2022 Montana Code Annotated
Title 40. Family Law
Chapter 6. Parent and Child
Part 10. Termination of Parent-Child Legal Relationship -- Sexual Abuse
40-6-1003. Service by publication -- summons -- form

Universal Citation: MT Code § 40-6-1003 (2022)

40-6-1003. Service by publication -- summons -- form. (1) Before service by publication is authorized in a proceeding under this part, the person filing the petition pursuant to 40-6-1001(4) shall file with the court an affidavit stating that, after due diligence, the parent whose rights are subject to termination cannot be identified or found and stating the diligent efforts made to identify, locate, and serve the person. The affidavit is sufficient evidence of the diligence of any inquiry made by the person filing the petition. The affidavit may be combined with another affidavit filed by the person filing the petition. Upon complying with this subsection, the person filing the petition may obtain an order for the service to be made on the party by publication. The order may be issued by either the judge or the clerk of the court.

(2) Service by publication must be made by publishing notice three times, once each week for 3 successive weeks:

(a) in a newspaper in a community in which the publication can reasonably be calculated to be seen by the person whose parental rights are subject to termination, based on the last-known address or whereabouts, if known, of the person if in the state of Montana; or

(b) if no last-known address exists, if the last-known address is outside Montana, or if the identity of the person whose parental rights are subject to termination is unknown, in a newspaper in the county in which the action is pending, if a newspaper is published in the county, or, if a newspaper is not published in the county, in a newspaper published in an adjoining county and having a general circulation in the county.

(3) Service by publication is complete on the date of the last publication required by subsection (2).

(4) A summons required under this part must:

(a) be directed to the parent whose parental rights are subject to termination; and

(b) be signed by the clerk of court, be under the seal of the court, and contain:

(i) the name of the court and the cause number;

(ii) the initials of the child who is the subject of the proceedings;

(iii) the name of the person filing the petition pursuant to 40-6-1001(4);

(iv) the timeframe within which an interested person shall appear;

(v) a statement in general terms of the nature of the proceedings, including the date and place of birth of the child, the date and place of the hearing, and the phone number of the clerk of the court in which the hearing is scheduled; and

(vi) notification apprising the person served by publication that failure to appear at the hearing will constitute a denial of interest in the child, which may result, without further notice of the proceeding or any subsequent proceeding, in judgment by default being entered for the relief requested in the petition.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 388, L. 2017; amd. Sec. 26, Ch. 3, L. 2019; Sec. 41-3-803, MCA 2017; redes. 40-6-1003 by Code Commissioner, 2019.

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