HELENA, Mont. -

The Montana Supreme Court has reversed an earlier ruling that made it difficult for individuals to challenge government agencies that ignore the state's open meetings and records laws.
    
Thursday's ruling says a person can sue an agency for violating constitutional right-to-know and right-to-participate provisions, even if that person doesn't have a direct personal interest in the matter.
    
That reverses a 2006 Supreme Court ruling that set a high bar for an individual to challenge an agency when it denies access to a meeting or rejects a public record request.
    
The 2006 ruling required a person to first prove he was injured or had a personal stake in the matter before filing a lawsuit.
    
Justice Jim Rice writes the court wrongly applied that requirement to open government laws.