Archive | April, 2013

CHS, Inc. v. Montana State Dept. of Revenue

CHS, Inc. v. Montana State Dept. of Revenue, 2013 MT 100 (April 16, 2013) (5-0) (McGrath, C.J.)

Issue: (1) Whether CHS’s challenge to DOR’s assessment methods may be brought as a declaratory judgment action in district court without first appealing to an administrative tax appeal board; (2) whether summary judgment was proper for CHS’s claim that DOR failed to equalize its valuation of CHS’s property; and (3) whether DOR’s assessment of CHS’s property was too late for 2009.

Short Answer: (1) No, as the only issues of fact CHS raised went to valuation; (2) yes; and (3) no.

Affirmed

Mountain West Bank v. Cherrad, LLC

Mountain West Bank v. Cherrad, LLC, 2013 MT 99 (April 16, 2013) (5-0) (Wheat, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the estate’s appeal of the order finding its construction lien invalid is moot due to sale of the property to bona fide purchasers; (2) whether the district court erred in calculating the amount of money Cherrad owed the estate for costs related to the condo construction project.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) no.

Affirmed, and remanded for attorneys’ fees incurred on appeal

Ensey v. Mini Mart, Inc.

Ensey v. Mini Mart, Inc., 2013 MT 94 (April 10, 2013) (5-0) (Wheat, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred by dismissing Ensey’s complaint for lack of jurisdiction; and (2) whether the district court erred in finding that § 39-2-915, MCA does not violate Ensey’s constitutional rights.

Short Answer: (1) No, and (2) yes.

Affirmed issue 1, set aside issue 2

Feller v. First Interstate Bancsystem

Feller v. First Interstate Bancsystem, 2013 MT 90 (April 9, 2013) (5-0) (Cotter, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment to the bank on the basis of preemption by the Fair Credit Reporting Act; (2) whether the district court erred in granting the bank summary judgment on Feller’s conversion claim; and (3) whether the district court erred in dismissing Fellers’ emotional distress claims.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no; and (3) no.

Affirmed

McCulley v. American Land Title Co.

McCulley v. American Land Title Co., 2013 MT 89 (April 9, 2013) (5-0) (Cotter. J.)

Issue: Whether the district court properly granted summary judgment to the bank and the title company.

Short Answer: (1) Yes to the title company; (2) yes to the contract and negligence claims against the bank; (3) no as to the fraud claim against the bank.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part

State v. Birthmark

State v. Birthmark, 2013 MT 86 (April 9, 2013) (5-0) (McGrath, C.J.)

Issue: (1) Whether Birthmark’s attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel; (2) whether the Court should exercise plain error review of the jury instructions regarding the mental state for partner-family member assault; and (3) whether the written judgment should be corrected.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no; and (3) yes.

Affirmed & remanded for correction of the written judgment

Western MT Water Users v. Mission Irrig. District

Western MT Water Users Assoc., LLC v. Mission Irrig. Dist., 2013 MT 92 (April 9, 2013) (7-0) (Morris, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court has issued a final appealable order; (2) whether the district court properly granted the writ of mandate and injunction; and (3) whether the district court properly determined that the irrigation districts had to comply with §§ 85-7-1956 and 85-7-1957, MCA, before executing the Water Use Agreement.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, because the order included an injunction; (2) no, because the district court issued its order on grounds not raised or argued by the parties; and (3) no, because those statutes apply only to contracts with the U.S. for a loan of money.

Reversed