CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE
LEGISLATIVE REVIEW--2001 SESSION
Pamela D. Bucy
Office of Attorney General
215 North Sanders
The following information is provided concerning legislative enactments of the 57th
legislative session. This review covers primarily criminal or quasi-criminal legislation.
The initial review is organized into two categories. The first concerns bills with an
immediate effective date; the second involves bills with a delayed effective date. Please
note that the delayed effective date is normally October 1, although several bills
have a July 1 effective date for the entire bill, or some portion thereof. These
situations are noted in the outline.
The 57th legislative assembly, which adjourned April 21, 2001, continued the trend
established in the last several sessions of introducing fewer bills. There were 697 House
bills and resolutions introduced, 337 of which were rejected, tabled or indefinitely
postponed as of the 90th day. The Senate introduced 568 bills and resolutions; 230 were
rejected, tabled or indefinitely postponed by the 90th day.
This review is intended only to alert the reader to the fact that changes were made in
particular areas rather than serving as a comprehensive description of the entire
enactment. If you have any questions about the materials referenced in this review, or
about any other legislative activity, please feel free to call our office.
IMMEDIATELY EFFECTIVE LEGISLATION
HB-104 - [Ch. No. 74, Effective 3/20/2001]
Petition Process to Conform Written Sentence to Oral Pronouncement.
This bill recognizes the Montana Supreme Court decision holding that the oral
pronouncement of judgment takes precedence over the written judgment in case of
conflict. The law requires the prosecutor to serve a copy of the judgment on the
defendant, which shall contain a statement to the effect that in case of conflict with the
oral pronouncement, either party has 120 days to request modification. If requested, a
hearing must be held unless waived by the defendant. The bill also clarifies that a
factually erroneous sentence or judgment can be corrected any time, but illegal sentences
must be addressed by appeal or postconviction relief.
HB-151 - [Ch. No. 493, Effective 5/1/01]
Clarifies Probation Laws.
This bill specifies that the Department of Corrections shall supervise felony offenders
only; allows the court to order a presentence in a misdemeanor only if the defendant was
originally charged as a sexual or violent offender; allows the court, after a revocation
hearing in which no violation found, to add or modify probation conditions. Also allows
the DOC to request a hearing at which the court would set conditions of probation for
defendants being supervised, and for whom the court did not set probation conditions
HB-191 - [Ch. No. 64 , Effective 3/16/01]
An Act Revising Minor in Possession Laws.
This bill amends 45-5-624, MCA. This bill changes little in the way of enforcement; it
amends the sentencing portion of the minor in possession law. This bill eliminates the
reporting of MIP convictions to the Motor Vehicle Division, except in those cases where
a judge specifically orders the suspension of the offender’s drivers license. Thus Motor
Vehicle Division will no longer “track”MIP convictions for the courts. The “penalty” of
a driver’s license suspension is still available to a court for offenders under the age of 18,
but it will be imposed upon exercise of the court’s discretion, not as a statutory mandate.
The license suspension penalty is no longer available for 18-20 year olds regardless of
whether they were in “actual or physical control” of a motor vehicle. This bill requires
law enforcement to utilize the .02 violation, 61-8-410, MCA, if the minor is drinking and
HB-213 - [Ch. No. 223, Effective 4/12/01]
An Act Adopting the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection
This bill requires that domestic violence protection orders from other states must be
enforced whether they are filed within the State of Montana or not. If a copy of a
protection order cannot be produced, this Act allows law enforcement officers to rely on
probably cause judgments in determining whether a valid order exists. This bill also
includes an immunity provision protecting law enforcement officers acting in good faith.
This is to encourage law enforcement officers to rely on probable cause judgments and
enforce protection orders. This bill also amends 40-4-124, MCA, to require any court,
within 24 hours of receiving proof of service of the protection order, to relay that order
and proof of service, to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Within 25 hours, the
law enforcement agency must enter that order into the NCIC database and any relevant
HB- 286 - [Ch. No. 104, Effective 3/22/01]
An Act Establishing the Right of Crime Victims to Attend Criminal Proceedings.
This bill adds a new section to Title 46, chapter 24, part 1, which provides crime victims
and their family members a right to be present during any trial or hearing that pertains to
the offense regardless of whether they are subpoenaed to testify. In order to exclude a
victim , a judge must make a finding of specific facts supporting exclusion.
HB-317 - [Ch. No. 389 , Effective 4/28/01]
An Act Providing That A Peace Officer Signing A Criminal Charge by Complaint Need
Not Sign Under Oath.
Because Montana Court’s had interpreted citations to be “complaints” rather than
“notices to appear”, law enforcement officers have been required to physically swear to
the citation in front of a judge or have it notarized. This bill allows officers to sign
citations under their initial oath of office and requires no further proof, acknowledgment
or verification, amending 46-11-401, MCA. Thus officers do not have to physically
appear in justice, city, or municipal courts to swear to their citations.
HB-329 - [Ch. No. 152 , Effective 3/29/01]
An Act Which Clarifies the Applicability of the Sexual and Violent Offender
In an apparent oversight, the SVOR Act’s current applicability clause does not require
federal sexual offenders who were sentenced prior to July 1, 1989, and federal violent
offenders who were sentenced prior to October 1, 1995, to register. The applicability
clause authorizes registration only of those offenders who are “in the custody or under the
supervision of the Department of Corrections”. Since federal offenders are in the custody
or under supervision by federal agencies, Montana’s retroactive applicability clause does
not apply to them. This bill clarifies that federal sexual offenders who were sentenced
prior to July 1, 1989, and federal violent offenders who were sentenced prior to October
1, 1995, are required to register.
HB- 411 - [Ch. No. 87, Effective 3/20/01]
An Act Revising the Authority of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
In 1999, the U.S. Congress passed the Senior Citizen Protection Act, which authorized
state Medicaid fraud units to investigate and prosecute patient abuse, neglect, and
exploitation in non-Medicaid facilities. This bill amends Montana law to be consistent
with this federal legislation. This bill allows Montana’s Medicaid fraud unit to
investigate cases of suspected patient abuse even when the alleged offense takes place in
a non-Medicaid facility or the alleged abuser is not associated with the facility amending
HB- 434 - [Ch. No. 390, Effective 4/28/01]
An Act Providing That a Court May, As a Condition of Sentencing, Impose Residency
Restrictions on a Person Convicted of A Sexual Offense.
This bill adds to the employment restrictions contained in 46-18-255, MCA, that a court
may also impose residency restrictions for a person convicted of a sexual offense
involving a minor and designated as a level 3 offender under 46-23-509, MCA.
HB-521 - [Ch. No. 524, Effective 5/01/01]
An Act Providing That Before an Enhanced Penalty May be Imposed, the Enhancing
Act, Omission or Fact Must be Stated in the Charging Document, and Submitted to the
Trier of Fact for Determination Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.
This Act is the codification of the United States Supreme Court decision in Apprendi v.
New Jersey. As the title indicates, the bill requires that the State allege the enhancing act
in the charging document, and submit it to the jury or the court for separate determination
at the time of deliberation. The enhancing act must be proved beyond a reasonable
doubt, although it is not an additional element of the offense, it is simply submitted
independent of the other verdict provisions.
HB- 603 - [Ch. No. 535, Effective 5/01/01]
An Act Expanding the Requirements for Notice to the Attorney General When a State
Agency is a Party to a Proceeding for Which Judicial Review is Sought.
This bill requires any state department, officer, or board to notify the attorney general if
they intend to appeal any judgment or ordered entered by any court or files a petition for
a writ seeking review of a matter in any appellate court. Also if any notice of appeal or
writ seeking review in any appellate court is served upon the any state department,
officer, or board, the party serving the notice is required to serve a copy on the attorney
general as well.
SB- 104 - [Ch. No. 275, Effective 4/20/01]
An Act Generally Revising Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Statutes.
This bill clarifies the penalties for a Waste of Fish or Game violation under 87-3-102,
MCA. It adds the option of forfeiture of privileges in addition to a fine. Further, this bill
adds to the general prohibition of hunting hoofed game with dogs under 87-3-124, MCA
Restrictions on Hunting with Dogs, that it is a misdemeanor to purposely, knowingly, or
negligently permit a dog to chase, stalk, pursue, attach, or kill a hoofed game animal.
Further, if the dog is not under the control of an adult at the time of the violation, the
owner of the dog is personally responsible. The bill also amends 87-3-130, MCA,
Taking of Wildlife to Protect Persons or Livestock, to explicitly prohibit purposely or
knowingly providing supplemental feed attractants to attract game animals or that may
attract game animals.
SB-293 - [Ch. No. 363, Effective 4/23/01]
Montana Driver Privacy Protection Act.
This act is modeled after the federal driver privacy protection act. The act restricts
access to personal information, such as name, address, social security number,
photograph, etc, from motor vehicle and driver records. Personal information can be
obtained only for uses explicitly authorized under the act and may not be sold or
disseminated except for a use permitted under the act. A requestor must show
identification incident to a personal information request.
SB 334 - [Ch. No. 218, Effective 4/06/01]
Driver Rehabilitation Programs for Habitual Traffic Offenders.
This act requires the Motor Vehicle Division to adopt rules to implement local driver
rehabilitation and improvement programs that would be operated by private entities. Any
person who acquires 18 or more habitual traffic offender conviction points within a two-
year period would be required to attend and successfully complete a local driver
rehabilitation and improvement program. A participant will be required to pay separate
fees for program administration and program operation. A six month license suspension
is required for noncompliant offenders.
SB-426 - [Ch. No. 332, Effective 4/21/01]
An Act Clarifying that a Court May Authorize a Pretrial Services Agency to Arrest a
Person for Failing to Comply With a Condition of Release and Defining “Pretrial
This bill amends Mont. Code Ann. § 46-9-505, relating to issuance of a warrant when
there has been a violation of a condition of release, by providing that if the defendant has
been released to a pretrial service agency, the defendant may be arrested without
warrant; requiring that if arrested, within 12 hours of delivering the defendant to a place
of detention, the arresting officer must provide a verified written statement stating that
the defendant has violated the conditions of his or her release. The bill also defines a
pretrial services agency as a government agency, or private agency under contract to the
government, designated by a court to provide services pending trial.
SB-459 - [Ch. No. 303, Effective 4/20/01]
An Act Allowing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses With a Clinical Specialty in
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing to Conduct Examinations and Provide Court
Reports and Testimony Concerning a Defendant’s Mental State and Fitness to
This act allows certified psychiatric nurses to essentially perform the same functions as
those performed by psychiatrists and psychologists under the provisions of Title 46,
Chapter 14, Parts 2 and 3 of the Montana Code Annotated. There are a very limited
number of these qualified nurses in Montana, and there is no restriction on either party
also seeking separate psychiatric or psychological assistance if the party deems it
DELAYED EFFECTIVE DATE LEGISLATION
HB-27 - [Chapter No. 131 , Effective 10/1/2001]
Allow County to Pass an Ordinance Creating a Curfew for Minors.
A governing body of a county may adopt an ordinance which establishes a curfew hour
after which minors will not be allowed “abroad on the public streets, roadways, or lands
of the county.” It further requires law enforcement to enforce the provisions of the
HB-30 - [Ch. No. 221, Effective 10/1/2001]
Requires the Department of Corrections to Designate a Place Within the State to
Receive Committed Youth.
This law requires the Department of Corrections to designate a place within the State to
receive custody of a committed youth. Further, it clarifies that the expenses of
committing and transporting a committed youth to an in-state facility, or place designated
by the department for it to receive custody within the State, and returning the youth to the
county of residence must be borne by the county.
HB- 109 - [Ch. No. 222, Effective 7/1/2001]
An Act Providing For Statewide Community Education Regarding Sex Offenders.
This bill adds a new section to 46-23-part 5 which requires the Department of Justice to
develop a statewide community education curriculum regarding the release of sexual and
violent offenders into a community. Further it amends 46-23-508 to allow state or local
law enforcement agencies to use the Internet to disseminate the information allowed by
this section to the public.
HB- 112 - [Ch. No. 77, Effective 7/1/2001]
An Act Establishing Policy Governing E-mail.
This bill simply recognizes technology and revises many laws dealing with documents to
include e-mail. This bill clarifies that some e-mails can if fact be public documents. If
an email is a public document it must be saved and made part of a public record. Further,
this bill amends 45-8-213, MCA, Privacy in Communications, to include email as a
method of communication that cannot be used to harass, threaten, etc.
HB-115 - [Ch. No. 16, Effective 10/1/01]
Clarifies Weapon Enhancement Statute.
This bill simply codifies the Montana Supreme Court holding in State v. Guillaume, a
1999 case, holding that a sentence enhancement for use of a dangerous weapon under
Mont. Code Ann. § 46-18-221, cannot be imposed in situations in which the use of a
weapon is an element of the offense.
HB-117 - [Ch. No. 17, Effective 10/1/01]
Increases Penalty for Negligent Vehicular Assault Where Serious Bodily Injury
HB-117 simply increases from 5 to 10 years the maximum sentence for negligent
vehicular assault which causes serious bodily injury; allows court to suspend the term of
incarceration upon payment of fine and restitution.
HB- 146 - [Ch. No. 576 , Effective 7/1/2001]
An Act Revising the Youth Court Act _ Laws Relating to the Detention and Placement
This bill was essentially gutted. It started out to require districts to opt in to the
Department of Corrections’ pilot youth court projects. That did not happen and
compromise bill, SB-386 was adopted. However, this bill did make a minor change in
41-5-206, MCA, which permits that if a youth’s case if filed in district court and remains
in district court after the transfer hearing, the youth may be detained in a county jail or
other adult detention facility pending final disposition of the youth’s case providing that
the youth is kept physically separate from other adult inmates.
HB- 157 - [Ch. No. 144, Effective 7/1/2001]
An Act Increasing the Penalty for Transfer of an Illegal Article, Which Is Not a
Weapon or Dangerous Drug, To Prisoner.
This bill increases the penalty to 13 months in the State Prison or a $1500 fine or both,
for transferring an illegal article, which is not a weapon or a dangerous drug, to a
prisoner. What constitutes an illegal articles is determined by the institution. However,
the offender must know or be given sufficient notice that the article was illegal.
HB- 174 - [Ch. No. 100 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Providing that a Person Convicted of a First Offense of Criminal Possession of
Dangerous Drugs Or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is Presumed to be Entitled to a
This bill amends section 46-9-102, MCA to provide that a person who is convicted of a
first offense of either criminal possession of dangerous drugs or possession of drug
paraphernalia is entitled to a deferred sentence.
HB-195 - [Ch. No. 243 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Adding Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs and Criminal Possession
With Intent to Distribute to the list of Crimes That, if Committed by a Youth 16 Years
of Age or Older, are Transferable From Youth to District Court.
This bill amends 41-5-206, MCA. This bill allows a county attorney, in their discretion
and in accordance with the procedure provided in 46-11-201, MCA, to charge a youth
16 years of age or older, in district court, rather than youth court, for the crimes of
criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession with intent to distribute.
It simply adds these two crimes to an already existing list of serious crimes which can be
charged directly in district court.
HB- 201 - [Ch. No. 427 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Creating the Offense of Theft by Embezzlement.
This bill amends 45-6-301, Theft, to create the offense of Theft of Embezzlement. “A
person commits the offense of theft of property by embezzlement when, with the purpose
to deprive the owner of the property, the person:
(a) purposely or knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of
the person’s employer or over property entrusted to the person; or
(b) purposely or knowingly obtains by deception control over property of the
person’s employer or over property entrusted to the person.” 45-6-301 (7).
HB-208 - [Ch. No. 496 Effective 10/1/01]
An Act Clarifying and Defining Provisions in Title 3 Relating to Criminal and
This bill revises several statutes in Title 3, Chapters 1, 10 and 11 relating to the
definitions of contempt of court and the procedures involving the imposition of contempt
HB-216 - [Ch. No. 498 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act to Increase Fines for Minor Purchasing Alcohol or Tobacco.
This bill cleans up the language of 16-3-301, MCA, which governs purchasing, selling,
and delivering alcohol. It then increases the fine penalties provided in 45-5-624, MCA,
which is Montana’s minor in possession of alcohol or minor attempting to purchase
alcohol statute. It also makes it unlawful for a person under the age of 18 to attempt to
purchase tobacco, amending 45-5-637, MCA, and provides penalties. It further increases
the fine penalties under the minor in possession of tobacco portion of this section as well.
HB- 219 - [Ch. No. 224 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Providing for the Suspension of the License of a Driver Who Steals Fuel From
a Retail Establishment.
Amends section 61-5-205, Mandatory Revocation or Suspension of License Upon
Proper Authority, to include stealing fuel from a retail establishment at which motor
vehicles are fueled as an offense for which the department, upon proper authority, must
suspend a drivers license.
HB-238 - [Ch. No. 102 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Requiring that Victims of Juvenile Felony Offenses Be Notified of An
Offenders Release Prior to Release.
This bill requires that the county attorney notify the victim of a juvenile felony offense, if
possible after a good faith effort, that an offender is being released prior to the offender
being released, amending section 41-5-1416, MCA.
HB-256 - [Ch. No. 561 , Effective 10/1/01]
Revises Reckless and Careless Driving Laws by Increasing Penalties Where Serious
Bodily Injury Involved.
This act began as a means of imposing felony penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment for
reckless and careless driving where death or serious bodily injury is involved. In its
completed form the bill allows a $10,000 fine and/or incarceration for up to one year for
these types of reckless driving convictions and a fine up to $5,000 and/or incarceration
up to 6 months for careless driving involving death or serious bodily injury.
HB-261 - [Ch. No. 260, Effective 7/1/01]
An Act Creating the Offense of Operation of Clandestine Drug Laboratory for the
Criminal Production or Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs.
Montana law currently requires prosecutors to prove that a defendant actually produced a
dangerous drug in order to obtain a conviction for criminal production or manufacture of
dangerous drugs. HB-261 seeks to redress this problem by creating a criminal liability
for possession of a clandestine lab itself. Allows prosecutors to prosecute those offenders
who simply possess certain equipment or chemicals with the intent to operate a
clandestine drug laboratory. It also provides enhanced penalties for one who operates a
laboratory near a school, residence or church, or who employs a dangerous weapon or
booby trap in conjunction with a clandestine laboratory.
HB-263 - [Ch. No. 102, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Amending the Venue for Contesting Implied Consent Revocations.
This bill limits the venue for challenging an implied consent refusal to the jurisdiction
where the stop and arrest actually occurred. This bill eliminates the venue option of a
defendant’s place of residence, amending 61-8-403, MCA.
HB- 290 - [Ch. No. 562, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Including Deception, Coercion, and Surprise in the Definition of “Without
Consent” in the Context of Sexual Intercourse Without Consent.
Amends section 45-5-501, MCA, to add to the definition of “without consent”in the
context of sexual intercourse without consent “overcome by deception, coercion, or
HB- 295 - [Ch. No. 563 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Generally Revising Laws Governing Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
Inserts the word “vehicle” in place of motor vehicle throughout the DUI and Negligent
Vehicular Assault statutes. It expands the definition of “vehicle” to include
snowmobiles. Finally, it allows judges to extend the period in which they have
jurisdiction over the case from six months to one year, pending successful completion of
court-ordered chemical dependency treatment. Jail time is still limited to six months.
HB-313 - [Ch. No. 503, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Revising Laws Related to Domestic Violence.
This bill allows a partner or family member of a victim of deliberate homicide or
mitigated deliberate homicide to get an order of protection against the offender regardless
of the petitioner’s relationship to the offender, amending 40-15-102, MCA (2) (b). This
bill also requires a judge to consider if the offense was committed within the vision or
hearing of a minor as a factor for sentencing, amending 45-5-206, MCA. It increases the
mandatory minimum counseling hours to 40 rather than 25. Finally, it requires that a
copy of the investigative criminal justice report be forwarded to the counseling provider.
HB- 331 - [Ch. No. 378, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Creating A Criminal Offense of Identity Theft.
This bill creates the criminal offense of Theft of Identity and provides penalties, adding a
new section to Title 45, Chapter 6, part 3. The bill provides that a person commits the
offense of identity theft “if the person purposely or knowingly obtains personal
identifying information of another person and uses that information for any unlawful
purpose, including to obtain or attempt to obtain credit, goods, services, financial
information, or medical information in the name of the other person without the consent
of the other person.” It provides a broad definition of “personal identifying information”
Finally, It provides a two-tiered penalty structure similar to that of other property crimes.
HB- 336 - [Ch. No. 153, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Clarifying That There is No Cost Associated With Service of Orders of
This bill does not change current law or practice in that victims are not currently charged
for protective orders. This amendment to 40-15-204, MCA, simply clarifies existing law
with stronger, clearer, language, explicitly stating that there is no charge for serving an
order of protection. This is a requirement in order for Montana to receive most federal
grants for domestic violence prevention and assistance.
HB- 359 - [Ch. No. 565, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Expanding the Collection of DNA Evidence to Certain Felony Offenses.
This bill allows law enforcement to collect DNA evidence for deposit in the State DNA
identification index database from any individual convicted of a “felony offense”or a
youth found under 41-5-1502 to have committed a sexual or violent offense. The statute
defines “felony offense” as any offense under Title 45, chapter 5 or chapter 9, for which
the maximum potential sentence under statute is death or imprisonment in a state prison
for a term exceeding one year or burglary or aggravated burglary under 45-6-204, MCA.
HB-360 [Ch. No. 509, Effective 10/1/01]
An Act Revising the Definition of “Crime of Violence” For Purposes of Sentencing
Relating to Certain Felony Sexual Offenses.
This act amends Mont. Code Ann. § 46-18-104 by expanding the definition of crime of
violence to include felony sexual assault, sexual intercourse without consent and incest if
the victim is under 16 and the offender is 3 or more years older, or if bodily injury is
inflicted. There is an exception to a prosecution of sexual intercourse without consent if
the lack of consent is based solely on age, and the victim willingly participated, and the
offender is not more than 3 years older than the victim.
HB- 393 - [Ch. No. 159, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Allowing a Probable Cause Hearing for a Youth Taken Into Custody for
Questioning To Be By Video conference.
Under 41-5-322, MCA, when a youth is taken into custody for questioning, a hearing to
determine whether there is probable cause to believe the youth is a delinquent youth or a
youth in need of intervention must be held within 24 hours. This bill allows these
probable cause hearings to be conducted by Video conference.
HB- 401 - [Ch. No.432 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Creating the Railroad Vandalism Prevention Act.
This bill creates the Railroad Vandalism Prevention Act which establishes the offenses of
stowing away on railroad property, intentional vandalism to railroad property, theft of
railroad freight, and receiving stolen railroad freight. The bill establishes penalties for all
the offenses. Finally, as the purpose of the bill is to better inform the public of current
widespread vandalism that takes place on railroad property and the cost and
consequences of that vandalism, the bill provides a termination date of April 30, 2003.
HB- 405 - [Ch. No. 449, Effective 7/1/2001]
An Act Which Increases Victim and Witness Program Funding and Expanding Victim
This bill increases from $10 to $25 the charge that each convicted criminal must pay for
victims advocate programs operated or used by the counties, cities, and towns and further
requires the money to be distributed 50% to the state general fund and 50% to county
general fund. The bill also requires that whenever a person accused of a violation of 45-
5-206, PFMA, 45-5-220, Stalking, and 45-5-626, Violation of Order of Protection, is
admitted to bail, the court must notify the victim if possible. Further, the bill adds
violation of a protective order to the list of offenses for which a person may not be
released on bail without first appearing before a judge under 46-9-302, MCA.
HB-419 - [Ch. No. 246, Effective 10/1/01]
An Act to Create a Prosecution Position in the Attorney General’s Office Dedicated to
the Investigation and Prosecution of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Laws.
This act, which began as a proposal to create a prosecution position in Prosecution
Services Bureau dedicated to natural resource, agricultural and wildlife prosecutions, was
amended down to the current concept, which is essentially a half time prosecutor position
in Prosecution Services Bureau to aid county attorneys in the prosecution of some of the
more extensive or complicated Fish, Wildlife and Parks cases.
HB- 442 - [Ch. No. 513, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Revising the Definition of Littering as a Traffic Offense.
This bill adds plastic bottles and plastic to the definition of what is considered “refuse on
the highway”. It further clarifies that a person can not throw or deposit upon the highway
plastic bottles or any other containers in which urine or feces have been deposited.
Further, the bill provides higher maximum penalties for the offense of littering.
HB- 463 - [Ch. No. 520 , Effective 7/1/2001]
An Act Providing Unemployment Insurance for Victims of Domestic Violence.
This bill allows an individual who leaves work or is discharged because of circumstances
resulting from domestic violence to receive unemployment benefits to which the
individual is otherwise entitled. However the employer’s account may not be charged for
the payment of benefits to this individual. Further the individual must provide proof of
their status of being a “victim of domestic violence” and becomes “ineligible” for the
benefits if “they remain or return to the abusive situation” that caused them to leave or be
discharged from work.
HB-563 - [Ch. No. 530, Effective 10/1/01]
An Act Increasing the Statute of Limitations for Certain Sexual Offenses.
This act allows a prosecution for a felony under sexual assault, sexual intercourse without
consent and incest where the victim is under 16, to be commenced within 10 years after it
is committed, except that it may be committed within 10 years after the victim turns 18 if
the victim was less than 18 at the time of the offense. A misdemeanor prosecution under
these sections may be commenced within a year after the offense, or within 5 years after
the victim reaches 18 if the victim was less than 18 at the time of the offense.
HB- 637 - [Ch. No. 581, July 1, 2001]
An Act Providing for an Office of Restorative Justice in the Department of Justice and
Providing Restorative Justice Principles in the Correctional and Sentencing Policy.
This bill creates and Office of Restorative Justice within the Department of Justice, which
will be the Office of Victims Services and Restorative Justice. The purpose of the office
is to promote the use of restorative justice throughout the state by balancing the needs of
victims, communities, and juvenile and adult offenders. The office staff will provide
technical assistance to jurisdictions throughout the state interested in implementing
restorative justice programs. Further, 46-18-101, MCA, Correctional and Sentencing
Policy, is amended to include the policy statement that sentencing principles should
promote and support practices, policies, and programs that focus on restorative justice
SB- 40 - [Ch. No. 18, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Adopting the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision.
This act adopts the interstate compact for adult offender supervision, which provides for
convicted offenders on parole who leave the state.
SB- 107 - [Ch. No. 212 , Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Allowing the Use of Two-Way Electronic Audio-Video Communications In
Mental Illness Proceedings at the Discretion of the Court.
This bill allows that at the discretion of the court, all the hearings provided for under
Chapter 53-21- et al., mental health commitment proceedings, may be conducted through
two-way electronic audio-video communication. The expense for the proceeding is still
the responsibility of the county requesting commitment.
SB- 128 - [Ch. No. 312, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Increasing the Criminal Penalties for Prostitution, Promoting Prostitution, and
Aggravated Promoting of Prostitution.
This bill increases the penalty for a prostitutes client who is convicted of Prostitution
under 45-5-601, MCA, Promoting Prostitution under 45-5-602, MCA, and Aggravated
Promotion of Prostitution under 45-5-603, MCA. It further provides for a mandatory
minimum sentence for the Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution adding that offense to
the list contained in 46-18-205, MCA. It also provides for a life sentence without the
possibility of release for the repeat offense of Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
adding that offense to the list contained in 46-18-219, MCA.
SB- 135 - [Ch. No. 544, Effective 10/1/2001]
An Act Generally Revising the Statutes Regarding Mental Health Managed Care
This bill expands whose interests the Ombudsman may represent under 2-15-210, MCA.
Further it provides that names of individuals receiving assistance from the ombudsman
and investigation information compiled by the ombudsman associated with an individual
confidential also amending 2-15-210, MCA. Further, this bill amends 53-21-166, MCA,
which mandates that mental health records be kept confidential subject to a few
exceptions. It lists the mental health ombudsman as an explicit exception to the
confidentiality requirement, as someone who may request and receive mental health
records to perform their official duties.
SB-204 - [Ch. No. 284, Effective 10/1/01]
An Act Requiring a Sentencing Court to Specify the Total Restitution Owed to the
This bill amends Mont. Code Ann. § 46-18-244, by requiring that the sentencing court
specify the total amount of restitution to be paid, as well as the time and method of
payment. It also allows for civil recovery of the amount ordered by the court, even after
state supervision has terminated. The bill has a retroactivity clause providing that it
applies to restitution ordered to be paid prior to the effective date of the act.
SB- 254 - [Ch. No. 124, Effective 7/1/2001]
An Act Creating an Office of Victims Services in the Department of Justice.
This bill creates an Office of Victim Services in the Department of Justice. The purpose
of this office is to address more fully the broad needs of victims; to raise the status of
victims, to process victim compensation claims in a more expeditious manner, and to
coordinate with victims assistance programs throughout the state to develop an effective
community outreach strategy. The current Crime Victims Compensation Unit which
operates under the Board of Crime Control will be a component of the office along with
numerous other programs and Department of Justice employees.
SB-466 - [Ch. No. 342, Effective 10/1/01]
An Act Generally Revising Mental Health Commitment Laws.
This bill, which is 18 pages long, essentially addresses community placement options for
the court in mental health commitment proceedings. It allows the court to commit to
community treatment for up to six months. It also requires development of a treatment
plan in such situations, and provides that a referral for appropriate mental illness
proceedings is an appropriate condition of pretrial diversion.
SB-489 - [Ch. No. 417, Effective 7/1/01]
An Act Revising the Penalties for Fourth or Subsequent DUI, and Driving With
Excessive Alcohol Concentration.
In its final adopted form, this bill, which was lobbied heavily and effectively by the
MCAA, provides that as a penalty for fourth or subsequent DUI and per se violations,
that a person enter and complete a residential alcohol dependency treatment program
operated or approved by the Department of Corrections. The bill also provides authority
for the Department to establish and operate an alcohol treatment program at the forensic
unit at Warm Springs State Hospital. The bill retains the felony aspect of a fourth offense
DUI and states in the sentencing portion of the DUI statutes that the defendant be
punished by “...sentencing the person to the department of corrections for placement in an
appropriate correctional facility or program for a term of 13 months.” If the person
completes the program successfully, the court shall allow the defendant to serve the
remainder of the sentence on probation. The bill also allows a 5 year commitment to
DOC or Montana State Prison which must be suspended and which is to be served
consecutively to the term imposed under the provision concerning residential dependency