top of page

Missouri 2024 Lesson Summaries

2024 Lesson 10: Missouri Sunshine Law


Release Date:


This lesson provides guidance to police officers regarding the Missouri Sunshine Law. The first section explains the purpose of the Sunshine Law and its general policy that public records are open. This section also gives an overview of Sunshine Law provisions that apply to all public governmental bodies, including law enforcement agencies and their peace officers. The second section summarizes and explains the provisions that apply chiefly to law enforcement agencies; including special rules governing arrest reports, incident reports, investigative reports, and expungements; and rules about disclosing information when doing so poses a clear and present danger to the safety of any person (including victims, witnesses, and undercover officers), would jeopardize a criminal investigation, or would expose law enforcement techniques. The third section provides some best practices, including preservation of requested materials, utilizing the custodian of records, protecting the safety and legitimate privacy interests of victims and others, using “safe harbor” options, and demonstrating good faith when evaluating requests for public records. The lesson also explains the civil and criminal penalties that can be imposed, including fines and attorneys’ fees, for Sunshine Law violations.

bottom of page