Filing Pseudonymously: Montana


  1. Montana
  1. Montana

    1. Caselaw

      One reported Montana case has a Doe plaintiff bringing invasion of privacy claim, but does not discuss the pseudonym. Obviously it is possible to bring privacy actions with a pseudonym in Montana, but there is little breadth in the caselaw to which to analogize.

      • Doe v. State through Dept. of Revenue, 846 P.2d 1018 (Mont. 1993) – Does are married couple suing the state due to the discovery, during a lawful search of their home, of an envelope of photos of the couple having sex and one photo that possibly depicted child pornography, and the resulting investigation into the couple for child abuse. They claim invasion of privacy. The court affirms the dismissal for failure to state a claim and does not discuss the pseudonym.

      • Doe v. Community Medical Center, Inc., 221 P.3d 651 (Mont. 2009) – Doe is a physician terminated by employer for unethically using employer’s resources to treat his sick family. Court notes Doe is allowed to challenge the professional medical peer review proceeding pseudonymously.

    2. Filing Requirements & Availability of Court Records

      MONT. CODE ANNO. §§ 25-4-101 to 104 describe the designation of parties in civil actions, but do not state the need to file under the true name of a plaintiff.

      MONT. CODE ANNO. Ch. 20, Rule 17(a): Real Party in Interest (2009) is the state’s equivalent to Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 17.

      Montana Supreme Court cases are searchable at (last visited Apr. 20, 2010).

    3. Relevant Statutes

      • MONT. CODE ANNO., § 41-5-216 (2009) provides in part for sealing youth court records.

      • MONT. CODE ANNO. § 50-20-308 (2009): Woman’s Right to know: Protection of privacy in court proceedings.

        [Allows for anonymity of a woman suing under this law in courts, unless waived.]

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