Archive | May, 2016

Friedman v. Lasco

Friedman v. Lasco, 2016 MT 115 (May 17, 2016) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court abused its discretion in granting the Friedmans’ application for a preliminary injunction.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: Lascos owned Spirit Quest Archery, Inc., a professional retail archery business in Kalispell. In April 2013, they executed a buy-sell with Friedmans for the store. Friedmans paid Lascos more than $600,000 for the business, business assets, and real estate.

At the time of the sale, Lascos told Friedman they would no longer be involved in the archery business, as they intended to pursue a legal career. Lascos entered into a covenant not to compete that was incorporated into and attached to the buy-sell. It prohibited Lascos from owning an archery business that provides archery services or archery related sales, or being affiliated with any other archery sale or services provider within a 100-mile radius of the purchased property for a period of five years.…

Ibsen v. Caring for Montanans, Inc.

Ibsen v. Caring for Montanans, Inc., 2016 MT 111 (May 11, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (6-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that the UTPA does not create a private right of action, and (2) whether the district court erred in holding that Ibsen’s claims could not be maintained as common law claims.

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

Affirmed

Facts: Ibsen owns and operates the Urgent Care Plus clinic in Helena. He bought health insurance for clinic employees from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) through a Chamber of Commerce program, “Chamber Choices.” In July 2013, Health Care Service Corporation bought BCBSMT’s health insurance business and BCBSMT changed its name to Caring for Montanans, Inc.…

Peretti v. State Dept. of Revenue

Peretti v. State Dept. of Revenue, 2016 MT 105 (May 10, 2016) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in reversing the State Tax Appeal Board’s valuation order; (2) whether the district court erred in awarding administrative trial costs to the taxpayers; and (3) whether the district court erred in ordering DOR to return all taxes paid under protest. 

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) yes; and (3) yes.

Reversed with instructions to reinstate the STAB valuation order

Facts: Perettis own Flathead Lake property with lake frontage. DOR appraised the property in 2012, based on market value in July 2008, and Perettis appealed to the county board. The county board reduced the appraised values from $1,356,201 to $1,192,500 for the land, and $166,980 to $125,000 for the improvements.…

Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance v. Bullock

Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance v. Bullock, 2016 MT 104 (May 10, 2016) (Cotter, J.; Baker, J., concurring) (7-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that MIJA has standing to challenge LR 121; (2) whether the district court erred in concluding that LR 121 is preempted by federal law; and (3) whether the district court erred in awarding attorney’s fees to MIJA.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no, except for its holding that one section of the law was not preempted; and (3) yes.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part

Facts: During the 2011 legislative session, the Montana Legislature passed House Bill 638, denying certain state-funded services to “illegal aliens,” and submitted the act to Montana voters as a legislative referendum.…

Moe v. Butte-Silver Bow County

Moe v. Butte-Silver Bow County, 2016 MT 103 (May 10, 2016) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly granted partial summary judgment to the county on Moe’s claim that it violated Montana’s open meeting laws; (2) whether the district court properly granted partial summary judgment to the county on Moe’s claim that it violated Montana’s public participation laws; (3) whether the district court properly granted partial summary judgment to the county on Moe’s § 1983 claim; (4) whether the district court erred in holding as a matter of law that the county did not discharge Moe in violation of its own policies or for refusing to violate public policy; and (5) whether the district court erred in holding that Moe is entitled to a trial on her claim that the county terminated her employment without good cause.…

Jacobson v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC

Jacobson v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, 2016 MT 101 (May 4, 2016) (Wheat, J.; Rice, J., concurring) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that Bayview violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act; (2) whether the district court erred in holding that Bayview violated the Montana Consumer Protection Act; (3) whether the district court erred in awarding damages to the Jacobsons; and (4) whether the Jacobsons should be awarded costs and fees on appeal.

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

Affirmed

Facts: Jacobsons borrowed money and bought a home in October 2007, executing a promissory note and trust indenture for $391,400 as security. The original lender was CitiMortgage, Inc. and the “nominee” beneficiary of the trust indenture was Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.…

Draggin’ Y Cattle Company, Inc. v. Addink

Draggin’ Y Cattle Company, Inc. v. Addink, 2016 MT 98 (May 3, 2016) (Baker, J.; Rice, J., concurring; McKinnon, J., concurring & dissenting; McGrath, C.J. & Wheat, J., recused themselves) (5-0, appeal dismissed)

Issue: Whether New York Marine timely raised its disqualification claim, and if so, whether the claim should be considered on the merits given that the judge did not disclose circumstances that could cause the judge’s impartiality to be reasonably questioned.

Short Answer: Under these circumstances, the claim is not waived. The Court holds Judge Huss had a duty to disclose but declines to determine whether Judge Huss should have been disqualified for cause. It remands for determination of the disqualification issue by a district judge it will assign.…