Montana Supreme Court considers access restrictions

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court is considering restrictions to public access of certain information now available throughout the court system.

The recommendations include a proposal to seal all documents filed in family law cases except for final orders.

Law Librarian Judith Meadows, one of the authors, says a change is needed because the court system’s existing privacy rules aren’t being applied evenly. She says sensitive information about children could find its way to the Internet, where it could be gathered by child predators.

Freedom of information advocates say the proposals are unnecessary and would run counter to the right-to-know provisions in the state constitution.

The Supreme Court put the recommendations out for public comment for 90 days starting Dec. 7.

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