Disability Rights Montana v. Brereton

Disability Rights Montana sued the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) after the agency denied a public records request for materials related to the hiring of Mike Randol as the Medicaid and Health Services Executive Director.  Randol directs three DPHHS divisions with a combined annual budget of over $2.7 billion and more than 1,100 state employees.

In Montana, the Right to Know is a fundamental right, which guarantees broad public access to documents held by state agencies.  The requested documents contain information about DPHHS’s hiring priorities and Randol’s qualifications and experience.  For example, Randol oversaw Medicaid programs in Iowa and Kansas, both of which moved to privatization during his tenure.  Privatization—or “managed care”—shifts Medicaid administration to private, for-profit entities.  Montana used a managed care system in the 1990s, but reassumed Medicaid administration when managed care proved far worse for patients and providers.  Disability Rights Montana seeks disclosure of Randol’s application and related materials.

Filings      /      Press

Complaint (Nov. 16, 2022)

Emily Schabacker, Montana health department sued after denying public records request, Billings Gazette (Nov. 16, 2022)

Darrell Ehrlick, Disability rights sues state for documents related to Medicaid director’s hiring, Daily Montanan (Nov. 16, 2022)

Brereton's Request for Judgment (Aug. 10, 2023)

Entry of Judgment (Aug. 11, 2023) (withdrawn Oct. 3, 2023)

DRM's Rule 60 Motion (Aug. 29, 2023)

Brief in Support (Aug. 29, 2023)

Brief in Opposition (Sep. 21, 2023)

Reply in Support (Sep. 25, 2023)

Order Granting Motion & Withdrawing Entry of Judgment (Oct. 3, 2023)

Brereton's Motion for Summary Judgment (Nov. 29, 2023)

Brief in Support (Nov. 29, 2023)

Brief in Opposition (Dec. 20, 2023)