2022 Montana Code Annotated
Title 45. Crimes
Chapter 8. Offenses Against Public Order
Part 1. Conduct Disruptive of Public Order
45-8-116. Funeral picketing -- penalties

Universal Citation: MT Code § 45-8-116 (2022)

45-8-116. Funeral picketing -- penalties. (1) A person commits the offense of funeral picketing if the person knowingly engages in picketing within 1,500 feet of any property boundary entrance to or exit from a funeral site during the period from 1 hour before the scheduled commencement of the funeral services until 1 hour after the actual completion of the funeral services.

(2) A person convicted of funeral picketing shall be fined an amount not less than $250 and not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 12 months, or both.

(3) This section does not affect any proceeding against a person for violation of any other provision of law. A district court may enjoin conduct proscribed by this section.

(4) In addition to, and not in lieu of, the penalties provided for in subsection (2), a district court may in a civil action award damages, including punitive damages, attorney fees, and other appropriate relief, to a person who suffers injury as a result of activity that may be a violation of this section.

(5) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

(a) "Funeral" or "funeral services" means the ceremonies, rituals, and memorial services held in connection with the memorial of a deceased person or in connection with the burial, cremation, or other disposition of a human body, including the assembly and dispersal of the persons attending the funeral.

(b) "Funeral site" means a church, synagogue, mosque, funeral home, mortuary, cemetery, gravesite, mausoleum, or other public or private place where a funeral is conducted.

(c) "Picketing" means the making of any noise or diversion that can reasonably be expected to disturb a funeral by:

(i) standing, sitting, or repeated walking, riding, driving, or other similar action by a person displaying or carrying a banner, placard, flag, sign, or similar device that is not a part of the funeral services;

(ii) engaging, with or without the use of a sound amplification device, in loud oration, speech, singing, chanting, whistling, or yelling that is not part of the funeral services;

(iii) distributing any handbill, pamphlet, leaflet, or other written or printed material other than written material that is distributed as part of the funeral services; or

(iv) obstructing or preventing the intended uses of a public street, public sidewalk, or other public space.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 10, L. 2007.

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