After submitting right to know requests to federal agencies, we submitted similar public records requests to state agencies. Based on unlawfully incomplete responses to our public records requests, we have been able to determine that two agencies are at the center of preparations for pipeline protests: Montana Department of Emergency Services (DES) and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). These states have been actively coordinating with local, state, federal, and private entities to respond to pipeline protests. We have a justifiable concern that these agencies, among others, are preparing to impede consititutionally protected rights to free speech and freedom of association, specifically targeting and potentially discriminating against Indigenous demonstrators.

The court denied the state's motion to dismiss in June 15, 2020. 


Alex Rate, Lillian Alvernaz, Shiloh Hernandez - Western Environmental Law Center, David A. Bahr - Bahr Law Offices

Date filed

February 6, 2020


First District Court Lews and Clark County


Kathy Seeley



Case number