The Sunshine Policy Force 2020 (also known as SPF 20) is a project launched by Attorney Chelsea Merta and Lotus Law & Legal Services, in partnership with local organizations, media, and civil rights attorneys, focused on government transparency & accountability.
Under Chapter 610 of the Revised Missouri Statutes, Missourians have a right to public records produced and maintained by the government. The law specifically states that "[i]t is the public policy of this state that meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public governmental bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law. Sections 610.010 to 610.028 shall be liberally construed and their exceptions strictly construed to promote this public policy."
Anyone in Missouri can request public records from a government body, but usually not without a fight. Lotus Law works to maintain government transparency and accountability using our knowledge of & experience with the Missouri Sunshine Laws.
Missouri's Sunshine Laws apply to the actions of public governmental bodies, defined as legislative, administrative, or other governmental entities, including judicial entities when operating in an administrative capacity; governing bodies of institutions of higher education; and any department of any political subdivision of the state, county or municipal government, school districts and special-purpose districts, including sewer and water districts. Missouri Sunshine Laws govern state and local public governmental bodies; federal entities are covered by the Freedom of Information Act.
The SPF20 Project works to request, through the Missouri Sunshine Laws, public records from government agencies, including the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, and various state departments, that are of public interest, relate to government accountability and transparency, and should be shared with the general public.
In instances where a government entity fails to cooperate with producing the requested documentation, the SPF20 Project takes the appropriate legal steps to ensure and enforce accountability on the violating entity.