State Judiciary launches website to help with court changes


The Missouri Judiciary recently launched a new website to help the public learn more about major upcoming changes to, the web-based search portal for information about Missouri court cases. The  Remote Public Access website uses a question-and-answer format to explain the upcoming changes, which will allow for access to public case documents from personal electronic devices, beginning July 1.
The move to remote public access,  announced last year, has been years in the making, as technology has allowed the courts to move from a wholly paper-driven system to an electronic system. Since the late 1990s, the public has been able to use to view certain information about cases filed in Missouri. After electronic filing began a dozen years ago, people could use public access terminals in courthouses throughout the state to view public documents filed in cases. But this new change will allow people to view public case documents to view, download and print public case documents from their personal computers, tablets or cell phones. In anticipation of this change, the Missouri judiciary also has updated to be mobile-friendly. is a web-based search portal. It lets people find real-time public information about Missouri court cases. It is designed to balance access to public information with the need to protect confidential information.
Since its launch, has provided some public case information, including:
Information about parties and their attorneys
Detailed docket entries
Scheduled dates and times for hearings and trials
As technology advanced, courts moved from all paper documents to more electronic documents. Since 2014, most case documents have been all electronic. Older paper documents still are available only in-person at the clerk’s office in the local courthouse where the case was filed. But all local courthouses also have computer terminals for the public. These computers let people view electronic case documents, no matter where they were filed. 
“Innovations in technology have not only revolutionized the way we in the courts work, but they also have fundamentally changed how Missourians interact with their courts,” Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson said. “The changes coming to starting July 1 will allow Missourians to access public court documents when and where it’s most convenient for them.”
But remote public access also heightens the need to protect confidential information in court documents. This is a responsibility shared by not only lawyers but also by people who represent themselves in court.
“Anyone filing documents in a Missouri court has an obligation to redact confidential information as required by law,” Wilson said. “But with this expanded public access comes a greater responsibility for everyone – lawyers and self-represented people alike – to exercise diligence and care in carrying out the redaction responsibility.”
Information is confidential based on a statute, court rule or court order, or other law. It must be redacted from public documents. 
There is no exhaustive list of all information that may be confidential under state or federal law. This law can include state statutes and regulations. It also can include federal statutes and regulations. Additionally, it may include state court rules and federal court rules. For help, you may want to consult with an attorney.
The Missouri court rules list some examples of information that  may be confidential. These examples include, but are not limited to:
Social security numbers
Driver’s license numbers
State identification numbers
Taxpayer identification numbers

Passport numbers;
Financial institution account numbers or passwords
Credit or debit card numbers or passwords
Personal identification numbers
Because these changes to redacting personal information is new and different, Perry County Circuit Clerk Jennifer Hotop preaches patience as attorneys learn the new rules.
“This is a big change to allow greater access to the Courts. I ask for patience from everyone as we move forward since this affects filings in all cases with the Circuit Court from
people, attorneys, and law enforcement alike.” Hotop said. “There are numerous new forms and updated ways to process filings in order to meet new requirements and to protect personal information.”
The new website will help answer questions such as:
What is, and why is public access being expanded?
How is confidential information in court cases protected?
Whose job is it to redact confidential information from public documents?
What information must be redacted?
How do I redact confidential information from a document?
What do I file with the court?
What if someone makes a mistake?
It also provides links to rules, forms and examples of redaction as well as additional resources.
The expanded access to public case documents will be prospective only – available only for documents filed on or after July 1, 2023. Documents filed before that date will continue to be available at the public access terminals in every state courthouse. Remote public access will be phased in over the coming months based on an  implementation schedule for the courts. Public documents filed in the Supreme Court of Missouri and Missouri Court of Appeals will be available remotely first, gradually followed by the state’s circuit courts.
Both the implementation schedule and a map showing when courts are scheduled to being offering remote public access are featured in the new website.