§ 517.081. Case certified to presiding judge of circuit, when
A case shall be certified for assignment by the presiding judge of the circuit or in accordance with local rules when:
(1) A party files a petition, a counterclaim, cross claim or third-party petition that independently exceeds the jurisdiction of cases triable under this chapter; or
(2) Consolidation of cases appears proper, and such consolidation would result in a claim exceeding the jurisdictional limit of the division.
In a suit by landlords against their tenants for rent and possession, the case had to be certified for assignment to the presiding judge pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 517.081; the landlords filed their suit in the associate circuit judge division, the tenants filed a counterclaim for an amount that exceeded the jurisdictional amount of that division, and the judicial circuit in which the case was filed had no rule providing for a different procedure. Three Bears Camp & Camping, Inc. v. Johnson, 790 S.W.2d 951, 1990 Mo. App. LEXIS 884 (Mo. Ct. App. 1990).
Greene County Local Rule 2.1(c) states: “If the allegation [that the request for judgment for actual and punitive damages, in the aggregate, will not exceed $25,000] does not appear, such Petitions must be filed with the Circuit Clerk for assignment to a Circuit Judge.”
§ 517.131. Default judgment, when entered
A default judgment may be entered in favor of a party filing a claim upon appearance by such party in person or by attorney upon written oath made by such party or upon such evidence as may be determined by the judge when the opposing party has been duly and timely served with summons and does not appear in court on the return date or subsequent date to which the case has been continued.
§ 509.400. Defenses which may be raised by pleading--waiver
All defenses and objections for which there is no provision for the raising of the same by motion shall be raised in the responsive pleading if one is permitted. When no responsive pleading is required the case shall be deemed at issue. If a responsive pleading is required all defenses or objections not raised therein are waived, except failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or failure to state a legal defense to a claim, and, except lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. All issues of fact raised or deemed to be raised shall be determined at the trial.
§ 509.360. Motion for judgment on pleadings
After the pleadings are closed, but within such time as not to delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the pleadings.
§ 517.021. Rules of civil procedure to apply
The rules of civil procedure shall apply to cases or classes of cases to which this chapter is applicable, except where otherwise provided by law.
§ 517.041. Summons, how served--petition exceeding jurisdictional amount, certified to presiding judge for assignment
1. The process in all cases shall be a summons with a copy of the petition of the plaintiff attached, directed to the sheriff or other proper person for service on the defendant. The summons shall command the defendant to appear before the court on a date and time, not less than ten days nor more than thirty days from the date of service of the summons.
2. If process is not timely served, the plaintiff may request further process be issued to any defendant not timely served with the case being continued, or the plaintiff may dismiss as to any such defendant and proceed with the case.
3. A petition filed which states a claim or claims that in the aggregate exceeds the jurisdictional limit of the division shall be certified to presiding judge for assignment.