HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Defense attorneys for a man charged with his alleged role in the shooting death of a Montana sheriff's deputy are appealing a judge's order that he be forcibly medicated so he...
Montana Supreme Court overturns parental rights termination
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state failed to make a reasonable effort to reunite a woman with the son who was taken away from her after he was born with methamphetamine in his system, the Montana...
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has ordered a District Court in northwestern Montana to dismiss an aggravated assault charge against a state prison inmate who pleaded no contest to...
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court says a judge can't order a public defender to represent a criminal defendant if no jail time is at stake.
Montana court sides with nurses in abortion provider case
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that allows two advanced practice nurses to provide abortions in the early stages of pregnancy while they challenge a law saying...
2nd jury convicts man in fatal shooting in Billings
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A second jury has convicted a man in a fatal shooting in Billings.
The Gazette reports 36-year-old Joseph Polak II was found guilty Friday of deliberate homicide in...
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Three Montana parents are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a state court's decision to end a tax credit program for private school scholarships because it would have...
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a man who says he was making a citizen's arrest when he blocked a Helena street with his truck and trailer to stop a...
Brothers appeal 1882 Montana water right
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A legal fight over a Petroleum County water right dating back to 1882 has landed before the Montana Supreme Court.
Montana child rape suspect says he can’t be tried
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The attorney for a 58-year-old Montana man has told the U.S. Supreme Court that its earlier rulings prevent him from being tried in a 1987 child rape case.
Montana court strikes down scholarship tax-credit program
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a state-run program that gives tax credits to people who donate to private-school scholarships, saying the program violates a constitutional ban against giving state aid to religious organizations.
Montana court dismisses taxi companies’ case against Uber
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by three taxi and limousine companies that sought to strike down a law allowing ride-sharing companies like Uber to operate in the state.
The court ruled 5-0 on Tuesday to uphold a lower court's dismissal of the lawsuit by the owners of companies in Livingston, Bozeman and Helena.
Montana court overrules attorney general on easements
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday overruled Attorney General Tim Fox's legal opinion that the governor can't unilaterally approve large conservation easements and they must instead be authorized by the state Land Board.
Montana Supreme Court hears land authority dispute arguments
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Attorneys presented arguments Wednesday before the Montana Supreme Court over whether the Democratic governor has the authority to unilaterally approve conservation easements.
Montana Supreme Court suspends lawyer for at least 7 months
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has suspended an attorney for at least seven months after the attorney failed to file an appeal for a client in a civil rights case.
Montana governor sues attorney general over land authority
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock sued the state's attorney general Monday over whether his administration has the authority to unilaterally approve conservation easements without going through the state Land Board.
AG asks judge to reconsider Missoula gun ordinance case
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's attorney general is asking a state judge to reconsider a ruling that upholds Missoula's right to enforce background checks on all firearms transfers in the city.
The Missoulian reports Tim Fox argued Monday that the Montana Supreme Court made a recent decision that could be relevant.
Montana justices side with university in professor sex case
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a university accused of hiring and supervising a music professor despite sexual-misconduct allegations.
The high court ruled Tuesday that a lower court erred by saying a former student should win her case without trial because Montana State University destroyed email evidence.
Montana Supreme Court upholds Green Party’s ballot removal
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a state judge's decision to remove Montana Green Party candidates from the November ballot.
The justices issued the order Tuesday and said they'd file their written opinion later. Thursday is the deadline for the Secretary of State's Office to certify general election ballots.
The Montana Democratic Party and three voters challenged about 200 signatures used to qualify the Green Party for ballot access.
Supreme Court leaves tax initiative ballot language alone
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A unanimous Montana Supreme Court has rejected a tobacco industry-funded group's request to rewrite the ballot statement of a citizen's initiative to raise the state's tobacco taxes.
The opinion by Chief Justice Mike McGrath Wednesday says the statement written by the attorney general's office meets legal standards and will appear as is before voters in November.
Montana Green Party challenging ballot signature rules
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Green Party is challenging a state law that governs minor party ballot access.
In a complaint filed in federal court Monday, the party is challenging the March 15 submission deadline and the requirement that a minimum number of signatures be gathered in 34 of 100 legislative districts.
The party is asking a federal judge to prevent Secretary of State Corey Stapleton from enforcing the law.
Tobacco-funded group sues over Montana citizen tax measure
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A tobacco industry-funded group wants to change the wording of a citizen's ballot initiative that would significantly raise Montana's tobacco taxes, a legal challenge that is part of the group's expensive effort to defeat the measure when it goes to voters in November.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The state of Montana plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Montana Supreme Court's dismissal of charges for the 1987 rape of an 8-year-old Billings girl.
Montana's Supreme Court ruled last month that the statute of limitations in effect at the time of the crime had expired long before a DNA match made in 2014 linked Donald Dwight Tipton to the case.
State appeals ruling that blocks Green Party ballot access
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state is appealing a judge's order to remove Montana Green Party candidates from the November ballot because they did not gather enough signatures to qualify.
The notice was filed late Wednesday with the Montana Supreme Court along with a separate motion asking District Judge James Reynolds to temporarily suspend his July 9 order pending the appeal.
Montana Supreme Court orders new trial in Billings homicide
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has ordered a new trial in a Billings homicide, ruling the defendant was wrongly denied the opportunity to question whether a key witness could accurately recall the details of the shooting because she may have been under the influence of methamphetamine.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Secretary of State Corey Stapleton plans to appeal to the Montana Supreme Court a state judge's order to remove Montana Green Party candidates from the November ballot.
Stapleton said Wednesday he decided to appeal after reading the District Judge James Reynolds' order that invalidated 87 signatures used to qualify the party for the ballot, making the signature-gathering effort fall short.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A man charged with raping an 8-year-old Billings girl after DNA evidence linked him to the 1987 case cannot be tried because the statute of limitations has run out, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in an opinion released Thursday.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court said Tuesday that it won't block a proposed ballot initiative meant to keep mines from polluting the state but which industry leaders say would threaten the future of mining.
That means the sponsors who collected more than the 25,468 voter signatures required to place the initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot can turn them in to election officials by Friday's deadline, said one of the organizers, Montana Trout Unlimited executive director David Brooks.
Supreme Court: Officer wrongly detained student in MIP case
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A University of Montana campus police officer was wrong to continue to detain and question a student suspected of underage drinking at a football game without advising her of her right against self-incrimination, the Montana Supreme Court has ruled.
HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — A pain doctor who was convicted in the overdose deaths of two patients has been released from jail after the Montana Supreme Court granted him additional time to appeal his case to the proper venue.
HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a pain doctor who was convicted in the overdose deaths of two patients.
Attorney Josh Van de Wetering asked the Supreme Court to accept Chris Christensen's appeal, saying he missed the deadline because he filed it with the District Court in Hamilton rather than with the Supreme Court.
HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — A former pain doctor convicted in the overdose deaths of two patients will remain in jail in Hamilton while the Montana Supreme Court decides if it will accept his request for an "out-of-time" appeal.
Convicted Montana pain doctor back in custody
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A 69-year-old former Montana pain doctor convicted of overprescribing opioids leading to the deaths of two patients is back in custody after missing an appeal filing deadline with the state Supreme Court.
Chris Christensen is currently housed in the Ravalli County Detention Center awaiting a Wednesday court hearing on the matter.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court says Fish, Wildlife & Parks complied with ethics laws after a state-owned educational trailer was used by a private group during a political campaign.
Supreme Court overturns $34.9M judgment against state
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court overturned a $34.9 million judgment against the state in a lawsuit brought by liquor store owners who challenged the way the Department of Revenue reimbursed them for a case discount they were required to give bars.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A state judge says the public has the right to know the names of three Billings police officers who were disciplined for having sex with a civilian department employee while on the job or on public property.
District Judge Don Harris issued his order Monday, but stayed it for 48 hours to give attorneys for the officers time to file an appeal with the Montana Supreme Court.
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A former Montana pain doctor convicted of overprescribing opioids leading to the deaths of two patients will remain out of prison while he appeals his case.
The Ravalli Republic reports 69-year-old Chris Christensen paid a non-refundable $20,000 for a bond Tuesday. His attorney also filed notice of appeal to the Montana Supreme Court.
Montana high court weighs ban on religious school tax credit
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court heard arguments Friday on reinstating a ban on tax credits for donations that go toward scholarships for students who attend private religious schools.
Montana revenue officials and public education advocates urged the justices to reverse a Kalispell judge's order last year and prevent religious schools from benefiting from the tax credit program.
Today, the Montana Supreme Court will hear arguments involving three Flathead Valley parents and the Montana Department of Revenue on whether or not tax credits may be applied to donations for scholarships benefiting religious K-12 schools.
In 2015, the Montana Legislature passed a law to provide a 150 tax credit for their children to attend Stillwater Christian School. The parents are represented by the Institute for Justice.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man convicted of killing another man by cutting his throat has been granted a new trial by the Montana Supreme Court through appeal.
The Billings Gazette reported Thursday that 66-year-old William Earl Cunningham had been found guilty of deliberate homicide in 2015 for the death of 40-year-old Nathan Horn.
The Gazette reports that the men had been fighting over which military branch was best.
Child rape case from 1987 will be heard by Montana Supreme Court in April
Attorneys in a decades-old child rape case revived by DNA evidence will present oral arguments before the Montana Supreme Court in April.
The case involving Ronald Dwight Tipton is set to be heard in Bozeman on April 18. The 10:30 a.m. hearing will be in the Strand Union Building, Ballroom A, at Montana State University.
Tipton is accused of raping an 8-year-old in her Billings home in 1987. Tipton was charged in 2015 with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent.
Supreme Court won’t hear rule on immigration detainer
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has dismissed a petition seeking the release of a Mexican citizen who had remained jailed in Gallatin County on a misdemeanor charge since June out of fear that if he posted bail, he would be deported.
The court ruled Thursday that since Arturo Valerio-Gonzales was recently released from jail and taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, his petition was moot.
The Latest: Attorney to appeal disbarment by Montana court
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the Montana Supreme Court's disbarment of attorney Robert Myers (all times local):
A Hamilton attorney says he'll appeal his disbarment by the Montana Supreme Court, which found he violated professional conduct rules by making false claims during a 2016 political campaign.
Robert C. Myers stood by those claims in remarks Friday to the Ravalli Republic.
Montana Supreme Court disbars attorney over campaign actions
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court disbarred an attorney after finding he violated provisions of the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct by making false claims against his opponent during a 2016 campaign for a district judgeship.
The disbarment came Thursday in one of three complaints filed against lawyer Robert C. Myers of Hamilton between July 2016 and January 2017.
Court: Opportunity residents can sue for further cleanup
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Residents living within a Montana Superfund site can move forward with their efforts to get the Atlantic Richfield Co. to pay for a better cleanup of arsenic left on their property after a century of copper smelting, the Montana Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The ruling sets the stage for a trial in state court in a 2008 lawsuit brought by about 100 residents from the Opportunity area in southwestern Montana.
Billings judge to replace Wheat on Montana Supreme Court
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has appointed a District Court judge in Billings to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court.
Bullock's office on Thursday announced Judge Ingrid Gustafson will replace Justice Mike Wheat, who is retiring Dec. 31.
Gustafson was appointed in 2004 to the 13th Judicial District in Yellowstone County.
Supreme Court denies re-sentencing in juvenile murder case
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. Supreme Court decision prohibiting mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles convicted of murder also applies to Montana cases in which judges used their discretion to hand down the same sentence, the Montana Supreme Court has ruled.
However, in a 4-3 ruling Wednesday, justices denied a man's petition for resentencing for a murder he committed six weeks before he turned 18.
Mexican on immigration hold in Montana turned over to feds
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Mexican citizen who feared posting bail on a misdemeanor sexual assault charge in Montana because he was the subject of a civil immigration hold was released from jail this week and, within an hour, was taken into custody by immigration officials.
Correction: Asbestos Court story
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — In a story Nov. 28 about a Montana court for lawsuits from asbestos victims, The Associated Press reported erroneously International Paper's interest in a lumber mill in Libby, Montana. While the company remains a party to asbestos lawsuits, it sold the mill in 1993.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Special court to oversee hundreds of deadly asbestos claims