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Montana FOIA procedures
Each state varies slightly in the procedures used to gain access to public documents. This article serves to describe specifically the steps used in Montana. To read the history and details of Montana’s sunshine laws please see Montana Public Records Act
How to request public records in Montana
Records requests are to be submitted to the records custodian. However, the act does not explicitly indicate that agencies must designate records custodians.
Purpose and use
There is no requirement for a statement of purpose but the act does place some restrictions on use. The law does place a limit on the sale of mailing lists for commercial reasons. Other than this, there is not restrictions on the use of records.
Who may request public records?
The Montana public records law states that citizens are entitled to public records in the state, however, the Montana Constitution states that no person may be denied such records. The Constitution trumps statute, so anyone may request public documents in Montana. "No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents or to observe the deliberations of all public bodies."
- See also: How much do public records cost?
Montana law allows the secretary of state to set the fee level and allows him or her to charge for both "filing and copying." For electronic fees, Montana expands the potential for fees by charging for the use of equipment, the maintenance of databases, the means of duplication, and hourly labor after the first half hour.
- See also: Request response times by state
No time limits are specified.
State of Montana
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