MTPR

Montana Supreme Court

Gavel.
(PD)

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.

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