Archive | October, 2015

In the Matter of CM, BM, AM, EM, and DM

In the Matter of CM, BM, AM, EM, and DM, 2015 MT 292 (Oct. 13, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in concluding that Mother’s conduct or condition that made her unfit to parent was unlikely to change within a reasonable time; and (2) whether the district court abused its discretion in terminating Mother’s parental rights.

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


Facts: DPPHS removed the children, ages 16 month to 9 years, from Mother’s home in 2014 after finding methamphetamine there. Four of the children tested positive for meth exposure. In April 2014, Mother stipulated to adjudication of the children as youths in need of care and the court granted temporary custody to the Department.…

Watterud v. Gilbraith

Watterud v. Gilbraith, 2015 MT 288 (Oct. 6, 2015) (Cotter, J.) (6-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment to sellers’ real estate agent on the basis that the buyers’ negligence claim is premised on duties to inspect and discover, which do no exist under the statute.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: Gilbraiths retained Amber Uhren to sell their home in September 2013. The GIlbraiths disclosed in the listing contract that the property had not been tested for mold nor treated or mitigated for mold.

Two days later, the Watteruds entered into a buy-sell with the Gilbraiths, and both couples signed a property disclosure statement and a mold disclosure form. The Gilbraiths disclosed that there had been leakage, flooding, moisture or evidence of water in the basement in 2005, and that the “issue has been handled & taken care of.” They also checked the box next to flooding, draining, grading problems, or French drains, and wrote that there was water damage and the whole basement was redone in 2008, but had “been fine since.” Both parties agreed it was the buyers’ responsibility to obtain a mold inspection.…

State v. Poitras

State v. Poitras, 2015 MT 287 (Oct. 6, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court abused its discretion by concluding sufficient foundation existed to admit the result of Poitras’s breath test.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: Casey Poitras was arrested for DUI in May 2012, and submitted to a breath test on an Intoxilyzer 8000, which registered a BAC of .149%. Poitras moved to exclude the results, arguing the county’s two senior operators of the Intoxilyzer were not properly recertified. The state put in evidence that both operators had successfully competed their recertification exams in January 2012 and were issued new permits, but did not provide evidence of prior examinations. Poitras argued this evidence was necessary to show they were properly recertified in accordance with the rules.…

City of Missoula v. Sharp

City of Missoula v. Sharp, 2015 MT 289 (Oct. 6, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.) (6-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the officer had sufficient objective data to form particularized suspicion to justify the investigatory stop of Sharp.

Short Answer: Yes.


Facts: Officer Lloyd was parked in downtown Missoula one November night when he observed several vehicles stop at a stoplight, one of which was sharp’s pickup. The speed limit there is 25 mph. When the light turned green, Lloyd heard Sharp rev the engine and speed across the intersection, leaving the other cars behind. Lloyd turned into traffic and followed Sharp with his lights activated. Sharp stopped after a few blocks. Lloyd noticed Sharp slurring his speech, and was eventually charged with DUI after refusing to submit to a breath or alcohol test.…