Montana Department of Justice

Opinions – 1999

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
48-8 Mont. Code Ann. § 7-4-2503(3)(d)(ii) (1999) authorizes county commissioners to grant full-time county attorneys longevity increases for their years served as deputy county attorneys in addition to their years of service as county attorneys. 11/02/99
48-7
  1. If a licensed physician wishes to represent himself or herself as licensed to practice the discipline of acupuncture, the physician must acquire a license to practice acupuncture under title 37, chapter 13.
  2. A physician licensed under Mont. Code Ann. title 37, chapter 3, may, as part of his or her practice of medicine, use solid needles to perform therapeutic modalities without first acquiring a license to practice acupuncture under title 37, chapter 13.
09/03/99
48-6 The Montana oversize/weight vehicle permit provisions of title 61 of the Montana Code Annotated, as applied to reducible loads, comply with federal law and regulations because they became grandfathered exceptions after July 1, 1956. 08/31/99
48-5
  1. Counties which have adopted a comprehensive master plan are authorized to create planning and zoning districts under Mont. Code Ann. §§ 76-2-101 to -112.
  2. A county planning board has no statutory authority over a planning and zoning district created within the board’s jurisdictional area pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. §§ 76-2-101 to -112. The district’s development pattern, which must substantially adhere to the comprehensive master plan, is determined by the planning and zoning commission, subject to the approval of the county commission. However, nothing precludes the planning and zoning commission or the county commission from requesting input from the county planning board during the process of determining and approving the development pattern.
  3. The planning and zoning commission has no power to alter unilaterally the district’s geographic boundaries from those boundaries contained in the petition. However, the commission may address boundary issues when adopting the district’s development pattern. Any changes to the internal boundaries must be made pursuant to procedures set forth in Mont. Code Ann. §§ 76-2-104 and -106.
  4. Generally, individual freeholders may not add their names to or withdraw their names from the petition provided for in Mont. Code Ann. § 76-2-101, after the petition has been certified and submitted to the county commissioners for their review. It may, in some circumstances, be permissible for the county commissioners to extend the time for addition to or deletion of names from the petition.
  5. When a petition to create a planning and zoning district includes a narrative legal description of the district’s boundaries which is inconsistent with the accompanying map of the proposed district, the planning and zoning commission must follow the guidelines found at Mont. Code Ann. § 70-20-201 to determine the appropriate boundaries.
06/28/99
48-4 The mayor, not the chief of police, is the chief law enforcement administrator in a commission-executive form of local government. 06/17/99
48-3 A board of county commissioners does not have the authority to modify the annual library budget submitted by the library trustees even if the library is funded by a general fund levy, except that the board of county commissioners may limit the amount of general fund tax revenue requested in the budget by the library trustees to that amount generated by a tax levy of five mills.

A board of county commissioners does not have the authority to modify the library trustees’ decisions regarding library staff compensation even if the library is funded by a general fund levy.
05/04/99
48-2 The Chief Water Judge is not subject to the state leave policies in Mont. Code Ann. title 2, chapter 18, part 6. 04/28/99
48-1 A district court clerk must charge and collect the court reporter filing fee provided under Mont. Code Ann. § 25-1-202 when a civil appeal has been filed from a city or justice court. 02/18/99

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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