Just last week, the Supreme Court of Missouri in Brainchild Holdings, LLC v. Cameron held that a tenant has a right to a jury trial in rent and possession cases. Prior to that decision, rent and possession cases were handled in a streamlined manner with only a bench trial before an associate circuit court judge. A bench trial means the matter was decided by a judge and not by a jury. Jury trials are generally considered more expensive and time-consuming. If a tenant has a right to a jury trial, it can cause further delay and substantial expense for landlords who are trying to oust a tenant. A well-written lease with an enforceable waiver of jury trial clause can protect landlords.
Since it was generally believed that there was no right to a jury trial in rent and possession cases, many written leases might not contain an enforceable waiver of jury trial clauses. If you are a landlord, it is a good time to have your lease reviewed by an attorney. MTSE has extensive experience with reviewing and drafting leases – both residential and commercial. Give us a call at (816) 364-6677 and let us put that experience to work for you.