Montana Department of Justice

Opinions – 2001

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
49-13 Upon oral pronouncement of a sentence that transfers legal custody of an inmate to the Department of Corrections, the financial responsibility for the inmate also transfers to Corrections. 11/29/01
49-12 A sheriff may receive compensation from a federal agency under the terms of a cooperative law enforcement agreement where the services rendered by the sheriff fall outside of his or her “official duties” without violating any of Montana’s statutory or constitutional provisions. 10/31/01
49-11
  1. The owners of real property who may vote in the elections contemplated by SB 242 are those owners specifically listed within the definition of Mont. Code Ann. § 50-60-101(14) whose interests appear in the real property records in the office of the county clerk and recorder 30 days before the election.
  2. Municipal jurisdictional areas existing under Mont. Code Ann. § 50-60-101(11) prior to the effective date of SB 242 lose jurisdiction to enforce municipal building code provisions as of the effective date of the bill, but such jurisdiction may be revived if it is approved by the voters in the election required by section 8 of SB 242 prior to December 31, 2001.
10/19/01
49-10 The Montana Board of Crime Control may reimburse counties for detention costs for Indian youth placed in a regional youth detention facility pursuant to an order of a tribal court. 10/18/01
49-9 Withdrawn October 19, 2001. See 49 Op. Att’y Gen. No. 11 10/03/01
49-8 An airport authority commissioner may only be removed for cause during his or her term of appointment. “For cause” means some type of misconduct or neglect of duty. As long as commissioners are exercising powers authorized by law, they are not subject to removal during their term of office. 08/23/01
49-7
  1. Absent the findings required by Mont. Code Ann. § 76-3-511(2), a local governing body must adopt subdivision regulations for water supply and sewage and solid waste disposal that are as stringent as the standards adopted by the Department of Environmental Quality under the Sanitation in Subdivisions Act.
  2. Mont. Code Ann. § 76-3-511 grants local governments the authority to incorporate by reference comparable state regulations or guidelines, but local governments retain discretion to determine the best method of adopting minimum requirements.
  3. Review of a proposed subdivision for compliance with local subdivision regulations must occur at the preliminary plat stage.
08/17/01
49-6 Telemarketers who are exempt from the registration and bonding requirements of the Montana Telemarketing Registration and Fraud Prevention Act are not exempt from other provisions of the Act. 08/09/01
49-5
  1. The mill levy cap provided in Mont. Code Ann. § 15-10-420(1)(a) (2001), as amended by HB 124, is calculated with reference to the total property tax assessed in the previous year, and not by reference to the amount levied for any particular purpose in any prior year.
  2. Local governments may not derive “carry forward” authority under Mont. Code Ann. § 15-10-420(1)(b) (2001) based on the difference between the mill levy set in 2000 and the amount the local government would have been authorized to levy under Mont. Code Ann. § 15-10-420(1) (1999).
  3. The “carry forward” authority provided in Mont. Code Ann. § 15-10-420(1)(b) (2001), as amended by HB 124, will be available whenever the local government levies fewer mills than would be authorized to reach the mill levy cap provided in subsection (1)(a), and is measured by the difference between the number of mills actually levied and the number of mills the local government would have been allowed to levy to reach the cap.
  4. The “carry forward” mills may be levied in a future year and expended by the local government for any lawful purpose it chooses.
08/07/01
49-4 A local government may levy additional mills pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. § 15-10-420(1) (2001) sufficient to make up the difference between the amount reimbursed by the state for light vehicle fees and taxes pursuant to House Bill 124, section 1, and the amount of fees and taxes assessed by the local government for FY 2001. 07/31/01
49-3
  1. A long-term lease with an option to purchase containing a provision allowing the City to terminate the agreement without penalty if the governing body of the City, in its sole discretion, fails to appropriate funds to make payments due under the lease in any fiscal year, does not create indebtedness of the City.
  2. A city may enter a long-term lease with an option to purchase containing a provision allowing the City to terminate the agreement without penalty if the governing body of the City, in its sole discretion, fails to appropriate funds to make payments due under the lease in any fiscal year without first putting the question to a vote of the people.
06/28/01
49-2 The Board of Investments may complete the payment of grants to the Montana University System from interest and income derived from the Montana Board of Science and Technology Development loans. 04/21/01
49-1 Occupational therapists are not authorized by Montana law to perform iontophoresis. 03/12/01

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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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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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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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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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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 the Consumer Protection Act. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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