Archive | July, 2016

Algee v. Hren

Algee v. Hren, 2016 MT 166 (July 12, 2016) (Shea, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court properly applied the doctrine of laches to bar all of Algee’s claims not already barred by statutes of limitation.

Short Answer: Yes.


Facts: Algee and Hrens own adjoining properties. Hren have an easement through Algee’s land, including a creek embankment. In August 2010, Hrens began to build a road on their easement to access their property. Algee filed a complaint with the Cascade Conservation District, and the CCD issued a stop work order. Hrens stopped work, changed their plans, and submitted them to the CCD, which further modified them before issuing a 210 permit to continue road construction. In September 2010, Algee received a letter informing him of the approved plan and the issued permit.…

State v. Kasparek

State v. Kasparek, 2016 MT 163 (July 12, 2016) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in denying Kasparek’s motion to suppress evidence obtained pursuant to a search warrant, and (2) whether the district court erred in denying Kasparek’s motion to suppress statements he made while in custody.

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


Facts: In August 2013, Deputy Sheriff Stokes responded to a report of a burglary at a residence in Browning. The owner, Judy Como, had been at work from 7 pm-7 am, and told the officer her house had been burglarized while she was gone. Several items were missing, including her estranged husband Spencer Atchley’s drug test results. The front door showed signs of forced entry.…

Rimrock Chrysler, Inc. v. State

Rimrock Chrysler, Inc. v. State, 2016 MT 165 (July 12, 2016) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred by assuming subject matter jurisdiction to review Lithia Motors’ administrative protest; and (2) whether the district court erred by dismissing Rimrock’s petition for judicial review on the grounds of mootness.

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

Affirmed (1), reversed (2), and remanded

Facts: Lithia Motors bought a Dodge franchise in Billings in 2003. At the time, Dodge was a division of Chrysler, LLC (Old Chrysler). Old Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in April 2009. AS part of its restructuring, Old Chrysler rejected 789 existing dealer agreements, including Rimrock’s in May 2009. Most of Old Chrysler’s assets were sold to Chrysler Group, LLC (New Chrysler.…

In the Matter of Parenting ZDL-B

In the Matter of Parenting ZDL-B, 2016 MT 164 (July 12, 2016) (Rice, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred by modifying the parenting plan because changed circumstances did not exist; (2) whether the district court’s findings regarding the child’s best interests were clearly erroneous; and (3) whether the district court erred in denying mother’s request for attorney fees and costs.

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


Facts: Z was born in 2003 to Jessica and Daniel, both of whom were in high school. Jessica was Z’s primary provider, with help from Daniel and their families. Jessica and Daniel did not marry, and parented Z without significant court intervention. Jessica petitioned for a parenting plan in 2005, and the court adopted a stipulated plan.…

State v. Montgomery

State v. Montgomery, 2016 MT 169 (July 12, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in denying Montgomery’s motion to vacate his conviction and dismiss all charges.

Short Answer: No, because Montgomery has made these same claims repeatedly, and is therefore barred under the doctrine of res judicata from raising them again.


Facts: Montgomery pled no contest to felony incest and was given a 20-year suspended sentence in 2004. In 2006 he was charged with numerous felony count of sexual abuse and sexual assault of four children. He pled guilty to two counts of felony sexual assault in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining counts and withdrawal of a persistent felony offender designation. In January 2007, the district court sentenced Montgomery to 20 years in Montana State Prison with 10 years suspended for each felony, to run consecutively with the sexual assault convictions.…