Good News from Missouri: Reclaim the Records takes down bureaucratic secret keepers

In 2016 Reclaim the Records, using the Missouri Sunshine Law, requested a simple database extraction of state birth and death listings from January 1, 1910-December 31, 2015. According to Reclaim the Records attorney, Bernie Rhodes, the extraction should “take only a few keystrokes” to complete. DHSS , however, for reasons unknown, responded with a “backdoor denial.” It first demanded $1.49 million to fulfill the request, crazy-claiming compilation would take over 35,000 staff hours at $42.50 per hour (!) When Reclaim the Records balked, the fee was lowered mysteriously to a still high $5000. Then, DHSS rejected the request in full and ran to former Missouri Registrar Garland Land for advice on how to keep the birth and death indices from public perusal. Continue Reading →