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Tag: Sunshine Law

PRESS RELEASE: Court of Appeals Rules Task Force “Substantially Complied” with Sunshine Law, Despite Failure to Respond to Four Requests

PRESS RELEASE: Court of Appeals Rules Task Force “Substantially Complied” with Sunshine Law, Despite Failure to Respond to Four Requests

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 12, 2018 CONTACT:  Dave Roland Mexico, Missouri—In an unpublished opinion filed on September 11, 2018, in Malin v. MUSTANG, a panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that, although attorneys for the MUSTANG Task Force admitted that the Task Force had failed to offer any response to four separate requests for public records, the court would affirm a judgment stating that MUSTANG “complied or substantially complied” with the Sunshine Law. An unpublished opinion has no precedential…

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VICTORY: Court Rules Sheriff May Not Withhold Documents, But Shortchanges Victorious Attorneys

VICTORY: Court Rules Sheriff May Not Withhold Documents, But Shortchanges Victorious Attorneys

14779 Audrain Rd. 815            Mexico, Missouri            www.mofreedom.org              (573) 567-0307 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                     CONTACT:  Dave Roland April 18, 2018                                                                                                            (573) 567-0307   VICTORY: Circuit Judge Rules Sheriff May Not Withhold Documents Related to Law Enforcement Officer’s Death, But Shortchanges Victorious Attorneys   Mexico, Missouri—Early in 2007 a mid-Missouri narcotics officer named Melissa Winnie alleged misconduct on the part of several of her co-workers.  Less than a year later, she was dead. For more than a decade…

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Public Officials, Social Media, Transparency, and the First Amendment

Public Officials, Social Media, Transparency, and the First Amendment

The past few decades have seen the development of technologies that raise challenging new questions about citizens’ rights under open records laws, open meetings laws, and the First Amendment.  Several current situations in Missouri may require courts to answer some of these questions. One question has to do with public officials’ use of social media to interact with the public.  Ordinarily, if a public official is hosting an event in a public setting, they cannot selectively exclude citizens from attending. …

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Sometimes Victory Means Avoiding Litigation

Sometimes Victory Means Avoiding Litigation

The Freedom Center’s primary goal is to help shape our legal landscape by winning victories in the courtroom.  But sometimes we can score victories without ever needing to file a lawsuit.  We have a brand-new story to share about just such a victory. A few weeks ago Jerry Dollar, a resident of St. Louis County, let us know that the St. Louis County Police Department was refusing to return a handful of lawfully-obtained, lawfully-owned firearms that it had confiscated from…

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Congratulations, You Won! Now Pay Up.

Congratulations, You Won! Now Pay Up.

On paper, Missouri’s Sunshine Law offers hope that if a citizen can prove in court that the government unlawfully denied a citizen’s access to public records or a public meeting, the citizen might recover the expenses they incurred associated with the lawsuit as well as limited civil penalties.  In practice, however, it is very, very rare for courts to award expenses or civil penalties – although it does sometimes occur, as in our Cole County Prosecuting Attorney case.  To win…

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Good News for Government Transparency!

Good News for Government Transparency!

Last year the Freedom Center of Missouri expanded its mission to include not only constitutional litigation, but also litigation under this state’s Sunshine Law, which guarantees citizens the right to obtain open public records and to attend – and record! – open public meetings of government entities.  The Freedom Center’s Director of Litigation, Dave Roland, had already been handling several Sunshine Law cases, and the Freedom Center recently adopted four of those.  That is why we are very pleased to…

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Merry Christmas From the Freedom Center of Missouri

Merry Christmas From the Freedom Center of Missouri

Dear Friend of the Freedom Center, Christmas is just days away, and here at the Freedom Center we are eager to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the promise of love, peace, and redemption that He brought into the world.  We hope that this season will find you and your family happy, healthy, and hopeful about the potential for the coming New Year! We are also celebrating an early Christmas gift from St. Louis media in the form of excellent coverage…

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