Sharia Law Bill Correspondence

Teresa Ross filed this request with the Montana State Legislature of Montana.
Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Swathi Shanmugasundaram

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Montana Public Records Act, Article II, § 9, I hereby request the following records:

I am requesting emails and other records of correspondence (including meeting notes, faxes, letters, and memos) sent to or from the following legislative member and their staff members: Representative Seth Berglee (R-City)

I am only requesting correspondence from the above with the following individuals and organizations:

The Center for Security Policy
Christopher Holton (Vice President of Outreach at CSP)
ACT for America
American Public Policy Alliance
Stephen Gele (President of APPA)

Please limit this request to documents generated between these dates: March 1, 2016 - current

If your email search and retrieval system is better configured for keywords searches, you may also search for emails and other communications that mention the above names (i.e., responsive records would be emails from the above legislators that include the term “Center for Security Policy” or “Christopher Holton”).

If you believe that this request is too broad or if you have questions or suggestions to reduce its burden, please let me know and I’m happy to discuss further.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.

Sincerely,

Swathi Shanmugasundaram

From: Fox, Susan

Hi, I have received your request and will be working with Rep. Berglee on a response for you. Thank you, Susan

Susan Byorth Fox
Exec Dir, Legislative Services
(406) 444-3066
sfox@mt.gov

From: Fox, Susan

Dear Ms. Shanmugasundaram,

Rep. Seth Berglee has a personal email account, so I needed to request that he conduct the search as outlined in your request. He responded that, “I don't believe I received any correspondence from any of the mentioned entities. I also searched all of the organizations/individuals listed and did not come up with anything.”

In addition, we did a search of the phone and web messages received by Rep. Berglee during the specified time period and also had no results for the individuals and organizations that you specified.

Because of the simplicity of your request and the fact that no results were found, the work for this request will not result in any charges to your organization. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Susan B. Fox

Susan Byorth Fox
Exec Dir, Legislative Services
(406) 444-3066
sfox@mt.gov

From: Swathi Shanmugasundaram

To Whom it May Concern,
I’m appealing the no records response to my public records request for “emails and other records of correspondence (including meeting notes, faxes, letters, and memos) sent to or from the following legislative member and their staff members: Representative Seth Berglee (R-City)...I am only requesting correspondence from the above with the following individuals and organizations: The Center for Security Policy, Christopher Holton (Vice President of Outreach at CSP), ACT for America, American Public Policy Alliance, Stephen Gele (President of APPA).”
I’m appealing on the grounds that the search process, as it was described to me (see enclosed documents) was grossly inadequate. Rep. Berglee was a strong proponent of this bill, and it beggars belief that he has not one email related to the bill in his possession.
In addition, it has been reported in the Independent Record (see enclosed article) that officials in Montana have been negligent in maintaining email records, despite the fact that they are required to under the law. This leads me to believe that it’s entirely possible that Rep. Berglee deleted the requested emails. I’m requesting that Rep. Berglee search his trash folder for emails responsive to this request, as well as contact his email provider to recover deleted emails responsive to this request. Seeing as these emails ought to be preserved under the law, I do not think this is an unreasonable request.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Swathi Shanmugasundaram

From: Fox, Susan

Hello Ms. Shanmugasundaram:

I am in receipt of your September 29, 2017 letter that is appealing the response to your public records request. We performed the searches according to your request. You failed to mention a bill or LC (draft) number or a committee name, so those were not included in the request. If you would like to revise your request, we will be happy to run new searches for you. However, given the initial request, we performed the searches that we were able to and the terms that you specified produced no results. Rep. Berglee in good faith performed the searches that he could. Please let me know if you would like to revise your search terms for an additional search.

Sincerely,
Susan Fox

Susan Byorth Fox
Exec Dir, Legislative Services
(406) 444-3066
sfox@mt.gov

From: Caitlin Russell

The bill in question is Senate bill 97, which was introduced by Keith Regier (R-Kalispell), and passed by the Montana House of Representatives by a vote of 56-44 in March 2017. I believe the search parameters outlined in the original request, and the more specific search guidelines outlined in the appeal ought to be sufficient. The original request was for:

"Pursuant to Montana Public Records Act, Article II, § 9, I hereby request the following records:

I am requesting emails and other records of correspondence (including meeting notes, faxes, letters, and memos) sent to or from the following legislative member and their staff members: Representative Seth Berglee (R-City)
I am only requesting correspondence from the above with the following individuals and organizations:

The Center for Security Policy
Christopher Holton (Vice President of Outreach at CSP)
ACT for America
American Public Policy Alliance
Stephen Gele (President of APPA)

Please limit this request to documents generated between these dates: March 1, 2016 - current

If your email search and retrieval system is better configured for keywords searches, you may also search for emails and other communications that mention the above names (i.e., responsive records would be emails from the above legislators that include the term “Center for Security Policy” or “Christopher Holton”)."

Please let me know if you need any additional information. Thanks you.

Caitlin, MuckRock

From: Montana State Legislature

Dear Ms. Shanmugasundaram and Caitlin,

In response to your phone call October 11, 2017, asking for Rep. Seth Berglee to add the terms “ALAC” and “American Laws for American Courts.” Rep. Berglee responded by saying that he searched his email and did not get hits on either of the terms.

In response to your request that Rep. Berglee search his trash folder for emails responsive to this request and to contact his email provider to recover deleted emails, he has searched all his folders and has not had any results. At this point, the Legislative Services Division is not pursuing this with the internet provider as that is a contractual relationship between Rep. Berglee and his private internet provider and there is no indication from all his searches that Rep. Berglee received emails from any of the organizations that you provided.

Sincerely,

Susan Fox

Susan Byorth Fox
Exec Dir, Legislative Services
(406) 444-3066
sfox@mt.gov

Files

There are no files associated with this request.