Montana Department of Justice

Pending Requests

The following table lists pending requests and opinions and letters of advice issued this year. Click on the link in the Disposition column to view the full opinion or letter of advice.

Subject Request Requestor Disposition
Are appointed judicial officers in courts of limited jurisdiction exempt from the leave provisions of Mont. Code Ann. title 2, chapter 18? West, Brian J.
Town of Stevensville Attorney
Zoning After making findings to comply with Code Ann. § 67-7-202(4) and initiating the process to create an Airport Affected Area (AAA), but before final adoption of the ordinance, does a subsequent offer to form a joint board by the governing body of the political subdivision that the AAA is located in divest the Town of authority to adopt the proposed ordinance? West, Brian J.
Town of Stevensville Attorney
Water and Waterways

1. Is a wastewater containment structure for a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation a “sewage lagoon” as the term is used in Mont. Code Ann. § 75-5-605(1)(c)?

2. Assuming a “wastewater containment structure” is a “sewage lagoon,” please clarify the conflict between the rules of the DEQ and those of the DNRC Board of Water Well Contractors (BWWC).

Glade, Wyatt
Custer County Attorney
Elections Does Senate Bill 311 change the way the Secretary of State calculates term limits? McCulloch, Linda
Secretary of State
Subdivisions 1.   Are the definition of “subdivision” in Mont. Code Ann. § 76-3-103(15), as applied to subdivisions for rent or lease, and the requirement for review of “Subdivisions created by rent or lease” at Mont. Code Ann. § 76-3-208, limited to divisions of land where residential dwellings are planned?
2.   Does the exemption found at Mont. Code Ann. § 76-3-204 for “sale, rent, lease, or other convenance of one or more parts of a building” apply to multiple buildings on a single parcel?
Van Valkenburg, Fred
County Attorney
Workers’ Compensation  1. Are public employees on workers compensation leave who are supplementing workers compensation benefits with accrued sick leave pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement considered to be in a leave without pay status or in a leave with pay status?
2. If such employees are considered to be in a leave with pay status, to what extent, if any, are such employees entitled to accrue vacation and sick leave credits under Mont. Code Ann. §§ 2-18-611 and -618?
Joyce, Eileen
County Attorney
Butte-Silver Bow
Elections Does a county have the authority to establish a satellite election office outside the county seat for the purpose of providing in-person absentee voting as sanction by Mont. Code Ann. § 13-13-222(1)? Boggio, Georgette
County Attorney
Big Horn
Hayworth, Michael
County Attorney
Ranstrom, Donald
County Attorney
Statutory Construction 1. Does Mont. Code Ann. § 10-4-201, which imposes monthly 9-1-1 fees totaling $1.00 per access line on each service subscriber for amounts charged for telephone exchange access services, wireless telephone service, or other 9-1-1 accessible services, and which requires the providers of such services to collect the fees from subscribers, apply to amounts charged for prepaid wireless services that are not purchased pursuant to monthly or other periodic service contracts with providers but instead are purchased on an “as needed” basis by subscribers or purchasers, mainly from independent retail stores throughout the state?
2. If such fees do not apply under the statute, is the Department of Revenue authorized to adopt administrative regulations to impose the fees on prepaid wireless services?
Blasdel, Mark
Speaker of the House
Public Employees 1. Does the PERB have a legal and fiduciary obligation to have official actuarial evaluations done based on retirement laws in effect for the period that is being evaluated?
2. Alternatively, can the PERB base its official actuarial evaluation for a given fiscal year on retirement laws that will have been amended, replaced, or repealed by the start of that fiscal year? Or does the PERB have an obligation to use only the retirement laws in effect for that fiscal period as stated in (1)?
3. Are there any provisions in the law that would permit the PERB to ignore the letter of the law and base an actuarial evaluation on provisions that individual legislators state was their intent, several months after the session ended, or upon supposed fixes suggested by members of the Executive Branch that may or may not be passed by current or future legislatures?
Essman, Jeff
President of the Senate