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Opinions – 1999 (Volume 48, Opinions 1-8)

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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
  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.
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
  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.
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.
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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