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Attorney General Duties

Under Montana law, the attorney general is the state’s chief legal officer, chief law enforcement officer and director of the Department of Justice. The attorney general also serves as a member of the State Land Board and the Board of Examiners.

The attorney general has the authority to provide legal opinions—which carry the weight of law—to the Legislature; to state officers, boards or commissions; to city attorneys and to county commissioners and county attorneys.

He also has supervisory authority over the state’s 56 county attorneys and, at the request of local, state or federal law enforcement agencies, can investigate criminal violations of law.

Although the attorney general is the chief legal officer for the state, many legal issues and questions fall outside the jurisdiction of the Attorney General’s office.

  • The attorney general cannot represent citizens in private legal matters. The State Bar of Montana or Montana Legal Services Association may be able to offer referrals or other information.
  • The attorney general does not have the authority to address complaints against private attorneys. Complaints should be addressed to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 301 South Park Ave., Suite 334, Helena, MT 59601, or phone (406) 442-1648.
  • Likewise, the attorney general does not have authority over Montana judges. If a citizen has a complaint about improper or unethical conduct involving a judge, he or she should contact the Judicial Standards Commission, Court Administration Office, P.O. Box 203002, Helena, MT 59620-3002.
  • The attorney general does not direct or supervise state agencies other than the Department of Justice. Complaints about state agencies should be directed to the specific agency’s director or to the office of the governor.

You may contact the office of Attorney General by phone, fax, surface mail and e-mail. Please include your mailing address, so that we can provide you with complete information when responding to your inquiry.

Office of the Attorney General
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 201401
Helena, MT 59620-1401
Phone: (406) 444-2026
Fax: (406) 444-3549
E-mail: [email protected]

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