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Montana became a state in 1889. Legal materials from 1864 to 1889 relate to the Territory of Montana.
A print version of the current Montana Constitution is contained in the Montana Code Annotated (MCA), Vol. 1. Annotations to the current Constitution are available in the Annotations to the MCA, a separate title. The Montana Code Annotated is available online without annotations. The Organic Act (which created the Montana Territory), the 1889 Constitution, and the 1972 Constitution are available online here.
These are the laws of Montana. A print version is contained in the Montana Code Annotated, published in the fall of every odd numbered year (after the legislative session). Older editions of the Montana Code can be found here.
Montana Court Decisions
Montana Supreme Court cases from the mid-1970s forward are available free online from the State Law Library of Montana. Briefs filed by litigants with the Supreme Court are found at the same website. The official printed reports of Montana Supreme Court cases from 1873 to present are contained in the Montana Reports. Montana Supreme Court cases also appear in West’s Pacific Reporter. Montana has no intermediate-level appellate court; appeals to the Montana Supreme Court come from the 56 district courts in Montana. Missoula is the 4th Judicial District. Most district court opinions are not available online but information on the location of the district courts is available here.
Montana Administrative Code
These are state executive agency rules—they work in conjunction with Montana laws. Montana’s administrative rules are found in print—Administrative Rules of Montana (ARMs). The current version of the Administrative Rules can be found on the Montana Secretary of State’s Website. Notices about proposed rules and recently adopted Rules are published in the Montana Administrative Register (MAR). The MAR, back to 2000, is also online here.
Bills from each legislative session (introduced or passed) are online beginning in 1999. Legislative committee and floor hearings are archived since 2005 and audio minutes can be accessed here. The Montana Historical Society Archives in Helena is the official depository for all legislative material.
State Session Laws
A print version of Laws of Montana has been produced by the Montana Legislature after each session since 1864. As a general rule, the Legislature meets every odd-numbered year. Some recent versions of the Session laws are online. For example, see http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2011/reports/.
Some of the larger local governments like Missoula have their codes online. Find other city and county codes available online here.
Montana Jury Instructions and Court Rules
The Montana Civil and Criminal pattern Jury Instructions are printed by the State Bar of Montana. They are not available online but can be purchased online. The official publication of the court rules is the MCATitle 25 (Civil) and Title 46 (Criminal). Current rules without annotations can be found here.
Montana Legal Forms
The Commission on Self-Represented Litigants has approved a number of statewide forms. MontanaLawHelp.org also has a number of forms (click on Self-Help Forms). The Montana Legal Services Association also has a number of free forms available online.
State Bar of Montana
Western Montana Bar Association
Federal laws are contained in the United States Code.
The U.S. has eleven regional circuit courts (courts of appeal). These courts handle appeals made from state courts in their region. Montana is in the 9th Circuit.
Appeals from the circuit courts go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Many U.S. Supreme Court cases can be found online here.
United States Federal Digital System is a portal to government publications and information. You can find the Code of Federal Regulations and other legal documents here.
Montana tribes are considered sovereign nations. The Montana Indian Law Portal contains tribal codes, decisions, and more.
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