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.

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EDITORIAL: Montana lawmakers need to strengthen sunshine laws

Montana’s continued secrecy with information that should be released to the public is now threatening not only its citizens’ right to know, but also federal money intended to protect children.

As we’ve written in the past, many of the organizations that evaluate government transparency consistently rank Montana among the worst states in the nation. Continue…

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