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Judge sets argument in Hawley residency case

Judge sets argument in Hawley residency case

December 12th, 2017 by Bob Watson in Local News

FILE - In this June 21, 2017 file photo, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks at a news conference in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jim Salter, File)

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green will hear arguments next week on the state's motion to end a lawsuit challenging Attorney General Josh Hawley's residency.

Last month, Jefferson City resident Donna Mueller filed a three-page lawsuit saying Hawley should either establish his residence in Jefferson City or resign from office.

But the attorney general's office has filed papers arguing against the lawsuit and asking the court to dismiss it.

Those documents were filed with the court last week but were not yet available to the public Monday.

State law says the "attorney general shall reside at the seat of government and keep his office in the supreme court building," and Missouri's Constitution defines Jefferson City as the seat of government.

But Hawley has continued to live at — and vote from — his Boone County home on Missouri 163, between Ashland and Columbia.

Loree Ann Paradise, Hawley's deputy chief of staff, has told the News Tribune: "The attorney general maintains a nearby residence as a matter of custom and his permanent residence is minutes away, enabling him to be at the capital on even the shortest notice."

Mueller's lawyer, Jefferson City attorney Gaylin Rich Carver, wrote last month in a five-page "Suggestions In Support" of the lawsuit: "Missouri cases hold that the term 'residence' in most legal contexts is equivalent to 'domicile.' A person's residence or domicile means his or her place of abode or home, to which he or she goes and returns daily, weekly, or habitually from his or her ordinary business, wherever it is carried out."