570.095. Filing false documents, offense of, elements — penalty, enhancement — restitution, when — system to log suspected fraudulent documents, procedure. — 1. A person commits the offense of filing false documents if:
(1) With the intent to defraud, deceive, harass, alarm, or negatively impact financially, or in such a manner reasonably calculated to deceive, defraud, harass, alarm, or negatively impact financially, he or she files, causes to be filed or recorded, or attempts to file or record, creates, uses as genuine, transfers or has transferred, presents, or prepares with knowledge or belief that it will be filed, presented, recorded, or transferred to the secretary of state or the secretary’s designee, to the recorder of deeds of any county or city not within a county or the recorder’s designee, to any municipal, county, district, or state government entity, division, agency, or office, or to any credit bureau or financial institution any of the following types of documents:
(a) Common law lien;
(b) Uniform commercial code filing or record;
(c) Real property recording;
(d) Financing statement;
(f) Warranty, special, or quitclaim deed;
(g) Quiet title claim or action;
(h) Deed in lieu of foreclosure;
(i) Legal affidavit;
(j) Legal process;
(k) Legal summons;
(l) Bills and due bills;
(m) Criminal charging documents or materially false criminal charging documents;
(n) Any other document not stated in this subdivision that is related to real property; or
(o) Any state, county, district, federal, municipal, credit bureau, or financial institution form or document; and
(2) Such document listed under subdivision (1) of this subsection contains materially false information; is fraudulent; is a forgery, as defined under section 570.090; lacks the consent of all parties listed in a document that requires mutual consent; or is invalid under Missouri law.
2. Filing false documents under this section is a class D felony for the first offense except the following circumstances shall be a class C felony:
(1) The defendant has been previously found guilty or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section;
(2) The victim or named party in the matter:
(a) Is an official elected to municipal, county, district, federal, or statewide office;
(b) Is an official appointed to municipal, county, district, federal, or statewide office; or
(c) Is an employee of an official elected or appointed to municipal, county, district, federal, or statewide office;
(3) The victim or named party in the matter is a judge or magistrate of:
(a) Any court or division of the court in this or any other state or an employee thereof; or
(b) Any court system of the United States or is an employee thereof;
(4) The victim or named party in the matter is a full-time, part-time, or reserve or auxiliary peace officer, as defined under section 590.010, who is licensed in this state or any other state;
(5) The victim or named party in the matter is a full-time, part-time, or volunteer firefighter in this state or any other state;
(6) The victim or named party in the matter is an officer of federal job class 1811 who is empowered to enforce United States laws;
(7) The victim or named party in the matter is a law enforcement officer of the United States as defined under 5 U.S.C. Section 8401(17)(A) or (D);
(8) The victim or named party in the matter is an employee of any law enforcement or legal prosecution agency in this state, any other state, or the United States;
(9) The victim or named party in the matter is an employee of a federal agency that has agents or officers of job class 1811 who are empowered to enforce United States laws or is an employee of a federal agency that has law enforcement officers as defined under 5 U.S.C. Section 8401(17)(A) or (D); or
(10) The victim or named party in the matter is an officer of the railroad police as defined under section 388.600.
3. For a penalty enhancement as described under subsection 2 of this section to apply, the occupation of the victim or named party shall be material to the subject matter of the document or documents filed or the relief sought by the document or documents filed, and the occupation of the victim or named party shall be materially connected to the apparent reason that the victim has been named, victimized, or involved. For purposes of subsection 2 of this section and this subsection, a person who has retired or resigned from any agency, institution, or occupation listed under subsection 2 of this section shall be considered the same as a person who remains in employment and shall also include the following family members of a person listed under subdivisions (2) to (9) of subsection 2 of this section:
(1) Such person’s spouse;
(2) Such person or such person’s spouse’s ancestor or descendant by blood or adoption; or
(3) Such person’s stepchild while the marriage creating that relationship exists.
4. Any person who pleads guilty or is found guilty under subsections 1 to 3 of this section shall be ordered by the court to make full restitution to any person or entity that has sustained actual losses or costs as a result of the actions of the defendants. Such restitution shall not be paid in lieu of jail or prison time but rather in addition to any jail or prison time imposed by the court.
5. (1) Nothing in this section shall limit the power of the state to investigate, charge, or punish any person for any conduct that constitutes a crime by any other statute of this state or the United States.
(2) No receiving entity shall be required under this section to retain the filing or record for prosecution under this section. A filing or record being rejected by the receiving entity shall not be used as an affirmative defense.
6. (1) Any agency of the state, a county, or a city not within a county that is responsible for or receives document filings or records, including county recorders of deeds and the secretary of state’s office, shall, by January 1, 2019, impose a system in which the documents that have been submitted to the receiving agency, or those filings rejected by the secretary of state under its legal authority, are logged or noted in a ledger, spreadsheet, or similar recording method if the filing or recording officer or employee believes the filings or records appear to be fraudulent or contain suspicious language. The receiving agency shall make noted documents available for review by:
(a) The jurisdictional prosecuting or circuit attorney or such attorney’s designee;
(b) The county sheriff or the sheriff’s designee;
(c) The police chief of a county or city not within a county or such chief’s designee; or
(d) A commissioned peace officer as defined under section 590.010.
Review of such documents is permissible for the agent or agencies under this subdivision without the need of a grand jury subpoena or court order. No fees or monetary charges shall be levied on the investigative agents or agencies for review of documents noted in the ledger or spreadsheet. The ledger or spreadsheet and its contents shall be retained by the agency that controls entries into such ledger or spreadsheet for a minimum of three years from the earliest entry listed in the ledger or spreadsheet.
(2) The receiving entity shall, upon receipt of a filing or record that has been noted as a suspicious filing or record, notify the chief law enforcement officer or such officer’s designee of the county and the prosecutor or the prosecutor’s designee of the county of the filing’s or record’s existence. Such notification shall be made within two business days of the filing or record having been received. Notification may be accomplished via email or via paper memorandum.
(3) No agency receiving the filing or record shall be required under this section to notify the person conducting the filing or record that the filing or record is entered as a logged or noted filing or record.
(4) Reviews to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section shall be the responsibility of any commissioned peace officer. Findings of noncompliance shall be reported to the jurisdictional prosecuting or circuit attorney or such attorney’s designee by any commissioned peace officer who has probable cause to believe that the noncompliance has taken place purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, as described under section 562.016.
7. To petition for a judicial review of a filing or record that is believed to be fraudulent, false, misleading, forged, or contains materially false information, a petitioner may file a probable cause statement that delineates the basis for the belief that the filing or record is materially false, contains materially false information, is a forgery, is fraudulent, or is misleading. This probable cause statement shall be filed in the associate or circuit court of the county in which the original filing or record was transferred, received, or recorded.
8. A filed petition under this section shall have an initial hearing date within twenty business days of the date the petition is filed with the court. A court ruling of invalid shall be evidence that the original filing or record was not accurate, true, or correct. A court ruling of invalid shall be retained or recorded at the original receiving entity. The receiving entity shall waive all filing or recording fees associated with the filing or recording of the court ruling document in this subsection. Such ruling may be forwarded to credit bureaus or other institutions at the request of the petitioner via motion to the applicable court at no additional cost to the petitioner.
9. If a filing or record is deemed invalid, court costs and fees are the responsibility of the party who originally initiated the filing or record. If the filing or record is deemed valid, no court costs or fees, in addition to standard filing fees, shall be assessed.
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