Local courts leave defendants open to identity theft

2 years 4 months 5 days ago Friday, April 15 2016 Apr 15, 2016 Friday, April 15, 2016 3:10:00 PM CDT April 15, 2016 in News
By: Morgan Young, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — If someone is arrested, the documents associated with that person's file are public information. However, under Missouri's Sunshine Law, the defendant's Social Security number needs to be omitted from the document before it is distributed to the public. 

KOMU 8 has multiple complaint letters and probable cause statements from various courts in mid-Missouri that include both the defendants' birth dates and full Social Security numbers.

The Boone County Courthouse Administrator Mary Epping said this has been brought to the court's attention.

"This topic came up recently, and we are trying to figure out the best way to distribute this information without giving out Social Security Numbers."

Epping said Social Security numbers are required to be on the documents so officials can ensure accuracy when charging and making arrests. 

When asked why the Boone County Clerk's Office was not omitting SSNs from documents before distributing them to the general public, Epping referenced statute 610.035 of the Missouri Sunshine Law. She said she believed the court is protected under the statute. However, the beginning of the statute reads,

"No state entity shall publicly disclose any Social Security number of a living person unless such disclosure is permitted by federal law, federal regulation or state law or unless such disclosure is authorized by the holder of that Social Security number or unless such disclosure is for use in connection with any civil, criminal, administrative or arbitral proceeding in any federal, state or local court or agency or before any self-regulatory body, including the service of process, investigation in anticipation of litigation and the execution or enforcement of judgments and orders, or pursuant to an order of a federal, state or local court."

Deetra Williams, court administrator for the Columbia Municipal Court, said all documents distributed by the municipal court has the SSN removed before they are given out. 

"If you came to municipal court to get certain personal information, you would have to provide an ID to show that it is your information you are getting," Williams said. "I can only speak for the municipal court, but under the Sunshine Law, we are required to redact certain information."

According to information from the Federal Trade Commission's Sentinel Network Data Book, which calculates fraud complaints by state, Missouri is ranked fourth in the nation for most fraud complaints. 

The Data Book also showed identity theft as the highest reported form of fraud. 

More News

Grid
List
MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities said on Tuesday that they have charged a man living in the U.S. illegally with... More >>
28 minutes ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 4:43:05 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to charges including campaign... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been found guilty of eight financial crime charges in... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:55:34 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
FAYETTE – A mid-Missouri farmer said he is unsure Gov. Mike Parson's drought assistance program for farmers will be enough.... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:53:00 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - If Missouri residents wanted to get information about the state's finances, they would have to go through... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has referred the investigation into last month's deadly sinking of a Missouri... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:26:00 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged a man with sexual misconduct on Sunday after patrons at the Columbia Public Library said he... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 2:33:00 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, were pursuing negotiations with prosecutors that could... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 1:25:00 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is slated to meet with President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee.... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 1:04:00 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The US Food and Drug Administration made the announcement Tuesday on heels of major shortage. EpiPens are... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 11:18:00 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Boone County deputy arrested 29-year-old Selestine Nichols after a police chase south on Providence Road Tuesday morning.... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 10:22:00 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Tuesday came out with new rules scaling back Obama-era constraints on coal-fired power... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 9:55:05 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Investigators have recovered a body believed to be that of 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts,... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 9:19:00 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
HALLSVILLE - The mother of a girl who committed suicide after alleged bullying at school filed a wrongful death lawsuit... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 8:50:00 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police responded to three separate incidents late Monday night through early Tuesday morning, including a stabbing, a... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 8:16:00 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Major construction around the Capitol shut down the 100 block of High Street Monday. The construction is... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 7:33:00 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say two St. Louis men have been killed in a head-on crash. The Missouri... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 7:26:00 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is slated to meet with President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee. ... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 7:19:02 AM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 83°
6pm 83°
7pm 81°
8pm 78°
9pm 75°