Schoof v. NesbitAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff brought this action to challenge a decision by county commissioners (the Commissioners) to permit elected county officials to receive cash payments in lieu of county contributions on their behalf to a group health insurance program. Plaintiff claimed the Commissioners violated Montana’s open meetings statute and his constitutional right of participation, requested a declaration that the “cash in lieu” policy was unlawful, and filed a writ for mandamus that the county attorney commence an action to recover any illegal payments. The district court (1) dismissed Plaintiff’s right to know and right of participation claims as time barred; (2) dismissed Plaintiff’s declaratory claim for lack of standing; and (3) dismissed the mandamus claim, determining that mandamus did not apply. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Plaintiff had standing to pursue his right to know and right of participation claims; and (2) Plaintiff’s right to know and right of participation claims were time barred, but Plaintiff’s allegations qualified for application of equitable tolling principles. Remanded.