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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A state appeals court has ordered a Missouri judge to stop operating a domestic abuse court because proper procedure wasn't followed when it was set up.

Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson had challenged the domestic abuse court because of his concerns, and the Missouri Court of Appeals agreed. It wasn't immediately clear if Judge Calvin Holden will appeal the issue to the state Supreme Court.

The Springfield News-Leader reported the ruling will likely end Holden's bi-monthly treatment program for men convicted of domestic assault.

The judge established the domestic abuse court in March 2018 as a way to put offenders under close supervision in an effort to prevent them from being repeat offenders. Participants in the program are required to maintain jobs or stay involved in vocational or educational programs.

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