A basic knowledge of MT courts can be beneficial if you ever find yourself in the courtroom. All too often individuals and businesses find the need to file a lawsuit, or are at the receiving end of a lawsuit, and their lack of knowledge on how the court system works leaves them lost in the proceedings. Regardless of the circumstances that put you there, it doesn’t hurt to understand the court process and know a little about the individual overseeing your case.
It’s important to understand that there are multiple courts in each state that oversee different types of cases. Each of these courts has judges that administer the law and case process. When considering Montana courts and judges, keep the following in mind:
1. You can access case form examples to assist you in filing a case from Montana courts online.
2. The Montana Supreme Court only hears appellate cases and has its own appointed judges.
3. Bankruptcy information and case filings are also accessible through Montana court records.
Locate a Montana county courtAt the lowest level of the MT court structure are courts of limited jurisdiction. City courts, municipal courts and justice courts hear cases involving misdemeanors, traffic violations and civil matters up to $7,000. Justice courts also hear small claims cases involving up to $3,000. Additional limited jurisdiction courts include the water court and the workers' compensation court. The next tier of the Montana court structure consists of 56 district courts. The Montana district court handles civil, juvenile and misdemeanors. Additionally, district courts have exclusive jurisdiction in probate, domestic relations and felony cases.
File an appeal with the MT Supreme CourtThe purpose of an appellate court is to review the trial transcript and original evidence of a case to determine if there were any errors in the original case decision. There are no witnesses, jurors or new evidence in a case heard before an appellate court. The seven judges on the Montana Supreme Court hear appeals filed in case decisions from all courts. To help ease the burden, district courts have limited appellate jurisdiction on appeals filed in case decisions made by the limited jurisdiction courts. The majority of appellate cases, however, go directly to the Supreme Court, which may appoint some of their cases to the district court.
Access records from the MT court of bankruptcyWhether you need to search for a bankruptcy filing on a debtor or determine if bankruptcy is an option for you or your company, the Montana Bankruptcy Courts can assist you with both. The Montana bankruptcy court provides information on the basics for bankruptcy filing, contact information for trustees and bankruptcy attorneys and an online search of Montana bankruptcy records through the PACER system (Public Access to Court Electronic Records).
U.S. Bankruptcy Court – District of Montana website. Visit the bankruptcy court records search provided through the District of Montana Document Filing System.
- Regardless of how much knowledge you have of Montana court rules, you should hire an attorney who specializes in your specific type of case to represent you.