Montana Supreme Court Decisions

Seven justices serve on the Montana Supreme Court, which reviews appeals directly from district courts. There is no intermediate appellate court in the state. The Supreme Court also reviews appeals from the workers’ compensation and water courts. It must review any case that is appealed from any of these courts. In other words, it does not have discretion to decide whether to review a case. The Montana Supreme Court also holds original jurisdiction over writs of habeas corpus and cases that have not yet reached the district courts in which the dispute is entirely legal rather than factual. It has a constitutional mandate to oversee the operations of lower courts in the state. The Court must issue each of its decisions in writing, and any justice who dissents from the decision must issue a written dissenting opinion.

Each justice on the Supreme Court serves an eight-year term. A candidate to serve on the Court must be a U.S. citizen who has been a resident of Montana for at least two years. They also must have been admitted to practice law in Montana for at least five years. While they are serving on the Supreme Court, they must continue to reside in Montana. Candidates run in a general non-partisan election, and a justice may run for reelection when their term expires. If no opponent challenges the reelection of a justice, they will need to win a retention election to stay on the Court.

The Governor of Montana may appoint an interim justice if a vacancy arises in the middle of a term. This process starts when the Montana Judicial Nominating Commission provides the Governor with a list of three to five nominees. The Governor has 30 days to choose a nominee from this list, or otherwise the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will make the decision. The Montana Senate must confirm the appointment. The interim justice then must run in the next general election after they have been appointed to stay on the Court.

Browse Opinions From the Montana Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Montana Supreme Court
Johnston v. Flying S Title & Escrow, Inc.  
Date: February 27, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 39
Docket Number: DA 22-0486

Justia Opinion Summary: In a dispute arising from a failed subdivision in Missoula County, Montana, a group of property purchasers, led by Gilbert and Judith Johnston, claimed that Flying S Title and Escrow, Inc., breached a purported contract…

State v. Rowe  
Date: February 27, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 37
Docket Number: DA 22-0547

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of Montana overturned the conviction of Daniel Christopher Rowe for sexual assault, a felony. Rowe was initially charged with the offense for multiple instances of abuse that allegedly took place over…

TCF Enterprises, Inc. v. Rames, Inc.  
Date: February 27, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 38
Docket Number: DA 22-0731

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of the State of Montana affirmed a lower court's decision that an insurance agency, Rames Inc., formerly known as Central Insurance Agency, had a duty to procure additional insurance coverage for a…

S. Johnson v. M. Johnson
Date: February 27, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 41N
Docket Number: DA 23-0265
Marriage of Berk
Date: February 27, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 40N
Docket Number: DA 23-0454
Montana Trout Unlimited v. Tintina (Synopsis)
Date: February 26, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 36
Docket Number: DA 22-0406
Montana Trout Unlimited v. Tintina  
Date: February 26, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 36
Docket Number: DA 22-0406

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involves an appeal by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Tintina Montana Incorporated (Tintina) of a district court's order revoking a permit granted to Tintina to construct and operate…

State v. Stokes  
Date: February 20, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 32
Docket Number: DA 21-0511

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, defendant Bradley Alan Stokes appealed his convictions from the Fourteenth Judicial District Court, Musselshell County, for both burglary and assault with a weapon. Stokes was charged with these crimes…

State v. Wolverine  
Date: February 20, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 31
Docket Number: DA 21-0645

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the defendant, June Wolverine, was charged with six misdemeanor traffic violations, including a third offense of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI). Wolverine was unable to attend her trial due to…

State v. D. Landucci
Date: February 20, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 35N
Docket Number: DA 22-0185
S. Muscle v. A. Santin
Date: February 20, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 30
Docket Number: DA 22-0600
Marriage of Frost
Date: February 20, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 33N
Docket Number: DA 22-0671
Vancos v. Montana Department of Transportation  
Date: February 20, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 34N
Docket Number: DA 23-0134

Justia Opinion Summary: This case was a negligence action brought by Dennis Vancos against the State of Montana, Department of Transportation, for injuries he sustained when struck by a car at an intersection. Vancos alleged that the traffic…

Matter of Meghan Doud
Date: February 14, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 29
Docket Number: PR 21-0081
State v. Palmer  
Date: February 13, 2024
Citation: 2024 MT 25
Docket Number: DA 21-0586

Justia Opinion Summary: The defendant, Jacob Palmer, was found guilty of felony Partner or Family Member Assault (PFMA) by the Eleventh Judicial District Court, Flathead County, following an incident where he attacked his girlfriend, K.Y., with…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.

Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.

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