Missouri Public Records Act
610.015 Votes, how taken.
610.027 Violations--remedies, procedure, penalty, purposeful violations--validity of actions by governing bodies in violation--governmental bodies may seek interpretation of law, attorney general to provide.
610.029 Governmental agencies to provide information by electronic services, contracts for public records databases, requirements, electronic services defined--division of data processing may be consulted.
610.030 Injunctive relief authorized.
Chapter 610: Governmental Bodies and Records
Revised Statutes of Missouri
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms mean:
(1) "Closed meeting", "closed record", or "closed vote", any meeting, record or vote closed to the public;
(2) "Copying", if requested by a member of the public, copies provided as detailed in section 610.026, if duplication equipment is available;
(3) "Public business", all matters which relate in any way to the performance of the public governmental body's functions or the conduct of its business;
(4) "Public governmental body", any legislative, administrative or governmental entity created by the constitution or statutes of this state, by order or ordinance of any political subdivision or district, judicial entities when operating in an administrative capacity, or by executive order, including:
(a) Any body, agency, board, bureau, council, commission, committee, board of regents or board of curators or any other governing body of any institution of higher education, including a community college, which is supported in whole or in part from state funds, including but not limited to the administrative entity known as "The Curators of the University of Missouri" as established by section 172.020;
(b) Any advisory committee or commission appointed by the governor by executive order;
(c) Any department or division of the state, of any political subdivision of the state, of any county or of any municipal government, school district or special purpose district including but not limited to sewer districts, water districts, and other subdistricts of any political subdivision;
(d) Any other legislative or administrative governmental deliberative body under the direction of three or more elected or appointed members having rulemaking or quasi-judicial power;
(e) Any committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the entities and which is authorized to report to any of the above-named entities, any advisory committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the named entities for the specific purpose of recommending, directly to the public governmental body's governing board or its chief administrative officer, policy or policy revisions or expenditures of public funds including, but not limited to, entities created to advise bi-state taxing districts regarding the expenditure of public funds, or any policy advisory body, policy advisory committee or policy advisory group appointed by a president, chancellor or chief executive officer of any college or university system or individual institution at the direction of the governing body of such institution which is supported in whole or in part with state funds for the specific purpose of recommending directly to the public governmental body's governing board or the president, chancellor or chief executive officer policy, policy revisions or expenditures of public funds provided, however, the staff of the college or university president, chancellor or chief executive officer shall not constitute such a policy advisory committee. The custodian of the records of any public governmental body shall maintain a list of the policy advisory committees described in this subdivision;
(f) Any quasi-public governmental body. The term "quasi-public governmental body" means any person, corporation or partnership organized or authorized to do business in this state pursuant to the provisions of chapter 352, 353, or 355, or unincorporated association which either:
a. Has as its primary purpose to enter into contracts with public governmental bodies, or to engage primarily in activities carried out pursuant to an agreement or agreements with public governmental bodies; or
b. Performs a public function as evidenced by a statutorily based capacity to confer or otherwise advance, through approval, recommendation or other means, the allocation or issuance of tax credits, tax abatement, public debt, tax-exempt debt, rights of eminent domain, or the contracting of leaseback agreements on structures whose annualized payments commit public tax revenues; or any association that directly accepts the appropriation of money from a public governmental body, but only to the extent that a meeting, record, or vote relates to such appropriation; and
(g) Any bi-state development agency established pursuant to section 70.370;
(5) "Public meeting", any meeting of a public governmental body subject to sections 610.010 to 610.030 at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy formulated, whether such meeting is conducted in person or by means of communication equipment, including, but not limited to, conference call, video conference, internet chat, or internet message board. The term "public meeting" shall not include an informal gathering of members of a public governmental body for ministerial or social purposes when there is no intent to avoid the purposes of this chapter, but the term shall include a public vote of all or a majority of the members of a public governmental body, by electronic communication or any other means, conducted in lieu of holding a public meeting with the members of the public governmental body gathered at one location in order to conduct public business;
(6) "Public record", any record, whether written or electronically stored, retained by or of any public governmental body including any report, survey, memorandum, or other document or study prepared for the public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service paid for in whole or in part by public funds, including records created or maintained by private contractors under an agreement with a public governmental body or on behalf of a public governmental body; provided, however, that personally identifiable student records maintained by public educational institutions shall be open for inspection by the parents, guardian or other custodian of students under the age of eighteen years and by the parents, guardian or other custodian and the student if the student is over the age of eighteen years. The term "public record" shall not include any internal memorandum or letter received or prepared by or on behalf of a member of a public governmental body consisting of advice, opinions and recommendations in connection with the deliberative decision-making process of said body, unless such records are retained by the public governmental body or presented at a public meeting. Any document or study prepared for a public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service as described in this subdivision shall be retained by the public governmental body in the same manner as any other public record;
(7) "Public vote", any vote, whether conducted in person, by telephone, or by any other electronic means, cast at any public meeting of any public governmental body.
610.011. Liberal construction of law to be public policy.
1. It is the public policy of this state that meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public governmental bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law. Sections 610.010 to 610.200 shall be liberally construed and their exceptions strictly construed to promote this public policy.
2. Except as otherwise provided by law, all public meetings of public governmental bodies shall be open to the public as set forth in section 610.020, all public records of public governmental bodies shall be open to the public for inspection and copying as set forth in sections 610.023 to 610.026, and all public votes of public governmental bodies shall be recorded as set forth in section 610.015.
610.015. Votes, how taken.
Except as provided in section 610.021, rules authorized pursuant to Article III of the Missouri Constitution and as otherwise provided by law, all votes shall be recorded, and if a roll call is taken, as to attribute each "yea" and "nay" vote, or abstinence if not voting, to the name of the individual member of the public governmental body. Any votes taken during a closed meeting shall be taken by roll call. All public meetings shall be open to the public and public votes and public records shall be open to the public for inspection and duplication. All votes taken by roll call in meetings of a public governmental body consisting of members who are all elected, except for the Missouri general assembly and any committee established by a public governmental body, shall be cast by members of the public governmental body who are physically present and in attendance at the meeting or who are participating via videoconferencing. When it is necessary to take votes by roll call in a meeting of the public governmental body, due to an emergency of the public body, with a quorum of the members of the public body physically present and in attendance and less than a quorum of the members of the public governmental body participating via telephone, facsimile, internet, or any other voice or electronic means, the nature of the emergency of the public body justifying that departure from the normal requirements shall be stated in the minutes. Where such emergency exists, the votes taken shall be regarded as if all members were physically present and in attendance at the meeting.
610.020. Notice of meetings, when required--recording of meetings to be allowed, guidelines, penalty--accessibility of meetings--minutes of meetings to be kept, content--voting records to be included.
1. All public governmental bodies shall give notice of the time, date, and place of each meeting, and its tentative agenda, in a manner reasonably calculated to advise the public of the matters to be considered, and if the meeting will be conducted by telephone or other electronic means, the notice of the meeting shall identify the mode by which the meeting will be conducted and the designated location where the public may observe and attend the meeting. If a public body plans to meet by internet chat, internet message board, or other computer link, it shall post a notice of the meeting on its website in addition to its principal office and shall notify the public how to access that meeting. Reasonable notice shall include making available copies of the notice to any representative of the news media who requests notice of meetings of a particular public governmental body concurrent with the notice being made available to the members of the particular governmental body and posting the notice on a bulletin board or other prominent place which is easily accessible to the public and clearly designated for that purpose at the principal office of the body holding the meeting, or if no such office exists, at the building in which the meeting is to be held.
2. Notice conforming with all of the requirements of subsection 1 of this section shall be given at least twenty-four hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays when the facility is closed, prior to the commencement of any meeting of a governmental body unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case as much notice as is reasonably possible shall be given. Each meeting shall be held at a place reasonably accessible to the public and of sufficient size to accommodate the anticipated attendance by members of the public, and at a time reasonably convenient to the public, unless for good cause such a place or time is impossible or impractical. Every reasonable effort shall be made to grant special access to the meeting to handicapped or disabled individuals.
3. A public body shall allow for the recording by audiotape, videotape, or other electronic means of any open meeting. A public body may establish guidelines regarding the manner in which such recording is conducted so as to minimize disruption to the meeting. No audio recording of any meeting, record, or vote closed pursuant to the provisions of section 610.021 shall be permitted without permission of the public body; any person who violates this provision shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
4. When it is necessary to hold a meeting on less than twenty-four hours' notice, or at a place that is not reasonably accessible to the public, or at a time that is not reasonably convenient to the public, the nature of the good cause justifying that departure from the normal requirements shall be stated in the minutes.
5. A formally constituted subunit of a parent governmental body may conduct a meeting without notice as required by this section during a lawful meeting of the parent governmental body, a recess in that meeting, or immediately following that meeting, if the meeting of the subunit is publicly announced at the parent meeting and the subject of the meeting reasonably coincides with the subjects discussed or acted upon by the parent governmental body.
6. If another provision of law requires a manner of giving specific notice of a meeting, hearing or an intent to take action by a governmental body, compliance with that section shall constitute compliance with the notice requirements of this section.
7. A journal or minutes of open and closed meetings shall be taken and retained by the public governmental body, including, but not limited to, a record of any votes taken at such meeting. The minutes shall include the date, time, place, members present, members absent and a record of any votes taken. When a roll call vote is taken, the minutes shall attribute each "yea" and "nay" vote or abstinence if not voting to the name of the individual member of the public governmental body.
610.021. Closed meetings and closed records authorized when, exceptions.
Except to the extent disclosure is otherwise required by law, a public governmental body is authorized to close meetings, records and votes, to the extent they relate to the following:
(1) Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body and any confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body or its representatives and its attorneys. However, any minutes, vote or settlement agreement relating to legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body or any agent or entity representing its interests or acting on its behalf or with its authority, including any insurance company acting on behalf of a public government body as its insured, shall be made public upon final disposition of the matter voted upon or upon the signing by the parties of the settlement agreement, unless, prior to final disposition, the settlement agreement is ordered closed by a court after a written finding that the adverse impact to a plaintiff or plaintiffs to the action clearly outweighs the public policy considerations of section 610.011, however, the amount of any moneys paid by, or on behalf of, the public governmental body shall be disclosed; provided, however, in matters involving the exercise of the power of eminent domain, the vote shall be announced or become public immediately following the action on the motion to authorize institution of such a legal action. Legal work product shall be considered a closed record;
(2) Leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the legal consideration therefor. However, any minutes, vote or public record approving a contract relating to the leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body shall be made public upon execution of the lease, purchase or sale of the real estate;
(3) Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by a public governmental body when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded. However, any vote on a final decision, when taken by a public governmental body, to hire, fire, promote or discipline an employee of a public governmental body shall be made available with a record of how each member voted to the public within seventy-two hours of the close of the meeting where such action occurs; provided, however, that any employee so affected shall be entitled to prompt notice of such decision during the seventy-two-hour period before such decision is made available to the public. As used in this subdivision, the term "personal information" means information relating to the performance or merit of individual employees;
(4) The state militia or national guard or any part thereof;
(5) Nonjudicial mental or physical health proceedings involving identifiable persons, including medical, psychiatric, psychological, or alcoholism or drug dependency diagnosis or treatment;
(6) Scholastic probation, expulsion, or graduation of identifiable individuals, including records of individual test or examination scores; however, personally identifiable student records maintained by public educational institutions shall be open for inspection by the parents, guardian or other custodian of students under the age of eighteen years and by the parents, guardian or other custodian and the student if the student is over the age of eighteen years;
(7) Testing and examination materials, before the test or examination is given or, if it is to be given again, before so given again;
(8) Welfare cases of identifiable individuals;
(9) Preparation, including any discussions or work product, on behalf of a public governmental body or its representatives for negotiations with employee groups;
(10) Software codes for electronic data processing and documentation thereof;
(11) Specifications for competitive bidding, until either the specifications are officially approved by the public governmental body or the specifications are published for bid;
(12) Sealed bids and related documents, until the bids are opened; and sealed proposals and related documents or any documents related to a negotiated contract until a contract is executed, or all proposals are rejected;
(13) Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment, except that this exemption shall not apply to the names, positions, salaries and lengths of service of officers and employees of public agencies once they are employed as such, and the names of private sources donating or contributing money to the salary of a chancellor or president at all public colleges and universities in the state of Missouri and the amount of money contributed by the source;
(14) Records which are protected from disclosure by law;
(15) Meetings and public records relating to scientific and technological innovations in which the owner has a proprietary interest;
(16) Records relating to municipal hotlines established for the reporting of abuse and wrongdoing;
(17) Confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body and its auditor, including all auditor work product; however, all final audit reports issued by the auditor are to be considered open records pursuant to this chapter;
(18) Operational guidelines, policies and specific response plans developed, adopted, or maintained by any public agency responsible for law enforcement, public safety, first response, or public health for use in responding to or preventing any critical incident which is or appears to be terrorist in nature and which has the potential to endanger individual or public safety or health. Financial records related to the procurement of or expenditures relating to operational guidelines, policies or plans purchased with public funds shall be open. When seeking to close information pursuant to this exception, the public governmental body shall affirmatively state in writing that disclosure would impair the public governmental body's ability to protect the security or safety of persons or real property, and shall in the same writing state that the public interest in nondisclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the records;
(19) Existing or proposed security systems and structural plans of real property owned or leased by a public governmental body, and information that is voluntarily submitted by a nonpublic entity owning or operating an infrastructure to any public governmental body for use by that body to devise plans for protection of that infrastructure, the public disclosure of which would threaten public safety:
(a) Records related to the procurement of or expenditures relating to security systems purchased with public funds shall be open;
(b) When seeking to close information pursuant to this exception, the public governmental body shall affirmatively state in writing that disclosure would impair the public governmental body's ability to protect the security or safety of persons or real property, and shall in the same writing state that the public interest in nondisclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the records;
(c) Records that are voluntarily submitted by a nonpublic entity shall be reviewed by the receiving agency within ninety days of submission to determine if retention of the document is necessary in furtherance of a state security interest. If retention is not necessary, the documents shall be returned to the nonpublic governmental body or destroyed;
(20) The portion of a record that identifies security systems or access codes or authorization codes for security systems of real property;
(21) Records that identify the configuration of components or the operation of a computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network, and would allow unauthorized access to or unlawful disruption of a computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network of a public governmental body. This exception shall not be used to limit or deny access to otherwise public records in a file, document, data file or database containing public records. Records related to the procurement of or expenditures relating to such computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network, including the amount of moneys paid by, or on behalf of, a public governmental body for such computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network shall be open;
(22) Credit card numbers, personal identification numbers, digital certificates, physical and virtual keys, access codes or authorization codes that are used to protect the security of electronic transactions between a public governmental body and a person or entity doing business with a public governmental body. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to close the record of a person or entity using a credit card held in the name of a public governmental body or any record of a transaction made by a person using a credit card or other method of payment for which reimbursement is made by a public governmental body; and
(23) Records submitted by an individual, corporation, or other business entity to a public institution of higher education in connection with a proposal to license intellectual property or perform sponsored research and which contains sales projections or other business plan information the disclosure of which may endanger the competitiveness of a business.
610.022. Closed meetings, procedure and limitation--public records presumed open unless exempt--objections to closing meetings or records, procedure.
1. Except as set forth in subsection 2 of this section, no meeting or vote may be closed without an affirmative public vote of the majority of a quorum of the public governmental body. The vote of each member of the public governmental body on the question of closing a public meeting or vote and the specific reason for closing that public meeting or vote by reference to a specific section of this chapter shall be announced publicly at an open meeting of the governmental body and entered into the minutes.
2. A public governmental body proposing to hold a closed meeting or vote shall give notice of the time, date and place of such closed meeting or vote and the reason for holding it by reference to the specific exception allowed pursuant to the provisions of section 610.021. Such notice shall comply with the procedures set forth in section 610.020 for notice of a public meeting.
3. Any meeting or vote closed pursuant to section 610.021 shall be closed only to the extent necessary for the specific reason announced to justify the closed meeting or vote. Public governmental bodies shall not discuss any business in a closed meeting, record or vote which does not directly relate to the specific reason announced to justify the closed meeting or vote. Public governmental bodies holding a closed meeting shall close only an existing portion of the meeting facility necessary to house the members of the public governmental body in the closed session, allowing members of the public to remain to attend any subsequent open session held by the public governmental body following the closed session.
4. Nothing in sections 610.010 to 610.028 shall be construed as to require a public governmental body to hold a closed meeting, record or vote to discuss or act upon any matter.
5. Public records shall be presumed to be open unless otherwise exempt pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
6. In the event any member of a public governmental body makes a motion to close a meeting, or a record, or a vote from the public and any other member believes that such motion, if passed, would cause a meeting, record or vote to be closed from the public in violation of any provision in this chapter, such latter member shall state his or her objection to the motion at or before the time the vote is taken on the motion. The public governmental body shall enter in the minutes of the public governmental body any objection made pursuant to this subsection. Any member making such an objection shall be allowed to fully participate in any meeting, record or vote that is closed from the public over the member's objection. In the event the objecting member also voted in opposition to the motion to close the meeting, record or vote at issue, the objection and vote of the member as entered in the minutes shall be an absolute defense to any claim filed against the objecting member pursuant to section 610.027.
610.023. Records of governmental bodies to be in care of custodian, duties--records may be copied but not removed, exception, procedure--denial of access, procedure.
1. Each public governmental body is to appoint a custodian who is to be responsible for the maintenance of that body's records. The identity and location of a public governmental body's custodian is to be made available upon request.
2. Each public governmental body shall make available for inspection and copying by the public of that body's public records. No person shall remove original public records from the office of a public governmental body or its custodian without written permission of the designated custodian. No public governmental body shall, after August 28, 1998, grant to any person or entity, whether by contract, license or otherwise, the exclusive right to access and disseminate any public record unless the granting of such right is necessary to facilitate coordination with, or uniformity among, industry regulators having similar authority.
3. Each request for access to a public record shall be acted upon as soon as possible, but in no event later than the end of the third business day following the date the request is received by the custodian of records of a public governmental body. If records are requested in a certain format, the public body shall provide the records in the requested format, if such format is available. If access to the public record is not granted immediately, the custodian shall give a detailed explanation of the cause for further delay and the place and earliest time and date that the record will be available for inspection. This period for document production may exceed three days for reasonable cause.
4. If a request for access is denied, the custodian shall provide, upon request, a written statement of the grounds for such denial. Such statement shall cite the specific provision of law under which access is denied and shall be furnished to the requester no later than the end of the third business day following the date that the request for the statement is received.
610.024. Public record containing exempt and nonexempt materials, nonexempt to be made available--deleted exempt materials to be explained, exception.
1. If a public record contains material which is not exempt from disclosure as well as material which is exempt from disclosure, the public governmental body shall separate the exempt and nonexempt material and make the nonexempt material available for examination and copying.
2. When designing a public record, a public governmental body shall, to the extent practicable, facilitate a separation of exempt from nonexempt information. If the separation is readily apparent to a person requesting to inspect or receive copies of the form, the public governmental body shall generally describe the material exempted unless that description would reveal the contents of the exempt information and thus defeat the purpose of the exemption.
610.025. Electronic transmission of messages relating to public business, requirements.
Any member of a public governmental body who transmits any message relating to public business by electronic means shall also concurrently transmit that message to either the member's public office computer or the custodian of records in the same format. The provisions of this section shall only apply to messages sent to two or more members of that body so that, when counting the sender, a majority of the body's members are copied. Any such message received by the custodian or at the member's office computer shall be a public record subject to the exceptions of section 610.021.
610.026. Fees for copying public records, limitations--fee money remitted to whom--tax, license or fee as used in Missouri Constitution article X, section 22, not to include copying fees.
1. Except as otherwise provided by law, each public governmental body shall provide access to and, upon request, furnish copies of public records subject to the following:
(a) Fees for copying public records, except those records restricted under section 32.091, shall not exceed ten cents per page for a paper copy not larger than nine by fourteen inches, with the hourly fee for duplicating time not to exceed the average hourly rate of pay for clerical staff of the public governmental body. Research time required for fulfilling records requests may be charged at the actual cost of research time. Based on the scope of the request, the public governmental body shall produce the copies using employees of the body that result in the lowest amount of charges for search, research, and duplication time. Prior to producing copies of the requested records, the person requesting the records may request the public governmental body to provide an estimate of the cost to the person requesting the records. Documents may be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge when the public governmental body determines that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the public governmental body and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester;
(b) Fees for providing access to public records maintained on computer facilities, recording tapes or disks, videotapes or films, pictures, maps, slides, graphics, illustrations or similar audio or visual items or devices, and for paper copies larger than nine by fourteen inches shall include only the cost of copies, staff time, which shall not exceed the average hourly rate of pay for staff of the public governmental body required for making copies and programming, if necessary, and the cost of the disk, tape, or other medium used for the duplication. Fees for maps, blueprints, or plats that require special expertise to duplicate may include the actual rate of compensation for the trained personnel required to duplicate such maps, blueprints, or plats. If programming is required beyond the customary and usual level to comply with a request for records or information, the fees for compliance may include the actual costs of such programming.
2. Payment of such copying fees may be requested prior to the making of copies.
3. Except as otherwise provided by law, each public governmental body of the state shall remit all moneys received by or for it from fees charged pursuant to this section to the director of revenue for deposit to the general revenue fund of the state.
4. Except as otherwise provided by law, each public governmental body of a political subdivision of the state shall remit all moneys received by it or for it from fees charged pursuant to sections 610.010 to 610.028 to the appropriate fiscal officer of such political subdivision for deposit to the governmental body's accounts.
5. The term "tax, license or fees" as used in section 22 of article X of the Constitution of the state of Missouri does not include copying charges and related fees that do not exceed the level necessary to pay or to continue to pay the costs for providing a service, program, or activity which was in existence on November 4, 1980, or which was approved by a vote of the people subsequent to November 4, 1980.
610.027. Violations--remedies, procedure, penalty, purposeful violations--validity of actions by governing bodies in violation--governmental bodies may seek interpretation of law, attorney general to provide.
1. The remedies provided by this section against public governmental bodies shall be in addition to those provided by any other provision of law. Any aggrieved person, taxpayer to, or citizen of, this state, or the attorney general or prosecuting attorney, may seek judicial enforcement of the requirements of sections 610.010 to 610.026. Suits to enforce sections 610.010 to 610.026 shall be brought in the circuit court for the county in which the public governmental body has its principal place of business. Upon service of a summons, petition, complaint, counterclaim, or cross-claim in a civil action brought to enforce the provisions of sections 610.010 to 610.026, the custodian of the public record that is the subject matter of such civil action shall not transfer custody, alter, destroy, or otherwise dispose of the public record sought to be inspected and examined, notwithstanding the applicability of an exemption pursuant to section 610.021 or the assertion that the requested record is not a public record until the court directs otherwise.
2. Once a party seeking judicial enforcement of sections 610.010 to 610.026 demonstrates to the court that the body in question is subject to the requirements of sections 610.010 to 610.026 and has held a closed meeting, record or vote, the burden of persuasion shall be on the body and its members to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of sections 610.010 to 610.026.
3. Upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that a public governmental body or a member of a public governmental body has knowingly violated sections 610.010 to 610.026, the public governmental body or the member shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount up to one thousand dollars. If the court finds that there is a knowing violation of sections 610.010 to 610.026, the court may order the payment by such body or member of all costs and reasonable attorney fees to any party successfully establishing a violation. The court shall determine the amount of the penalty by taking into account the size of the jurisdiction, the seriousness of the offense, and whether the public governmental body or member of a public governmental body has violated sections 610.010 to 610.026 previously.
4. Upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that a public governmental body or a member of a public governmental body has purposely violated sections 610.010 to 610.026, the public governmental body or the member shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount up to five thousand dollars. If the court finds that there was a purposeful violation of sections 610.010 to 610.026, then the court shall order the payment by such body or member of all costs and reasonable attorney fees to any party successfully establishing such a violation. The court shall determine the amount of the penalty by taking into account the size of the jurisdiction, the seriousness of the offense, and whether the public governmental body or member of a public governmental body has violated sections 610.010 to 610.026 previously.
5. Upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that a public governmental body has violated any provision of sections 610.010 to 610.026, a court shall void any action taken in violation of sections 610.010 to 610.026, if the court finds under the facts of the particular case that the public interest in the enforcement of the policy of sections 610.010 to 610.026 outweighs the public interest in sustaining the validity of the action taken in the closed meeting, record or vote. Suit for enforcement shall be brought within one year from which the violation is ascertainable and in no event shall it be brought later than two years after the violation. This subsection shall not apply to an action taken regarding the issuance of bonds or other evidence of indebtedness of a public governmental body if a public hearing, election or public sale has been held regarding the bonds or evidence of indebtedness.
6. A public governmental body which is in doubt about the legality of closing a particular meeting, record or vote may bring suit at the expense of that public governmental body in the circuit court of the county of the public governmental body's principal place of business to ascertain the propriety of any such action, or seek a formal opinion of the attorney general or an attorney for the governmental body.
610.028. Legal defense of members of governmental bodies, when--written policy on release of information required--persons reporting violations exempt from liability and discipline.
1. Any public governmental body may provide for the legal defense of any member charged with a violation of sections 610.010 to 610.030.
2. Each public governmental body shall provide a reasonable written policy in compliance with sections 610.010 to 610.030, open to public inspection, regarding the release of information on any meeting, record or vote and any member or employee of the public governmental body who complies with the written policy is not guilty of a violation of the provisions of sections 610.010 to 610.030 or subject to civil liability for any act arising out of his adherence to the written policy of the agency.
3. No person who in good faith reports a violation of the provisions of sections 610.010 to 610.030 is civilly liable for making such report, nor, if such person is an officer or employee of a public governmental body, may such person be demoted, fired, suspended, or otherwise disciplined for making such report.
610.029. Governmental agencies to provide information by electronic services, contracts for public records databases, requirements, electronic services defined--division of data processing may be consulted.
1. A public governmental body keeping its records in an electronic format is strongly encouraged to provide access to its public records to members of the public in an electronic format. A public governmental body is strongly encouraged to make information available in usable electronic formats to the greatest extent feasible. A public governmental body may not enter into a contract for the creation or maintenance of a public records database if that contract impairs the ability of the public to inspect or copy the public records of that agency, including public records that are online or stored in an electronic record-keeping system used by the agency. Such contract may not allow any impediment that as a practical matter makes it more difficult for the public to inspect or copy the records than to inspect or copy the public governmental body's records. For purposes of this section, a usable electronic format shall allow, at a minimum, viewing and printing of records. However, if the public governmental body keeps a record on a system capable of allowing the copying of electronic documents into other electronic documents, the public governmental body shall provide data to the public in such electronic format, if requested. The activities authorized pursuant to this section may not take priority over the primary responsibilities of a public governmental body. For purposes of this section the term "electronic services" means online access or access via other electronic means to an electronic file or database. This subsection shall not apply to contracts initially entered into before August 28, 2004.
2. Public governmental bodies shall include in a contract for electronic services provisions that:
(a) Protect the security and integrity of the information system of the public governmental body and of information systems that are shared by public governmental bodies; and
(b) Limit the liability of the public governmental body providing the services.
3. Each public governmental body may consult with the division of data processing and telecommunications of the office of administration to develop the electronic services offered by the public governmental body to the public pursuant to this section.
610.030. Injunctive relief authorized.
The circuit courts of this state shall have the jurisdiction to issue injunctions to enforce the provisions of sections 610.010 to 610.115.
610.032. Executive agency disclosure of closed records, purpose, procedure--executive agency defined.
1. If an executive agency's records are closed by law, it may not disclose any information contained in such closed records in any form that would allow identification of individual persons or entities unless:
(a) Disclosure of such information is made to a person in that person's official capacity representing an executive agency and the disclosure is necessary for the requesting executive agency to perform its constitutional or statutory duties; or
(b) Disclosure is otherwise required by law.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, including, but not limited to, section 32.057, such closed information may be disclosed pursuant to this section; however, the providing executive agency may request, as a condition of disclosing such information, that the requesting executive agency submit:
(a) The constitutional or statutory duties necessitating the disclosure of such information;
(b) The name and official capacity of the person or persons to whom such information will be disclosed;
(c) An affirmation that such information will be used only in furtherance of such constitutional or statutory duties; and
(d) The date upon which the access is requested to begin, when the request is for continuous access.
3. Any executive agency receiving such a request for closed information shall keep the request on file and shall only release such information to the person or persons listed on such request. If the request is for continuous access to such information, the executive agency shall honor the request for a period of one year from the beginning date indicated on such request. If the requesting executive agency requests such information for more than one year, the agency shall provide an updated request for closed information to the providing executive agency upon expiration of the initial request.
4. Any person receiving or releasing closed information pursuant to this section shall be subject to any laws, regulations or standards of the providing executive agency regarding the confidentiality or misuse of such information and shall be subject to any penalties provided by such laws, regulations or standards for the violation of the confidentiality or misuse of such information.
5. For the purposes of this section, "executive agency" means any administrative governmental entity created by the constitution or statutes of this state under the executive branch, including any department, agency, board, bureau, council, commission, committee, board of regents or board of curators of any institution of higher learning supported in whole or in part by state funds, any subdivision of an executive agency, and any legally designated agent of such entity.
610.035. State entity not to disclose Social Security number, exceptions.
No state entity shall publicly disclose any Social Security number of a living person unless such disclosure is permitted by federal law, federal regulation or state law or unless such disclosure is authorized by the holder of that Social Security number or unless such disclosure is for use in connection with any civil, criminal, administrative or arbitral proceeding in any federal, state or local court or agency or before any self-regulatory body, including the service of process, investigation in anticipation of litigation and the execution or enforcement of judgments and orders, or pursuant to an order of a federal, state or local court. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the disclosure of Social Security numbers of deceased persons shall be lawful, provided that the state agency disclosing the information knows of no reason why such disclosure would prove detrimental to the deceased individual's estate or harmful to the deceased individual's living relatives. For the purposes of this section, "publicly disclose" shall not include the use of any Social Security number by any state entity in the performance of any statutory or constitutional duty or power or the disclosure of any Social Security number to another state entity, political subdivision, agency of the federal government, agency of another state or any private person or entity acting on behalf of, or in cooperation with, a state entity. Any person or entity receiving a Social Security number from any entity shall be subject to the same confidentiality provisions as the disclosing entity. For purposes of this section, "state entity" means any state department, division, agency, bureau, board, commission, employee or any agent thereof. When responding to any requests for public information pursuant to this chapter, any costs incurred by any state entity complying with the provisions of this section may be charged to the requester of such information.