General Information

Guidelines for Missouri Court Clerks and Court Staff

Court Clerks and Staff MAY

Court Clerks and Staff MAY NOT

Encourage pro se litigants to be informed about their legal rights

Provide information about

  • Pro bono legal services
  • Low cost legal services
  • Lawyer referral services

Provide legal advice, including but not limited to:

  • Recommending a specific course of action
  • Performing legal research for litigants
  • Interpreting how the law would apply to a specific situation
  • Predict the outcome of a particular case strategy or action
  • Computing deadlines specified by statute or court rule

Provide appropriate court-approved forms and written instructions.

Provide appropriate aid and services for individuals with limited literacy or who have disabilities to the extent required by ADA 

Recommend any specific course of action, including but not limited to:

  • Whether to file a pleading
  • The specific content or phrasing for a pleading
  • The specific types of claims or arguments to assert in pleadings or objections to pleadings
  • Whether to settle or appeal

Provide court-approved, written definitions of commonly used terms


Advise on how a particular term or definition applies to a specific situation

Provide information on how to access statutes, court rules, and local rules

Interpret statutes or rules or advise whether or not a particular statute or rule applies in a specific situation

Provide docketed case information for the litigant's case

Provide information that must be kept confidential by statute, court rule, or case law

Provide general information about court process, practice and procedure, and facilitate the setting of hearings

Recommend specific techniques for presenting evidence, including but not limited to:

  • Specific questions to ask witnesses
  • Objections to raise at trial

Provide information about mediation, required educational programs, and community services



The best possible person to ask for legal assistance is your attorney.  If you do not have an attorney, you may contact The Missouri Bar at 573-635-4128, or  for a referral.


You may request copies of court documents in person, electronically or by mailing a request (see Copy Request Form in the forms section) to the Department of Civil Records, Copy Desk, 415 East 12th Street – Room 305, Kansas City, Missouri 64106 or to the Department of Civil Records, Copy Desk, 308 West Kansas – Suite 107, Independence, Missouri 64050. 

You will need to provide the following:

  • Style of the Case (petitioner v defendant)
  • Case Number
  • Document Description (Judgment, Motion for Continuance, etc)
  • Filing
  • Copy Fees required in advance (copies will not be made until the fees are received.)  See Fees Section for copy charge rates.



In an effort to expedite the processing of your request for a legal file to be filed with the Court of Appeals, the Civil Records Department provides you the following information to avoid delays in preparing copies for your legal file: 

  • Request must be in writing (Please allow 3 weeks processing time)
  • In your written request specify each pleading and the date the pleading was filed with the Court.
  • Copy fees are required in advance (Copies will not be made until the deposit is made).  Once the clerk has calculated the copy charges and certification costs you will be advised by phone of the deposit necessary to begin making the copies.
  • Certified copies will only be made from the originals in the official court record.