Bozeman Daily Chronicle v. Bozeman Police Dept – Case Brief Summary (Montana)

In Bozeman Daily Chronicle v. Bozeman Police Dept. (1993), 260 Mont. 218, 859 P.2d 435, a police officer was alleged to have engaged in sexual intercourse without consent with a cadet at the law enforcement academy.

Although the investigation recommended no criminal charges be filed, it was recommended that the officer be terminated for inappropriate use of his position in relation to his contacts with women.

The District Court ordered release of the information, finding that the nature of the alleged misconduct ran directly counter to the officer's sworn duty to uphold the law, prevent crime, and protect the public.

The Montana Supreme Court affirmed the District Court's order releasing the information and, in doing so, discussed the analysis necessary to protect the Constitutional privacy rights of persons while balancing the public's competing right to know, including the "now familiar two-part test to determine whether an individual has a constitutionally protected privacy interest." Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 260 Mont. at 225, 859 P.2d at 439.