Montana Supreme Court Decisions 2021

McLaughlin v. Montana Legislature  
Date: May 12, 2021
Citation: 2017 MT 26
Docket Number: DA 16-0164

Justia Opinion Summary: In this original proceeding, the Supreme Court ordered that the motion filed by the Montana State Legislature "for the immediate disqualification of all Justices" of the Montana Supreme Court be denied, holding that the...

State v. N. Connor
Date: May 11, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 117N
Docket Number: DA 19-0646
Hartshorne v. Whitefish  
Date: May 11, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 116
Docket Number: DA 20-0328

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court that Whitefish City did not engage in illegal spot zoning and reversed the district court's ruling that Whitefish City Ordinance 18-23, which specified addition...

Marriage of Krantz
Date: May 11, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 119N
Docket Number: DA 20-0363
Aiking-Taylor v. Serang
Date: May 11, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 118N
Docket Number: DA 20-0416
State v. S. Carpenter, a/k/a Skinner
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 110N
Docket Number: DA 18-0696
State v. V. Parker
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 108N
Docket Number: DA 19-0065
State v. Wells  
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 103
Docket Number: DA 19-0288

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not...

State v. Newrobe  
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 105
Docket Number: DA 19-0369

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed Defendant's conviction, entered after a second trial, for sexual intercourse without consent and bail jumping, holding that the district court abused its discretion in declaring and mistrial a...

State v. Denny  
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 104
Docket Number: DA 19-0586

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of felony theft by possession of stolen property and four misdemeanor, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on any of his cl...

State v. M. Long
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 114N
Docket Number: DA 19-0630
State v. C. Burkett
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 112N
Docket Number: DA 19-0676
Matter of C.B., YINC
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 109N
Docket Number: DA 20-0253
Hardin v. Aceves
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 113N
Docket Number: DA 20-0273
City of Great Falls v. Polich
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 111N
Docket Number: DA 20-0326
Bolton v. Butte Silver Bow Public Works
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 107N
Docket Number: DA 20-0437
Estate of Brager v. Weinberger
Date: May 4, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 106N
Docket Number: DA 20-0515
T. Koop v. State
Date: April 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 102N
Docket Number: DA 18-0666
Commissioner of Political Practices v. Republican Party  
Date: April 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 99
Docket Number: DA 20-0294

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the Montana Republican Party and denying the motion for summary judgment filed by the Commissioner of Political Practices (...

Hummert v. Christison
Date: April 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 101N
Docket Number: DA 20-0377
Heringer v. Barnegat Development Group, LLC  
Date: April 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 100
Docket Number: DA 20-0512

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing this action for breach of contract and declaratory judgment and declining to award attorney fees to either party, holding that the district court d...

State v. Lamoureux  
Date: April 20, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 94
Docket Number: DA 18-0639

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for three felony counts of privacy in communications, in violation of Mont. Code Ann. 45-8-213(1)(a), holding that there were no prejudicial errors in the proceedings be...

State v. F. Maciel
Date: April 20, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 96N
Docket Number: DA 19-0062
B. Smith v. State
Date: April 20, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 98N
Docket Number: DA 20-0102
Fennessy v. Knight
Date: April 20, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 95N
Docket Number: DA 20-0180
Smith v. Sheehy
Date: April 20, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 97N
Docket Number: DA 20-0442
State v. J. Webb, Jr.
Date: April 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 88N
Docket Number: DA 19-0289
State v. D. Weisbarth
Date: April 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 92N
Docket Number: DA 19-0346
City of Missoula v. A. Starr
Date: April 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 90N
Docket Number: DA 19-0413
Estate of Frazier v. Miller  
Date: April 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 85
Docket Number: DA 20-0031

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court concluding that Erik Miller was justified when he used deadly force against Nicholas Tyson Frazier, holding that the district court did not err or abuse its d...

Marriage of Persoma
Date: April 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 89N
Docket Number: DA 20-0277
VanBuskirk v. Gehlen  
Date: April 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 87
Docket Number: DA 20-0336

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court's judgment compelling Plaintiffs to survey a roadway easement adjudicated by a previous declaratory judgment in 2016 and denying their motion for...

In re Guardianship of J.S.M.  
Date: April 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 86
Docket Number: DA 20-0402

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court awarding temporary guardianship of Carol Merideth's two stepchildren to their maternal grandparents, Diana and Kenneth Merideth, holding that the district court...

Guardianship of G.R.M.
Date: April 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 91N
Docket Number: DA 20-0403
State v. Nelson  
Date: April 6, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 83
Docket Number: DA 19-0489

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the orders of the district court lifting its stay of execution of Defendant's sentence during his appeal and re-imposing the sentence, holding that the district court lacked the authority to im...

Matter of J.E.S. and K.N.S., YINC
Date: April 6, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 84N
Docket Number: DA 20-0323
State v. J. Fishbaugh
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 78N
Docket Number: DA 19-0149
State v. J. Finley
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 80N
Docket Number: DA 19-0202
City of Billings v. J. Norris-Ostermiller
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 77N
Docket Number: DA 19-0260
State v. Doubek  
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 76
Docket Number: DA 19-0320

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the sentence imposed on Defendant after she was convicted for criminal possession of dangerous drugs (CPDD) and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia (CPDP), holding that the district court...

Beavers v. State
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 81N
Docket Number: DA 19-0583
Public Land & Water Access Ass'n v. Robbins  
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 75
Docket Number: DA 20-0145

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court concluding that a Fergus County road was private because Public Land/Water Access Association, Inc. (PLWA) had not proven the existence of a public road by pr...

Buckley v. Western Community Mental Health Center  
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 82
Docket Number: DA 20-0372

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Western Montana Community Health Center (WMMHC) and dismissing Plaintiff's claim brought under the Wrongful Discharge from...

Moore v. Frost  
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 74
Docket Number: DA 20-0439

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the post-judgment motions issued by the district court denying Plaintiff's Mont. R. Crim. P. 60(b) motion for relief and Mont. R. Civ. P. 62.1 motion for an indicative ruling, holding that the...

Shelter Valley v. Russell
Date: March 30, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 79N
Docket Number: DA 20-0448
Dannels v. BNSF  
Date: March 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 71
Docket Number: DA 19-0343

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying BNSF Railway Company summary judgment and entering final judgment in favor of Robert Dannels, holding that the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA)...

Marriage of Heenan & Wallace
Date: March 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 73N
Docket Number: DA 20-0333
Shepherd v. State  
Date: March 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 70
Docket Number: DA 20-0376

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's claim brought under the Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act (WDEA) as time-barred, holding that the district court erred by granting su...

Lesage v. Twentieth Judicial District Court  
Date: March 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 72
Docket Number: OP 21-0033

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for writ of supervisory control reversing an order of the Montana Twentieth Judicial District Court denying Petitioner's motion to substitute the presiding judge, the Honora...

State v. Rodriguez  
Date: March 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 65
Docket Number: DA 18-0328

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for sexual intercourse without consent (SIWOC) and his sentence of seventy-five years' imprisonment, with twenty-five years suspended, holding that Defendant was not enti...

Kaul v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.  
Date: March 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 67
Docket Number: DA 20-0052

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in this insurance dispute, holding that the coverage for damage to Plaint...

Debuff v. Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation  
Date: March 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 68
Docket Number: DA 20-0071

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part the order of the Montana Water Court reversing the order of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) denying Daniel and Sandra DeBuff's a...

Marriage of Myers
Date: March 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 69N
Docket Number: DA 20-0308
In re D.D.  
Date: March 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 66
Docket Number: DA 20-0347

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court terminating Father's parental rights and granting permanent legal custody, holding that the court's failure to obtain written confirmation of Child's enrollment...

State v. Q. Sederdahl
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 63N
Docket Number: DA 18-0393
D. Nelson v. State
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 61N
Docket Number: DA 19-0057
Matter of A.O.
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 58N
Docket Number: DA 19-0141
State v. D. Collins
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 59N
Docket Number: DA 19-0643
Nickerson v. State
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 64N
Docket Number: DA 20-0129
LaTray v. State
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 62N
Docket Number: DA 20-0131
State v. R. Salaman-Garcia
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 60N
Docket Number: DA 20-0161
Matter of S.P., YINC
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 57N
Docket Number: DA 20-0314
Matter of K.L.N.  
Date: March 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 56
Docket Number: DA 20-0315

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the termination of Mother's parental rights to her child, holding that the district court did not err in terminating Mother's parental rights under state and federal law. In terminating Mother...

State v. J.W.K.
Date: March 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 53N
Docket Number: DA 18-0665
Marriage of Simonsen
Date: March 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 55N
Docket Number: DA 20-0070
Gruba v. PSC
Date: March 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 54N
Docket Number: DA 20-0313
House v. U.S. Bank National Ass'n  
Date: February 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 45
Docket Number: DA 19-0621

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting various mortgage lenders and trustees summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims for negligence and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair...

C. Wagner v. State
Date: February 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 50N
Docket Number: DA 19-0729
Marriage of Dietrich and Godbe
Date: February 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 49N
Docket Number: DA 20-0098
State v. B. Bliss
Date: February 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 52N
Docket Number: DA 20-0205
ALPS Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. Keller  
Date: February 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 46
Docket Number: DA 20-0238

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of ALPS Property & Casualty Insurance Company and declaring that ALPS owed no duty to defend or indemnify Defendants in a malp...

In re J.S.L.  
Date: February 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 47
Docket Number: DA 20-0254

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court dismissing pending abuse and neglect proceedings and placing Mother's two children with Father, their non-custodial parent, holding that the district court did n...

E. Zabrocki v. Teacher Retirement Sys.
Date: February 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 48N
Docket Number: DA 20-0353
Marriage of Jamieson and Pursell
Date: February 23, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 51N
Docket Number: DA 20-0441
Clark Fork Coalition v. DNRC (Synopsis)
Date: February 17, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 44
Docket Number: DA 19-0484
Clark Fork Coalition v. Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation  
Date: February 17, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 44
Docket Number: DA 19-0484

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court reversing a Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) contested case decision granting RC Resources, Inc. (RCR) a beneficial water use permit un...

State v. T. Deutsch, Sr.
Date: February 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 41N
Docket Number: DA 18-0116
State v. R. Woody
Date: February 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 38N
Docket Number: DA 18-0305
State v. Schulz
Date: February 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 43N
Docket Number: DA 19-0134
State v. C. Kirkland
Date: February 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 39N
Docket Number: DA 19-0555
Wenger v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.  
Date: February 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 37
Docket Number: DA 20-0067

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the jury's verdict that Travis Elbert was not negligent when he struck Diane Wenger with his vehicle as she was crossing Main Street in East Helena after dark, holding that the district court d...

B. Smith v. K. Green
Date: February 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 42N
Docket Number: DA 20-0288
Estate of Cooper
Date: February 16, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 40N
Docket Number: DA 20-0352
State v. K. Tolliver
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 34N
Docket Number: DA 19-0322
State v. B. Robertson
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 36N
Docket Number: DA 19-0342
State v. Wilkes  
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 27
Docket Number: DA 19-0367

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court sentencing Defendant to a net five-year suspended term of commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections and a $15,000 fine...

State v. K. Strecker
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 29N
Docket Number: DA 19-0511
State v. T. Price
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 33N
Docket Number: DA 19-0526
Cascade Co. v. Montana Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board  
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 28
Docket Number: DA 19-0673

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute between Cascade County and the Montana Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board regarding reimbursement for the cost of remediating petroleum contamination at the County's shop complex the Supreme Court...

Parenting of A.H., Haerr v. Whelahan
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 35N
Docket Number: DA 20-0103
Fitzpatrick v. Trail Creek
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 32N
Docket Number: DA 20-0237
Matter of A.J.S., YINC
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 31N
Docket Number: DA 20-0370
Matter of N.M. S-H., YINC
Date: February 9, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 30N
Docket Number: DA 20-0371
Montana State University-Northern v. Bachmeier  
Date: February 3, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 26
Docket Number: DA 19-0692

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the district court upholding a hearing officer's conclusion that Montana State University-North (MSU-N) retaliated against Dr. Randy Bachmeier for r...

State v. Krause  
Date: February 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 24
Docket Number: DA 19-0042

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), fourth or subsequent offense, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Defendant's motion...

State v. J. Marsh
Date: February 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 23N
Docket Number: DA 19-0364
State v. Logue
Date: February 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 22N
Docket Number: DA 19-0589
Mack v. Anderson  
Date: February 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 25
Docket Number: DA 19-0678

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Montana Water Court establishing the point of diversion for two claims owned by Carolyn Mack and Chriss Mack, holding that the Water Court did not err or abuse its discretion....

Marriage of Payne
Date: February 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 20N
Docket Number: DA 20-0047
Matter of T.N.B., A.M.B., and S.M.B., YINC
Date: February 2, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 21N
Docket Number: DA 20-0217
State v. Quinlan  
Date: January 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 15
Docket Number: DA 19-0071

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of incest, holding that the district court did not err by precluding Defendant from introducing extrinsic evidence to challenge the victim's credibility. On appeal, Defe...

Matter of T.K., YINC
Date: January 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 16N
Docket Number: DA 20-0160
State v. Mercier  
Date: January 26, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 12
Docket Number: DA 18-0006

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part Defendant's convictions for deliberate homicide and tampering with physical evidence, holding that Defendant's constitutional right of confrontation was violated, r...

State v. L. Villa
Date: January 26, 2021
Citation: 2020 MT 17N
Docket Number: DA 18-0671
State v. J. Quinlan
Date: January 26, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 15
Docket Number: DA 19-0071
Matter of Z.L., Youth
Date: January 26, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 19N
Docket Number: DA 19-0606
State v. J. Harrison
Date: January 26, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 18N
Docket Number: DA 20-0123
Matter of T.K., YINC
Date: January 26, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 16N
Docket Number: DA 20-0160
Maffit v. City of Helena  
Date: January 26, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 14
Docket Number: DA 20-0247

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the claim brought by the Montana Independent Living Project, Inc. (MILP) that the City of Helena retaliated against it when the City lowered the priority of MI...

State v. M. Collins
Date: January 19, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 10N
Docket Number: DA 18-0685
State v. B. Rose
Date: January 19, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 11N
Docket Number: DA 18-0702
Whitefish v. W. Klink III
Date: January 12, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 9N
Docket Number: DA 19-0121
State v. Keefe  
Date: January 8, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 8
Docket Number: DA 19-0368

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the district court resentencing Defendant to life without parole for three counts of deliberate homicide committed when he was a juvenile, holding that...

Matter of M.D.U-N., YINC
Date: January 6, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 7N
Docket Number: DA 20-0198
State v. Felde  
Date: January 5, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 1
Docket Number: DA 18-0395

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's three convictions for sexual abuse of children (possession of child pornography), holding that Mont. Code Ann. 46-11-410(2)(a) does not prohibit multiple convictions for possession...

State v. T. Mahan
Date: January 5, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 6N
Docket Number: DA 19-0026
City of Missoula v. Pope  
Date: January 5, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 4
Docket Number: DA 19-0027

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the order of the City of Missoula Municipal Court denying Appellant's motion to dismiss a petition to revoke sentence, holding that the district cou...

Great Falls v. Martin
Date: January 5, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 5N
Docket Number: DA 19-0604
In re D.A.D.  
Date: January 5, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 2
Docket Number: DA 20-0147

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order terminating Mother's parental rights to her three children, holding that Mother's attorney did not provide ineffective assis...

In re Dickey  
Date: January 5, 2021
Citation: 2021 MT 3
Docket Number: DA 20-0309

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court vacating its prior order to expunge Justin Dickey's misdemeanor records, holding that the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure apply to proceedings brought under the...

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