Montana Department of Justice

Opinions – 1998

Disclaimer: The Department of Justice expends considerable effort to ensure that the attorney general’s opinions appearing on our website are true copies of the originals on file in our office. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of a printed copy that you did not personally download from the website.

Volume & Opinion Number Opinion Held Date Issued
47-22 The Montana Board of Outfitters’ decision initially to forego the adoption of rules pertaining to undue conflict, choosing instead to determine undue conflict on a case-by-case basis, was not a proper implementation of Mont. Code Ann. § 37-47-201(5)(d). 12/31/98
47-21 The Board of Plumbers has the legal authority to interpret Mont. Code Ann Title 37, Chapter 69, and any other laws or rules pertaining to the licensing of plumbers in Montana. The Board’s interpretation must be given deference unless it is incorrect.

The Board of Plumbers’ statutory authority to prevent the unlicensed practice of plumbing is limited to situations where a person works in the field of plumbing in any incorporated city, town or other area served by a public water supply or a public sewer system, or who while working in the field of plumbing connects or disconnects plumbing from a public water supply or sewer system (Mont. Code Ann. § 37-69-3-1), assuming that the person’s work does not fit within the exceptions of Mont. Code Ann. § 37-69-102 and a waiver has not been granted pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. § 37-69-301.
12/16/98
47-20 In a commission-executive form of local government, the presence of the president of the town council, serving as acting mayor in the absence of the mayor, and two of the remaining three members of the council is sufficient to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

A town with a weak-mayor form of municipal government does not have authority to adopt by ordinance the quorum provisions of Mont. Code Ann. § 7-3-4221(1)(b).
10/19/98
47-19 A hospital district employee cannot be a hospital district trustee.

A public works employee or director cannot be a member of the city council. The positions are incompatible.
10/13/98
47-18 County commissions with general powers have no authority, express or implied, to reduce the office of county auditor to a half-time position. 09/10/98
47-17 The board of county commissioners of a county in which a community college district is located may not issue a tax levy to fund the teachers’ retirement obligations of the community college district against property which is located in the county, but not in the community college district. Such a levy may only be imposed on property within the community college district. 08/18/98
47-16 A vacancy in the office of town attorney is not created when the attorney holds over following expiration of the term of office.

A qualified town attorney lawfully holding over in the office continues to hold the office until the mayor nominates a successor and the council approves the appointment.
08/12/98
47-15 A sexual or violent offender convicted of any violation of law of another state or the federal government reasonably equivalent to a violation under the provisions of Mont. Code Ann. § 46-23-502(6) or (9), and sentenced on or after July 1, 1989, must register with the local law enforcement agency within ten days of entering a county of this state for the purpose of taking up residence in Montana on either a permanent or a temporary basis.

At a minimum, the name of the registered sexual offender may be disclosed. Additional information may be disclosed if the offender is determined to be a risk to the safety of the community and disclosure may protect the public.
05/15/98
47-14 Montana Code Annotated § 25-1-201(1)(a) (1997) does not authorize the clerk of the district court to collect a $120 fee, as the statutory fee for filing a “petition for a contested amendment of a final parenting plan,” upon the filing of a petition to modify child support in an existing cause pursuant to §§ 40-4-204 and -208. 05/04/98
47-13 A county commission which establishes the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, as its regular meeting date for public notice purposes is not in compliance with Montana’s public participation constitutional provisions and statutes.

Public notice is required of any convening of a quorum of county commissioners at which any matter of significant public interest is to be discussed, deliberated or determined. Additionally, the public must be given the opportunity to participate in any decision of the commission, other than ministerial acts, if there is any question whether the decision is of “significant interest to the public.”
04/06/98
47-12 The prevailing wage requirements in Mont. Code Ann. § 18-2-403(2)(b) apply to fabrication of materials performed off-site by a contractor for installation or use at the site of construction under a public works contract. The prevailing wage district with respect to such off-site services is the district where the on-site construction occurs. 03/31/98
47-11 The weed board, mosquito control board, and city-county health board do not have the authority to set the level of compensation of their employees without the approval of the board of county commissioners, and, in the case of the city-county health board, also the approval of the governing body of the city. 03/23/98

ago-lsd

Attorney General's Office & Legal Services Division

The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Attorney General Tim Fox, and the Legal Services Division function as the lawyers for the State of Montana. The attorneys in the Office have expertise in a wide range of legal topics and handle a broad range of legal cases involving the State of Montana and its people.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Children’s Justice Bureau

The Children’s Justice Bureau is an agency-wide initiative at the Montana Department of Justice dedicated to IMPROVING how we respond to child victims, DEVELOPING state-of-the-art approaches by keeping up with the newest research and, most importantly, HELPING child victims recover and move on with their lives.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Division of Criminal Investigation

The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Montana Department of Justice is involved in many aspects of Montana law enforcement and is integral to the Department dciof Justice’s mission of promoting public safety.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Forensic Science Division & State Crime Lab

The mission of the Montana Forensic Science Division is to use operationally efficient and financially responsible practices as the laboratory provides accurate, objective, and timely forensic analyses to the criminal justice community in order to maximize value to the citizens of Montana.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Missing Persons Clearinghouse

The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice. In March 2008, the department implemented a searchable online database that, for the first time, is updated in real time and includes any photos provided by law enforcement.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Office of Victim Services

The goal of the Office of Victim Services is to provide tools and information to help crime victims recover from their experience and provide them with a range of services available. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for victims. To assist them as they go through the justice system, the Office of Victim Service is available to answer any questions they may have.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Central Services Division

The Montana Department of Justice’s Central Services Division provides financial and human resources support for the department. We make sure that everything works for the people Working for Justice. If you’re interested in a rewarding career helping protect the rights and safety of all Montanans, we invite you to join our team of over 800 dedicated employees working across the state.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Justice Information Technology Services Division

Our Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) provides vital Information Technology (IT) infrastructure upon which Montanans and lojitsdcal and state law enforcement agencies rely for timely, accurate information. JITSD manages the IT systems, services, and interfaces to support nearly 800 DOJ employees, 325 statewide county motor vehicle system users, and over 3,000 Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) users across the state.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Montana Highway Patrol

Montana is rich in natural beauty and history. From Glacier Park in the west to Makoshika Park in the east, the men and women of the Montana Highway Patrol are working hard to make your travels safe and enjoyable. The Highway Patrol’s core values are “Service, Integrity and Respect.” These values are reflected in our commitment to public safety through diligent and fair enforcement of our traffic codes.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Montana Law Enforcement Academy

The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is the premier law enforcement and public safety educational and training institution for state, county, city and tribal officers throughout the state. The Academy offers entry-level programs referred to as Basic Programs and advanced training through an array of Professional Development Programs.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Public Safety Officer Standards & Training

The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA. Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Gambling Control Division

Through the Gambling Control Division, the Department of Justice regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The legislature has charged the division with maintaining a uniform regulatory climate that is fair and free of corrupt influences. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Motor Vehicle Division

The mission of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public. The MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Natural Resource Damage Program

The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) was created in 1990 to prepare the state’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area’s natural resources.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Office of Consumer Protection

Enforce consumer laws designed to protect the consumer from unfair or deceptive business practices. Enforce statutes relating to telephone solicitation and telemarketing. Provide information to consumers about their basic rights under consumer laws. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.

Enter Division
ago-lsd

Human Trafficking

The Montana Department of Justice has a continued commitment to victims of human trafficking. In partnership with federal authorities, our agency plays a key role in the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of crimes related to human trafficking in Montana. This form of modern day slavery does happen here in Big Sky Country.

Enter
ago-lsd

Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Program

Montana’s deadliest drugs aren’t made in secret labs and they don’t always come from dealers on the corner. They’re in our own medicine cabinets. Each year, prescription drug abuse contributes to the deaths of more than 300 Montanans — making prescription drug abuse 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined. Our kids report the third-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country and more than half of them say prescription drugs are easier to get than street drugs.

Enter
ago-lsd

Safe in Your Space

When it comes to embracing new technology, kids have rapidly outpaced their parents and teachers. By their early school years, many children are already more comfortable on the Internet than their parents. But just because children are smart enough to know how to navigate the Internet, doesn’t mean they have the experience to make good decisions about some of the possibilities they may face online.

Enter
ago-lsd

Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

Created by the Montana Department of Justice in 1989, the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is a valuable resource for Montanans to protect their families against sexual or violent offenders.

Enter
ago-lsd

Montana 24/7 Sobriety Program

Drinking and driving has been a chronic – and deadly — problem on Montana’s roadways for decades. In 2008, Montana was ranked as the deadliest state in the nation when it came to per capita DUI-related traffic fatalities.

Enter
ago-lsd

Work for Justice

Everyday at The Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. We’re passionate about what we do because it’s more than a job or a career. It’s about who we are as people. If this sounds like you, your unique experiences, knowledge, and values may be just what the Montana Department of Justice is looking for and needs. In return we can offer a culture that promotes fairness and growth opportunities.

Enter