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Title VI COUNTY, TOWNSHIP AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISION GOVERNMENT

  Chapter 59back to chapter 59

  59.480.  Recording of discharges from Armed Forces — definitions — duties of recorders — certain discharge records open records — disclosure of records, when. — 1.  As used in this section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms mean:

  (1)  "Authorized party", any of the following:

  (a)  The person who is the subject of the document;

  (b)  The representative of a person who is the subject of the document or the agent of a person who is the subject of the document, including but not limited to, relatives, attorneys, attorneys in fact, conservators, guardians, and funeral directors; and who has authorization in writing from the person who is the subject of the document, the spouse of the person who is the subject of the document, a relative who is the next of kin of the person who is the subject of the document, a court, in order to represent the person who is the subject of the document or the executor of the person who was the subject of the document who is acting on behalf of the deceased subject of the document;

  (c)  Government agencies, including courts, that have an interest in assisting the subject of the document or in assisting the beneficiaries of the deceased subject of the document in obtaining a benefit;

  (2)  "Military discharge document", a discharge, separation notice, certificate of service, report of transfer or discharge, or any other notice or document which is evidence of severance or transfer from military service and which contains a service record from the Armed Forces of the United States, or any document that purports to represent a notice of separation from or service in any Armed Forces of the United States or any state, including but not limited to the Department of Defense form DD 214;

  (3)  "Recorder of deeds", the recorder of deeds in those counties where separate and the circuit clerk and ex officio recorder of deeds in those counties where the offices are combined.

  2.  Military discharge documents shall be accepted for filing by the recorder of deeds in all counties and the City of St. Louis in this state without any fee or compensation therefor.

  3.  The recorder of deeds may refuse to accept any military discharge document that:

  (1)  Is not an original or does not contain an original signature of an officer of the Armed Forces of the United States or a federal or state agency;

  (2)  Is not a certified copy from an agency of the federal or state government; or

  (3)  Appears to have alterations or erasures.

  4.  On or after August 28, 2004, the recorder of deeds shall:

  (1)  Maintain and make available to the public in its office an index containing only the name of the subject of a military discharge document;

  (2)  Maintain a separate index from publicly available information that contains only:

  (a)  The name of the subject of a military discharge document; and

  (b)  The location of the image of the military discharge document;

  (3)  Maintain the images of all military discharge documents separately from all other publicly available filed or recorded document images.

  5.  As part of any remote access system, the recorder of deeds shall not make available the location of the image or the image of the military discharge document.

  6.  Images of a military discharge document or copies thereof shall only be made available to an authorized party by submitting a notarized request form to the recorder of deeds.  The recorder of deeds shall not receive a fee or compensation for a certified or uncertified copy of the military discharge document and shall not charge a notary fee for notarizing such request form.

  7.  All images of military discharge records older than seventy-five years are deemed principally of historical or genealogical interest, and shall be open records.

  8.  Prior to August 28, 2004, the Recorders Association of Missouri shall adopt a request form and any rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section.  The recorder of deeds in all counties and the City of St. Louis shall use and furnish the forms adopted by the Recorders Association of Missouri and comply with the rules adopted by the Recorders Association of Missouri.

  9.  A request form that contains more than one military discharge document shall not be accepted by the recorder of deeds.

  10.  The recorder of deeds shall keep all completed request forms for a period of at least five years and such forms shall be made available only to an authorized party in accordance with the provisions of this section.

  11.  In the event that military discharge documents, prior to August 28, 2004, have been commingled, and to the extent possible, a recorder of deeds may choose to enact the provisions of this section regarding the indexes and images.

  12.  On or after August 28, 2004, military discharge documents kept pursuant to this section shall not be reproduced or used in whole or in part for any commercial or speculative purposes.

  13.  Any individual, agency, or court which obtains information pursuant to this section shall not disseminate or disclose such information or any part thereof except as authorized in this section or otherwise by law.

  14.  The recorder of deeds shall not be liable for any damages that may result from good faith compliance with the provisions of this section.

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(L. 1943 p. 643 § 15077A, A.L. 1973 H.B. 772, A.L. 2003 S.B. 61 merged with S.B. 325, A.L. 2004 H.B. 1634)


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