Confusion looms over Missouri sunshine law

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | 12:25 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — A new report shows Missouri sheriffs' departments had a mixed response to requests for public records.

A study conducted by the Missouri Sunshine Coalition found some sheriff's departments turned over requested public documents for free, while several sought payment up front for copies of arrest and incident reports. The coalition is a freedom of information group created in 2009 and of which the Columbia Missourian is a member.

Missouri government agencies can charge for research and 10 cents per page for copies

The Missouri Sunshine Coalition requested incident and arrest reports for Sept. 18 from 114 Missouri county sheriff's departments. Roughly three-quarters of the departments responded to the initial request for documents. Twenty agencies sent the documents for free, and about two-dozen offices required payment up front for the records.


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