Archive | July, 2013

Hughes v. Hughes

Hughes v. Hughes, 2013 MT 176 (July 2, 2013) (5-0) (Morris, J.)
Issues: (1) Whether Johnny’s undesignated payments to his parents, Jack and Shirley, restarted the statute of limitations on the 1989 promissory note; (2) whether Jack and Shirley possess a life estate in the new house or a right to any of the insurance proceeds; (3) whether Jack is entitled to an easement for stock water across Johnny’s property; and (4) whether the arbitrator exceeded his authority or miscalculated damages.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) no; (3) yes; (4) no.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part & remanded

State v. Criswell

State v. Criswell, 2013 MT 177 (July 2, 2013) (7-0) (McKinnon, J.; McGrath, C.J., concurring)

Issue: (1) Whether the State presented sufficient evidence to convict Criswells of aggravated animal cruelty, and (2) whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Criswells’ motion for a mistrial.

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


Estate of Greene

Estate of Greene, 2013 MT 174 (July 2, 2013) (5-0) (McGrath, C.J.)

Issue: Whether the district court properly denied William Greene’s motion to substitute the district judge.

Short Answer: Yes. The substitution statute’s 30-day deadline does not apply to an informal probate, and is not triggered until a party petitions to covert the proceeding to a court-supervised administration.