MPA counselor Jean Maneke and her staff have updated the “Guide to Public Notices Required by Missouri Statutes” that they first posted online in 2006.
The Guide provides an index to legal notices that must be published by cities, counties, school districts, fire districts, ambulance districts and all other government agencies involving elections, zoning, finances, taxes, meetings and other issues.
The key statute regarding legal notice publishing in Missouri is in Section 493.050, R.S.Mo., which says, in part:
All public advertisements and orders of publication required by law … shall be published in some … newspaper of general circulation in the county where located and which shall have been admitted to the post office as periodicals class matter in the city of publication; shall have been published regularly and consecutively for a period of three years…; shall have a list of bona fide subscribers … who have paid or agreed to pay a stated price for a subscription …
Another important statute in chapter 493 addresses rates allowable for public advertisements or legal notices.
493.025. Except where otherwise provided in this chapter, when the publication of…any legal advertisement…is required by law, a newspaper publishing such notice shall charge and receive not more than its regular local classified advertising rate…as offered to the public…
In a forward to the Guide, which alphabetically indexes required published notices, Maneke wrote, “There are other statutes in chapter 493 that relate to various issues in regard to legal notices, and every newspaper in the state would be wise to have a copy of that chapter of state law available to check various other questions that come up.”
The 80-page “Guide to Public Notices Required by Missouri Statutes” can be downloaded from the Missouri Press website at http://www.mopress.com/_inside/editor.php. If you would prefer that the PDF of the Guide be emailed to you, send that request to Kent Ford at MPA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you get a statute number from the Guide, you can go to www.moga.mo.gov/ to find the wording and requirements of the law. Click on MO STATUTES in the left column, then click Statute Search and enter the statute number.