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
State v. B. Crabtree
Date: October 8, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 239N
Docket Number: DA 17-0650
State v. N. Chalupa
Date: October 8, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 241N
Docket Number: DA 18-0093
T. Parks v. State
Date: October 8, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 242N
Docket Number: DA 18-0427
Marriage of Malloy
Date: October 8, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 238N
Docket Number: DA 18-0690
D. Sharp v. State
Date: October 8, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 240N
Docket Number: DA 19-0084
State v. Fleming  
Date: October 7, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 237
Docket Number: DA 17-0273

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of criminal endangerment, holding that the court abused its discretion when it allowed evidence of Defendant's prior criminal endangermen...

Braulick v. State
Date: October 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 234N
Docket Number: DA 16-0596
State v. Hayes  
Date: October 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 231
Docket Number: DA 17-0346

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction of incest, holding that the district court abused its discretion by allowing the jury to hear during deliberations portions of a victim's taped forensic interview after t...

Cattail Creek v. Thompson
Date: October 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 233N
Docket Number: DA 18-0539
In re Estate of Boland  
Date: October 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 236
Docket Number: DA 18-0607

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Appellants' request to recover assets for the Estate of Edward M. Boland and imposing sanctions on the basis that the allegations of bias made against...

Marriage of Stone
Date: October 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 232N
Docket Number: DA 18-0692
Lozeau v. Anciaux  
Date: October 1, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 235
Docket Number: DA 19-0156

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court dismissing Appellant's complaint for failure to state a claim, holding that Appellant failed to prove a set of facts in support of his claim. While detained in...

City of Great Falls v. K. Monroe
Date: September 24, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 230N
Docket Number: DA 18-0338
In re C.M.  
Date: September 24, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 227
Docket Number: DA 18-0587

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court terminating Mother's parental rights to her child, holding that the district court did not err by concluding that the Department of Public Health and Human Se...

Graham-Rogers v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  
Date: September 24, 2019
Citation: 2019 MT 226
Docket Number: DA 18-0630

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and dismissing Plaintiff's claims for, inter alia, breach of contract and negligence, holding that Wells Fargo...

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.