By Eli Yokley
JEFERSON CITY, Mo. – Circuit Judge Robert N. Mayer has denied a preliminary injunction in Stoddard County that sought to prevent the Department of Revenue from using third-party machines to collect personal information.
In an order issued late Thursday, Mayer said attorneys for Stoddard County resident Eric Griffin, 52, have not provided necessary evidence to prove that the department and its local fee offices were disseminating the information they collect to the federal government.
“The Plaintiff has failed to provide any evidence, other than hearsay evidence, that the Defendants shave disseminated such information to the Federal Government,” Mayer wrote.
Griffin’s case centers around his visit to a local fee office seeking to obtain a Conceal Carry Endorsement. After a fee office employee attempted to scan some of his documents, Griffin stopped them, and the fee office would not allow him to obtain his license.
Griffin’s attorney, Stoddard County Prosecutor Russ Oliver, said their case is not about the dissemination of data, but instead about the collection and saving of data.
“The collection itself is the primary focus of our litigation,” he said in an interview, adding that it was his hope that his team will be allowed to continue their discovery process with the department to obtain more information. “We haven’t done one deposition, and we haven’t had one discovery request answered.”
The case has sparked interest in the General Assembly. Rep. Todd Richardson, has already sponsored House Bill 787, which aims to prohibit the Department of Revenue from scanning personal documents and transferring them to out of state databases.
“My legislation represents an important step we must take this session to protect the privacy of Missourians,” Richardson said at the time. “We must prevent state agencies from violating the trust of our citizens by invading their privacy and sending their personal information to out-of-state entities.”