CHANGE TO M.R.C.P. 55.22, PLEADING CONTRACTS, ASSIGMENTS & ATTORNEY FEES.

 

Do not know if many of you are aware, but there will be a significant change to this rule the middle of this year.

If you recall,  M.R.C.P. 55.22 provides that when a claim or defense is founded upon a written instrument, the instrument may be pleaded in three ways: attach a copy to the pleadings as an exhibit, recite it at length in the pleadings, or plead the instrument according to its legal effect.  Having done one of these, the pleader need do no more toward pleading the instrument.

A new wrinkle is being added. Beginning July 1st there will be a new subsection. Which  provides failure to comply with one of the above methods could result in dismissal of a cause of action without prejudice. Either by motion of a party  or the court on its own accord.  Not sure why the Missouri legislature thought it was  necessary to add this provision.  How many cases will this impact? Seems to me that if you are in this predicament, why wouldn’t a motion to amend suffice?  Would like to know your thoughts. Was this change necessary? How you think this will used or interpreted?