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Letters of Advice – 2007

Disclaimer: The Department of Justice expends considerable effort to ensure that the letters of advice 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.

Subject Request Requestor Date Issued
Cities and Towns May the mayor of Dillon break a tie vote of the city council for the election of City Council President? Gilbert, W.G. III
City Attorney
Courts, Municipal
  1. What fee schedule applies to Municipal Courts?
  2. May a city with self government power supersede Mont. Code Ann. § 25-30-102(1)(b) to provide for fees in excess of the fees paid to Justice Court?
Luwe, Paul J.
City Attorney
Justices of the Peace May a non-lawyer serve as a Justice in a Justice Court of Record? Schwarz, Daniel
Deputy County Attorney
Local Government
  1. Are the general rules of construction applicable to courts in the interpretation of statutes also applicable to local jurisdictions in interpreting and applying a county regulation enacted by ballot initiative?
    a. Does the common law rule that the plain and ordinary meaning of the language is to be utilized interpreting a statute, as required of the courts, similarly apply to local government officials in their interpretation of a county regulation enacted by ballot initiative? Where there are technical terms utilized in a regulation, can the technical definitions be considered to help support and give guidance in establishing the plain meaning of the language included in the regulation?
    b. Does Mont. Code Ann. § 1-2-101 apply to interpretation of a county regulation enacted by ballot initiative?
    c. Does Mont. Code Ann. § 1-2-106 apply to interpretation of a county regulation enacted by ballot initiative?
  2. In interpreting a ballot initiative passed by the electorate, are the intentions of proponents to be considered legally relevant?
  3. If the answers to questions 1 and two are affirmative, may the intentions of proponents of a ballot initiative be applied to interpret the language of the ballot initiative in a manner inconsistent with the technical meaning of technical words and phrases contained in the ballot initiative?
Chilcott, Greg
County Commissioner
Right to Know Does the constitutional Right to Know require release by the Office of Public Instruction of records relating to teachers whose certificates have been revoked for misconduct? McCulloch, Linda
Superintendent of Public Instruction
School Districts
  1. If a school district has elected to offer full-time kindergarten, as authorized by SB 2, can the district adjust its budget limitation under Mont. Code Ann. § 20-9-308 to add the budget authority necessary to expend the additional ANB funding which is provided for full-time kindergarten?
  2. Is a school district implementing a full-time kindergarten program entitled to receive additional quality educator payments commensurate with the additional staff required to implement the program?
McCulloch, Linda
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Statutory Construction Clarification of the meaning of the terms “laid out, constructed, and maintained” in Mont. Code Ann. § 7-14-2101(3)(a). Glade, Wyatt
County Attorney
Statutory Construction
  1. Can the City of Fort Benton waive the reserve officer residency requirements of Mont. Code Ann. § 7-32-302?
  2. In § 7-32-216(3)(b), what are the meaning and requirements of “. . . supervised by a full-time law enforcement officer whose span of control would be considered within reasonable limits?”
  3. Does a county sheriff have supervisory powers over the management and hiring of a city police department?
Brooke, Jerry
Deputy City Attorney
Fort Benton
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