National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Judge rules that booking photos are public records in Montana

Booking photos — aka "mug shots" — of criminal defendants are now public records in Montana that must be released to the news media.

In October, state District Court Judge Jon Oldenburg of Lewistown ordered a mug shot, or booking photo, released in Park County, saying it is public justice information.

Citing this ruling, Attorney General Tim Fox in December declined to issue an attorney general’s opinion sought by Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert on the issue. Continue…