Statutory Citation: Mo. Code §610.023 et seq.

Definition of Public Record

Records are defined by Missouri law as “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.” 1

Exemptions to Public Records

Personnel records, social security information, proprietary information in science or technology, personal financial information, law enforcement techniques and active cases, many kinds of medical records, scholastic information and sealed bids. 2

Who Can Make The Request?


Response Timeframe

3 days. 3

Information on Fees

Searches must be conducted in the most efficient way possible but searches can be charged for at actual cost of labor. Copying is charged for at actual cost of labor and the cost of the paper or electronic means used in duplication. Copy fees should not exceed 10 cents per page. 4

Enforcement Mechanisms

Any aggrieved person, any Missouri taxpayer or citizen, the Attorney General or prosecuting attorney may seek judicial enforcement of the Sunshine Law. Mo.Rev.Stat. § 610.027.1. The Attorney General takes a role in enforcing the Sunshine Law, including issuing opinions regarding the scope of the Law.(see) The Attorney General is authorized to sue to enforce the Sunshine Law (Mo.Rev.Stat. § 610.027.1), but the office rarely initiates litigation, although it may file a brief as amicus curiae. 5

Attorney Fees

Yes, if you win your appeal in court. 6

Do You Want to Make a Public Records Request?

The public records process begins with a public records request. Our guide outlines best practices for drafting well-defined requests for public information.

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Questions? Contact the Goldwater Institute.

If you have any questions regarding this guide or your rights to public information, please contact the Goldwater Institute at info@goldwaterinstitute.org to determine if the Institute can help you access information necessary to hold your government accountable.

Goldwater Institute