Montana Public Radio

Montana Supreme Court

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

The legal wrangling over the future of Missoula’s water utility moves to the Montana Supreme Court Friday. Montana Supreme Court justices hear oral arguments in that case at the University of Montana. The city wants to take ownership by condemnation of Mountain Water Company for the legally determined price of $88 million dollars.

Montana Supreme Court Upholds Most Limits On Medical Marijuana

Feb 25, 2016
Montana Supreme Court Upholds Most Limits On Medical Marijuana
Flickr user Laurie Avocado

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that medical marijuana providers should be paid for their services, but it clamped down on commercial sales of the drug by limiting providers to no more than three patients each.


Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath filed for re-election today. McGrath is running for a second 8-year term as the leader of the state’s judicial branch. If elected, McGrath says he would address the rapidly increasing caseloads burdening Montana’s courts.

Montana District Court caseloads.
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

The number of child abuse and neglect cases in Montana is weighing down the state’s already burdened court system.

“It’s significant. It’s actually startling.”

Author Jon Krakauer speaks about his book "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town" during a community forum in Missoula, MT Wednesday, May 6, 2015.
Cheri Trusler

Author John Krakauer will get a hearing before the Montana State Supreme Court in April. The best-selling author and investigative journalist is arguing that the University of Montana should make public its disciplinary records for former Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson.


Just because someone can’t afford a lawyer, doesn’t mean they don’t need one.

Holly Jordt, a nurse with the Flathead County Health Department works with a lot of low-income people and says a lot of them can’t make progress because of legal problems – civil legal problems, not criminal ones.

The state Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission is meeting in Kalispell at this evening. It’s the kickoff of a seven-city tour between now and next fall to try to break the barriers many Montanans have using the state’s courts.

Montana Supreme Court Justice Beth Baker
Courtesy Montana Supreme Court

Montana’s courts are busy, and getting busier. Beth Baker is a Montana Supreme Court Justice.

"Right now [in] our district courts, the average is about 1,100 cases per judge. Last year we had a record number of filings, over 53,000. "

Kalispell will be the launching point for a series of public forums on helping people use Montana’s court system. The Montana Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission is looking for help assessing what is and isn’t working as the state’s judicial caseload continues to grow at a fast clip.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Jean A. Turnage, former chief of the Montana Supreme Court and the first Native American elected to statewide office, died of natural causes Sunday in Ronan, his son Lloyd Turnage said. He was 89.