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Opinions – 2004 (Volume 50, Opinions 4-10)

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Volume & Opinion Number Opinion Held Date Issued
  1. A local government with self-government powers may set rates for water and sewer service without regard to the requirements of Mont. Code Ann. § 7-13-4304.
  2. Protection against unlawful governmental discrimination is an area affirmatively subject to state control. Consequently, the provisions of Mont. Code Ann. § 49-2-308 of the Montana Human Rights Act apply to a self-governing municipality in the setting of water and sewer service rates.
A Conservation District has authority under Mont. Code Ann. § 76-15-706 (2003) to implement land use regulations, following a referendum by the voters, in order to implement reasonable measures to conserve the soils, protect the soil structure from coal bed methane water, and conserve the water resources of the district. 08/31/04
The closing of a county-owned incinerator by the Park County Commission is an administrative act not subject to initiative and referendum. 07/20/04
  1. A fugitive prisoner, after waiver of extradition, is not entitled to bail under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act as set forth in Mont. Code Ann. tit. 46, ch. 30.
  2. Upon waiver of extradition, our state district courts retain jurisdiction only to effect transport of the fugitive.
  1. When a crime victim requests confidentiality, the public dissemination of certain information, including the address, telephone number, or place of employment of the victim or a member of the victim’s family is prohibited, unless an exception listed in Mont. Code Ann. § 44-5-311(1) applies.
  2. Information directly or indirectly disclosing the identity of victims of certain sex crimes may not be publicly disseminated unless an exception listed in Mont. Code Ann. § 44-5-311(1) applies.
  3. A law enforcement agency may disclose a crime scene location under Mont. Code Ann. § 44-5-311(1), (3), even if such disclosure may suggest the identity of the victim.
50-5 In an election on the question of establishing a local government study commission, a local government may not combine a mill levy question with the study commission question, because the combined questions do not “substantially” conform to the statutory form required by Mont. Code Ann. § 7-3-175. 03/19/04
  1. The creation of the Central Intake system is well within the authority granted to the Department of Public Health and Human Services by the Legislature in Mont. Code Ann. § 41-3-202(1).
  2. The administrative decision by the Department of Public Health and Human Services to establish the Central Intake system implements, interprets or prescribes law or policy. It is a “rule” for the purposes of the Montana Administrative Procedures Act. Thus the notice and hearing requirements of MAPA should have been followed prior to its implementation.
  3. There are no “local affiliates” of the Department of Public Health and Human Services. As a result, Mont. Code Ann. § 41-3-201(1) should be read to require the reporting of child abuse or neglect to the Department, a requirement which is clearly satisfied by the reporting of child abuse or neglect to the Centralized Intake Bureau.
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