WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — Attorney General Merrick Garland revised the Justice Department’s News Media policy when it comes to seizing records from members of the media.

One reporter in Williston is hoping this sets a precedent for his case.

In January of last year, reporter Tom Simon’s phone was seized at a school board meeting by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Simon says that violated his constitutional rights and went against the state’s shield law, which is designed to protect journalists and their sources.

Simon and one of his attorneys say this ruling by Garland is a step in the right direction for freedom of the press.

“We obviously think it’s important to prevent incidents like what happened in January with Mr. Simon. And we look forward to the opportunity to work for the state or other policymakers to help take those corrective actions,” said Thomas Barnard, legal counsel for Thomas Simon.

“I’m glad to see that he made this ruling because it is important to every citizen in the United States that reporters in their small towns, medium-sized towns, or big towns, be able to investigate without fear that they’re gonna have their sources revealed,” said Simon.

Simon works for Williston Trending Topics News Radio Live and Coyote Radio 98.5, he was reporting on closed-door meetings when the phone incident happened.