Montana Freedom of Information Hotline Inc.

Your Source for Public Access Information

The Montana Freedom of Information Hotline is dedicated to keeping the operations of government in Montana open to public observation and participation. It seeks to accomplish that by providing free legal advice and assistance to journalists and members of the public confronted with improperly closed government doors or sealed documents.

The FOI Hotline also seeks to educate journalists, members of the public and government officials about Montana’s Constitution and laws, which generally guarantee that all levels of government authorized by the state do their work openly and accessibly to members of the public.

“Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery.” Joseph Pulitzer, newspaper publisher and editor, [1847-1911]

Available Resources

Through the Ask a Question link at the top of this page or by calling the Hotline at 406-442-8670, you can pose your question to Helena attorney Peter Michael Meloy, a Montana freedom of information expert, who will provide you with a prompt answer.

FOI Request

Find out more about a Freedom of Information (FOI) request letter and see examples.

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Open Government Webinars

Understand freedom of information and open government with our free webinars.

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Reporter's Wallet Card

Helpful tips for attending meetings, court sessions and accessing public documents.

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Access in Montana

The Montana Journalism Review and the Montana Freedom of Information Hotline offer this updated guide (revised March 2016) to educate journalists and citizens about public access to local, state and federal government. The purpose of the FAQ is to serve as a guide and should in no way substitute for legal guidance from the FOI Hotline. 

Open Meetings

View FAQ

Public Records

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Federal Agencies

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Montana’s Constitution says, “No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents or to observe the deliberation of all public bodies or agencies of state government and its subdivisions, except in cases in which the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.”