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Court approves Rules for Access to Trial Court Public Record Portal


The Montana Supreme Court on April 7 approved Rules for Access to the Trial Court Public Record Portal proposed by the court’s Commission on Technology effective immediately.
The court considered the proposed rules at a public meeting on April 5, inviting comments and questions from interested parties and the public. 
Following is the text of the sections stating the purpose of the rules and who has access under them.
Section 1.00 - Purpose of these Rules:
These rules provide policy guidance for the use of the Full Court Enterprise portal that provides public access to records filed with district court and courts of limited jurisdiction. These rules are not intended to address access to official court records available through local Clerks of Courts’ offices. Access to official court records is governed by statute and court orders. Best practice guides for searching and using the public portal, including links to the appropriate local court, are available at courts.mt.gov. The public portal is intended to: 
a. Maximize accessibility to court records,
b. Support the role of the judiciary,
c. Promote governmental accountability,
d. Contribute to public safety,
e. Protect individual privacy rights and interests,
f. Make most effective use of court and clerk of court staff,
g. Provide excellent customer service, and
h. Not unduly burden the ongoing business of the judiciary.
Section 2.00 - Who Has Access under these Rules
Every member of the public will have the same access, at no cost, to the trial court public portal as deployed by the Office of Court Administrator under the direction of the Commission on Technology. The COT recognizes the rules will need to change as more courts use e-filing and different technologies become available to increase the type of information available in a centralized public portal.
The court’s order and the adopted rules here.