[Ord. No. 4720 §1(2-15(A)), 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 4907 §1, 8-16-2004]
As used in this Chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms mean:
- CLOSED MEETING, CLOSED RECORD OR CLOSED VOTE
- Any meeting, record or vote closed to the public.
- If requested by a member of the public, copies provided in accord with the payment of fees authorized by this Chapter, if duplication equipment is available.
- PUBLIC BUSINESS
- All matters which relate in any way to the performance of the City's functions or the conduct of its business.
- PUBLIC GOVERNMENTAL BODY
- Any legislative, administrative or governmental entity created by the Constitution or Statutes of this State, by orders or ordinances of the City, judicial entities when operating in an administrative capacity, or by executive order, including:
- 1. The City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Board of Adjustment and any other board or commission of the City established by law;
- 2. Any other commission or committee appointed by the Mayor or City Council, including any advisory committee appointed for the specific purpose of recommending to the Mayor or City Council policy, policy revisions or the expenditure of public funds. The City Clerk shall maintain a list of all City commissions or committees appointed as provided in this definition;
- 3. Any other legislative or administrative governmental deliberative body under the direction of three (3) or more elected or appointed members having rule-making or quasi-judicial power;
- 4. Any committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the entities noted herein and which is authorized to report to any of the above-named entities; and
- 5. Any quasi-public governmental body. The term "quasi-public governmental body" means any corporation organized or authorized to do business in this State pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 352, 353 or 355, RSMo., 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 or ordinance-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 lease-back agreements on structures whose annualized payments commit public tax revenues; or any association that directly accepts the appropriations of money from the City, but only to the extent that a meeting, record or vote relates to such appropriation.
- PUBLIC MEETING
- Any meeting of a public governmental body subject to Article I of this Chapter 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
[Ord. No. 4720 §1(2-15(B)), 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 4907 §2, 8-16-2004; Ord. No. 5242 §1, 3-18-2014]
All meetings, records, votes, actions and deliberations of public governmental bodies of the City shall be open to the public in accordance with Chapter 610, RSMo., except the City may close any meeting, record, vote, action or deliberation relating to the following:
Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving the City and any confidential or privileged communications between the City or its representatives and its attorneys. However, any minutes, vote or settlement agreement relating to legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving the City or any agent or any entity representing its interests or acting on its behalf or with its authority, including any insurance company acting on behalf of the City 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, RSMo.; however, the amount of any moneys paid by, or on behalf of, the City 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.
Leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by the City 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 the City shall be made public upon full execution of the lease, purchase or sale of the real estate.
Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by the City when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded. However, any vote on a final decision, when taken by the City, to hire, fire, promote or discipline an employee shall be made available to the public with a record of how each member voted within seventy-two (72) 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 Subsection the term "personal information" means information relating to the performance or merit of individual employees.
The State Militia or National Guard or any part thereof.
Non-judicial mental or physical health proceedings involving identifiable persons, including medical, psychiatric, psychological or alcoholism or drug dependency diagnosis or treatment.
Scholastic probation, expulsion, or graduation of identifiable individuals, including records of individual test or examination scores.
Testing and examination materials, before the test or examination is given, or if it is to be given again, before so given again.
Welfare cases of identifiable individuals.
Preparation, including any discussions or work product, on behalf of the City or its representatives for negotiations with employee groups.
Software codes for electronic data processing and documentation thereof.
Specifications for competitive bidding, until either the specifications are officially approved by the City or the specifications are published for bid.
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.
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 the City once they are employed as such.
Records that are protected from disclosure by law, including but not limited to tax records made confidential by State or Federal law, information received from executive agencies pursuant to Section 610.032, RSMo., and social security numbers received from a State entity pursuant to Section 610.035, RSMo., records of ownership of a firearm or applications for ownership, licensing, certification, permitting, or an endorsement that allows a person to own, acquire, possess, or carry a firearm as provided in Section 571.011, RSMo., information regarding any holder of a concealed carry permit, or a concealed carry endorsement issued prior to August 28, 2013, as provided in Section 571.037, RSMo.
Meetings and public records relating to scientific and technological innovations in which the owner has a proprietary interest.
Records relating to municipal hotlines established for the reporting of abuse and wrongdoing.
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.
[Ord. No. 5309 §1, 11-16-2015]
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.
[Ord. No. 5309 §1, 11-16-2015]
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 non-public 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.
[Ord. No. 5309 §1, 11-16-2015]
Records related to the procurement of or expenditures relating to security systems 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 non-disclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the records.
Records that are voluntarily submitted by a nonpublic entity shall be reviewed by the receiving agency within ninety (90) 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 non-public governmental body or destroyed;
The portion of a record that identifies security systems or access codes or authorization codes for security systems of real property.
[Ord. No. 5309 §1, 11-16-2015]
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 the City. 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, the City for such computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network shall be open.
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 the City and a person or entity doing business with the City. 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 the City 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 the City.
All records that may be closed hereby are deemed closed records unless the City Council votes to make them public.
[Ord. No. 4720 §1(2-15(C)), 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 4907 §3, 8-16-2004]
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.
If another provision of law requires a manner of giving specific notice of a meeting, hearing or intent to take action by a governmental body, compliance with that provision shall constitute compliance with the notice requirements of this Chapter.
A formally constituted subunit of a parent governmental body may conduct a meeting without notice 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 to the meeting reasonably coincides with the subjects discussed or acted upon by the parent governmental body.
Notice. Each public governmental body 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 at City Hall or other prominent place which is easily accessible to the public and clearly designated for that purpose at the City Hall.
The notice shall be given at least twenty-four (24) hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays when the City Hall is closed, prior to the commencement of any meeting of any 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.
Access. 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.
Recording. 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, RSMo., shall be permitted without permission of the public body; any person who violates this provision shall be guilty of an offense and upon conviction shall be punished in Section 100.150 of the Municipal Code.
Minutes. 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.
Votes. All votes shall be recorded, and when a roll call is taken, as to attribute each "aye" and "nay" vote, or abstinence if not voting, to the name of the individual member of the public governmental body. Votes taken during a closed meeting shall be taken by roll call. All votes taken by roll call in meetings consisting of members who are all elected and any committee established by the City shall be cast by members who are physically present and in attendance at the meeting. When it is necessary to take votes by roll call in a meeting due to an emergency with a quorum of the members present and in attendance and less than a quorum of the members participating via telephone, facsimile, Internet or any other voice or electronic means, the nature of the emergency 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.
[Ord. No. 4720 §1(2-15(D)), 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 4907 §4, 8-16-2004]
Calling A Closed Meeting Or Vote. Before closing a meeting to the public, a majority of a quorum of a public governmental body must vote to do so in a public vote. The vote of each member of the governmental body on the question of closing the meeting or vote and the reason for closing the meeting or vote by reference to a specific exception pursuant to the provisions of Section 610.021, RSMo., shall be announced at a public meeting and entered into the minutes.
Notice. Each governmental body proposing to hold a closed meeting shall give notice of the time, date and place of a closed meeting and the reason for holding it by reference to a specific exception. The notice shall otherwise be the same as described in Section 130.030(A)(1).
Any meeting or vote closed pursuant to Section 610.021, RSMo., 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.
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 Chapter 610, RSMo., 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 Chapter 610, RSMo.
[Ord. No. 4720 §1(2-15(E)), 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 4907 §§5 — 6, 8-16-2004]
Public Access To Records.
The City Clerk shall be the custodian of records and will be responsible for maintenance and control of all records. The Clerk may designate deputy custodians in operating departments of the City and such other departments or offices as the Clerk may determine. Deputy custodians shall conduct matters relating to public records and meetings in accord with the policies enumerated herein.
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 (3rd) business day following the date the request is received by the custodian of records of the City. 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 (3) days for reasonable cause.
If a request for access is denied, the Clerk 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 (3rd) business day following the date that the request for the statement is received.
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 (2) 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, RSMo.
Fees for copying public records, except those records restricted under Section 32.091, RSMo., shall not exceed ten cents ($0.10) per page for a paper copy not larger than nine (9) by fourteen (14) inches, with the hourly fee for duplicating time not to exceed the average hourly rate of pay for clerical staff of the City. 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 City shall produce the copies using employees of the City 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 City to provide an estimate of the cost to the person requesting the records. The custodian shall receive, or may require, payment prior to duplicating documents.
Upon request, the public government body shall certify in writing that the actual cost of record search and duplication is fair, reasonable and does not exceed the actual cost incurred by the public governmental body.
The City may furnish documents without charge or at a reduced charge when the City 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 requestor.
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 (9) by fourteen (14) inches shall include only the cost of copies, staff time, which shall not exceed the average hourly rate of pay for staff of the City required for making copies and programming, if necessary, and the cost of the disk or 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.
[Ord. No. 4720 §1(2-15(F)), 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 4907 §7, 8-16-2004; Ord. No. 5309 §2, 11-16-2015; Ord. No. 5332 § 1, 9-19-2016]
As used in this policy, the following terms shall have these prescribed meanings:
- An actual restraint of the person of the defendant, or by his or her submission to the custody of the officer, under authority of a warrant or otherwise for a criminal violation which results in the issuance of a summons or the person being booked.
- ARREST REPORT
- A record of a Law Enforcement Agency of an arrest and of any detention or confinement incident thereto together with the charge therefor.
- An investigation in which no further action will be taken by a Law Enforcement Agency or officer for any of the following reasons:
- 1. A decision by the Law Enforcement Agency not to pursue the case;
- 2. Expiration of the time to file criminal charges pursuant to the applicable statute of limitations, or ten (10) years after the commission of the offense; whichever date earliest occurs;
- 3. Finality of the convictions of all persons convicted on the basis of the information contained in the investigative report, by exhaustion of or expiration of all rights of appeal of such persons.
- INCIDENT REPORT
- A record of a Law Enforcement Agency consisting of the date, time, specific location, name of the victim and immediate facts and circumstances surrounding the initial report of a crime or incident, including any logs of reported crimes, accidents and complaints maintained by that agency.
- INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
- A record, other than an arrest or incident report, prepared by personnel of a Law Enforcement Agency, inquiring into a crime or suspected crime, either in response to an incident report or in response to evidence developed by Law Enforcement Officers in the course of their duties.
- MOBILE VIDEO RECORDER
- Any system or device that captures visual signals that is capable of being installed in a vehicle or being worn or carried by personnel of a Law Enforcement Agency and that includes, at minimum, a camera and recording capabilities.
- MOBILE VIDEO RECORDING
- Any data captured by a mobile video recorder, including audio, video, and any metadata.
- NON-PUBLIC LOCATION
- A place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a dwelling, school or medical facility.
The Police Department shall maintain records of all incidents reported to it, and investigations and arrests made by it. All incident reports and arrest reports shall be open records. Notwithstanding any other provision of law other than the provisions of Subsections (4), (5) and (6) of Section 610.100, RSMo., or Section 320.083, RSMo., except as provided herein mobile video recordings and investigative reports are closed records until the investigation becomes inactive. If any person is arrested and not charged with an offense against the law within thirty (30) days of the person's arrest, the arrest report shall thereafter be a closed record except that the disposition portion of the record may be accessed and except as provided in Section 610.120, RSMo.
Except as provided in Subsections (3) and (5) of Section 610.100, RSMo., a mobile video recording that is recorded in a non-public location shall be a closed record, except that any person who is depicted in the recording or whose voice is in the recording, or their legal guardian or parent if such person is a minor, or a family member within the first degree of consanguinity if such person is deceased or incompetent, or an attorney or insurer for such person, may obtain a complete, unaltered, and unedited copy of the recording upon written request, once any related investigation has become inactive or as otherwise required by law. Any person who requests and receives such a mobile video recording shall be subject to the restrictions on display and disclosure set forth in Subsection (8) of Section 610.100, RSMo.
Except as provided in Subsections (4), (5), (6) and (7) of Section 610.100, RSMo., if any portion of a record or document of a Law Enforcement Officer or Agency, other than an arrest report, which would otherwise be open, contains information that is reasonably likely to pose a clear and present danger to the safety of any victim, witness, undercover officer, or other person; or jeopardize a criminal investigation, including records which would disclose the identity of a source wishing to remain confidential or a suspect not in custody; or which would disclose techniques, procedures or guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, that portion of the record shall be closed and shall be redacted from any record made available pursuant to Chapter 610, RSMo.
Any person, including a legal guardian or parent of such person if he or she is a minor, family member of such person within the first degree of consanguinity if such person is deceased or incompetent, attorney for a person, or insurer of a person involved in any incident or whose property is involved in an incident, may obtain any records closed pursuant to Section 610.100, RSMo., or Section 610.150, RSMo., for purposes of investigation of any civil claim or defense, as provided by Section 610.100.4, RSMo., and this policy. Any individual, legal guardian or parent of such person if he or she is a minor, his or her family member within the first degree of consanguinity if such individual is deceased or incompetent, his or her attorney or insurer, involved in an incident or whose property is involved in an incident, upon written request, may obtain a complete unaltered and unedited incident report concerning the incident, and may obtain access to other records closed by the Police Department pursuant to Section 610.100, RSMo. Within thirty (30) days of such request, the Department shall provide the requested material or file a motion with the Circuit Court of St. Louis County stating that the safety of the victim, witness or other individual cannot be reasonably ensured, or that a criminal investigation is likely to be jeopardized and thereafter comply with the final rulings of the courts thereon.
The victim of an offense as provided in Chapter 566, RSMo., may request that his or her identity be kept confidential until a charge relating to such incident is filed.
Editor’s Note: Section 1 also retitled this Section from “Daily Log or Record Maintained By Police Department of Crimes, Accidents or Complaints — Public Access To Certain Information” to “Public Access To Certain Information.”
[Ord. No. 4720 §1(2-15(G)), 9-8-1998; Ord. No. 4794 §1, 9-17-2001]
Medical Records. All information obtained by the City regarding medical examinations, medical condition or medical history of City employees or job applicants, if retained by the City, shall be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and shall be treated as closed and confidential records, except that:
Supervisors and managers may be informed regarding necessary restrictions on the work duties of employees and necessary accommodations;
First aid and safety personnel may be informed, when appropriate, if the information reflects the existence of a disability which might require emergency treatment; or
Government officials investigating compliance with State or Federal law pertaining to treatment of persons with disabilities may be allowed access to such records.
Segregation Of Exempt Material. If a public record contains material which is not exempt from disclosure, as well as material which is exempt from disclosure, the Clerk shall separate the exempt and non-exempt material and make the non-exempt material available for examination and copying in accord with the policies provided herein. When designing a public record the Clerk shall, to the extent practicable, facilitate a separation of exempt from non-exempt information. If the separation is readily apparent to a person requesting to inspect or receive copies of the form, the Clerk 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.
Maintenance Of Closed Records. Records required to be closed shall not be destroyed, but they shall be inaccessible to the general public and to all persons other than those authorized by ordinance or State law, including but not limited to Section 610.120, RSMo.
Police Records. If the person arrested is charged but the case is subsequently nolle prossed, dismissed or the accused is found not guilty or imposition of sentence is suspended in the court in which the action is prosecuted, official records pertaining to the case shall thereafter be closed records when such case is finally terminated except as provided in Section 610.120, RSMo., and except that the court's judgment or order or the final action taken by the prosecutor in such matters may be accessed. If the accused is found not guilty due to mental disease or defect pursuant to Section 552.030, RSMo., official records pertaining to the case shall thereafter be closed records upon such findings, except that the disposition may be accessed only by law enforcement agencies, child-care agencies, facilities as defined in Section 198.006, RSMo., and in-home services provider agencies as defined in Section 660.250, RSMo., in the manner established by Section 610.120, RSMo.
[Ord. No. 4720 §1(2-15(H)), 9-8-1998]
A public governmental body or record custodian in doubt about the legality of closing a particular meeting, record or vote may, subject to approval by the City Council, bring suit in the Circuit Court for the County of St. Louis to ascertain the propriety of such action. In addition, subject to approval by the City Council, the public governmental body or custodian may seek a formal opinion of the Attorney General or an attorney for the City regarding the propriety of such action. In such events, the proposed closed meeting or public access to the record or vote shall be deferred for a reasonable time pending the outcome of the actions so taken.
[Ord. No. 5243 § 1, 3-18-2014]
Policy Statement. While it is legally permissible for members of the City's public governmental bodies to attend meetings and vote via videoconference transmission, a member's use of videoconference attendance should occur only sparingly. Because it is good public policy for citizens to have the opportunity to meet with their elected officials face to face, elected members of a public governmental body should endeavor to be physically present at all meetings. The primary purpose of attendance by videoconference connection should be to accommodate the public governmental body as a whole to allow meetings to occur when circumstances would otherwise prevent the physical attendance of a quorum of the body's members. A secondary purpose of attendance by videoconference should be to ensure that all members may participate in business of the public governmental body that is emergency or highly important in nature and arose quickly so as to make attendance at a regular meeting practically impossible. Except in emergency situations, all reasonable efforts should be expended to ensure that a quorum of the members of the public governmental body be physically present at the normal meeting place of the body.
Videoconference Defined. For purposes of this Section, "videoconference" or "videoconferencing" shall refer to a means of communication where at least one (1) member of a public governmental Body participates in the public meeting via an electronic connection made up of three (3) components: (1) a live video transmission of the member of the public governmental body not in physical attendance; (2) a live audio transmission allowing the member of the public governmental body not in physical attendance to be heard by those in physical attendance; and (3) a live audio transmission allowing the member of the public governmental body not in physical attendance to hear those in physical attendance at a meeting. If at any time during a meeting one (1) or more of the elements of a videoconference becomes compromised (e.g., if any participants are unable to see, hear, or fully communicate), then the videoconference participant is deemed absent, and this absence should be reflected in the minutes.
Frequency Of Use Of Videoconference Attendance. A member of a public governmental body shall not attend more than two (2) meetings via videoconference in a rolling twelve-month period. Attendance via videoconference should only occur sparingly and for good cause. Such good cause shall be at the discretion of the member seeking to attend by videoconference, but shall include reasons such as serious illness or injury of the member or a member of his or her immediate family, including father or mother, spouse, sibling, child, or grandchild.
Physical Location. The City shall cause there to be provided at the physical location communication equipment consisting of an audio and visual display, and a camera and microphone so that the member(s) participating via videoconferencing, the members of the public governmental body in physical attendance, and the public in physical attendance may actively participate in the meeting in accordance with rules of meeting decorum. The communication equipment at the physical location of the meeting should allow for all meeting attendees to see, hear, and fully communicate with the videoconferencing participant.
Voting. Elected members of a public governmental body attending a public meeting of that body via videoconference are deemed present for purposes of participating in a roll call vote to the same effect as elected members of a public governmental body in physical attendance at a public meeting of that governmental body are deemed present. If any component of the videoconference communication fails during the meeting, the member attending the meeting by videoconference whose connection failed shall be deemed absent immediately upon such failure. If the public governmental body was in the act of voting, the voting shall stop until all of the components of videoconference attendance are again restored and the videoconference participant's presence is again noted in the minutes, or the member is determined to be absent.
Closed Meetings. In a meeting where a member of a public governmental body is participating via videoconferencing and the meeting goes into a closed session, all provisions of Missouri law and City ordinances relating to closed sessions apply. Upon the public governmental body's vote to close the meeting, all members of the general public shall not be present. Likewise, a member of a public governmental body participating via videoconferencing must ensure there are no members of the public present at his or her location to see, hear, or otherwise communicate during the closed session. The member must also take all reasonable precautions to guard against interception of communication by others.
Minutes. In any open or in closed session, the minutes taken should reflect the member, if any, participating via videoconference, the members in physical attendance, and members, if any, absent.
Emergency Meetings. In the event that emergency circumstances create impossibility for the members of a public governmental body to physically attend, the body as a whole may meet and vote by videoconference. Examples of such emergency circumstances include, but are not limited to, war, riot, terrorism, widespread fire, or natural disaster such as earthquake, tornado, hurricane, flood or blizzard. To the extent reasonably possible in such circumstances, the public governmental body shall use reasonable efforts to cause a physical location to be provided for public attendance and participation.
[Ord. No. 5332 § 2, 9-19-2016]
Crime scene photographs and video recordings, including photographs and video recordings created or produced by a State or local agency or by a perpetrator or suspect at a crime scene, which depict or describe a deceased person in a state of dismemberment, decapitation, or similar mutilation including, without limitation, where the deceased person's genitalia are exposed, shall be considered closed records and shall not be subject to disclosure under the provisions of this Chapter unless otherwise ordered by court or required by law; provided, however, that this Section shall not prohibit disclosure of such material to the deceased's next of kin or to an individual who has secured a written release from the next of kin. It shall be the responsibility of the next of kin to show proof of the familial relationship. For purposes of such access, the deceased's next of kin shall be:
The provisions of this Section shall not apply to disclosure of crime scene material to counsel representing a convicted defendant in a habeas corpus action, on a motion for new trial, or in a Federal habeas corpus action under 28 U.S.C. Section 2254 or 2255 for the purpose of preparing to file or litigating such proceedings. Counsel may disclose such materials to his or her client and any expert or investigator assisting counsel in accordance with Section 610.205, RSMo. A request under this Subsection shall clearly state that such request is being made for the purpose of preparing to file and litigate proceedings enumerated in this Subsection.