Archive | January, 2015

Patton v. Patton

Patton v. Patton, 2015 MT 7 (Jan. 13, 2015) (Shea, J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion by declining to rule on Gail’s post-trial motions; (2) whether the district court erred in its review of the standing master’s report; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion by adopting the standing master’s report, which excluded evidence of Bill’s alleged abuse, in determining maintenance.

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

Reversed and remanded

Facts: Gail and Bill married in 1998. When they married, Gail was 43, rented an apartment, drove a used car, and had about $30,000 in the bank. Bill had substantial real and personal property, including the marital home, a veterinary practice, and a working ranch.…

In the Matter of BJTH and BHTH

In the Matter of BJTH and BHTH, 2015 MT 6 (Jan. 6, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether substantial evidence supports the district court’s finding that Mother received counseling prior to relinquishing her parental rights; and (2) whether the counselor produced a written report in compliance with § 42-2-409, MCA.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) yes.


Facts: Mother gave birth to twins BHTH and BJTH in July 2009. In September 2012, her parental rights were terminated after the district court found she had executed a knowing, voluntary relinquishment of her rights after receiving counseling. She appealed, and this Court affirmed two issues but remanded for a determination of whether Mother had received the required counseling or whether good cause existed to waive the requirement.…

Moreau v. Transportation Insurance Co.

Moreau v. Transportation Insurance Co., 2015 MT 5 (Jan. 6, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether a workers’ compensation claimant’s estate had standing to seek reimbursement of his medical expenses from the insurance carrier.

Short Answer: Yes.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: Edwin Moreau worked at the W.R. Grace mine from 1963-1992. He died of asbestos-related lung cancer in 2009. In 2010, his wife Cristita, the PR of the estate, filed for occupational disease benefits with Grace’s work comp carrier, Transportation Insurance. After initially denying the claim, Transportation accepted liability for Edwin’s medical expenses. Moreau and Transportation entered a settlement agreement under which Transportation reimbursed Medicaid, other providers, and Moreau for medical expenses paid on Edwin’s behalf.

The Libby Medical Plan, established and funded by W.R.…

State v. Greene

State v. Greene, 2015 MT 1 (Jan. 6, 2015) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d, rev’d in part)

Issue: (1) Whether Greene’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim was reviewable on postconviction relief; (2) whether the lower court erred in providing jury with a portion of the testimony; and (3) whether the written sentence unlawfully increased the oral sentence.

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

Affirmed in part, reversed in part

Facts: Greene was convicted of felony sexual assault in 1994. He was required to register as a sexual offender upon his release from prison, although not assigned a sexual offender tier level designation.

After being discharged from prison in July 2011, Greene registered his address with Missoula County, and signed a form regarding rules for updating his address.…