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In the Matter of ADB

In the Matter of ADB, 2013 MT 167 (June 20, 2013) (5-0) (McKinnon, J.; McGrath, C.J., specially concurring)

Issue: (1) Whether DPHHS made reasonable efforts to reunite Mother with ADB; (2) whether the district court properly concluded that Mother’s drug addiction rendered her unfit to parent ADB, and that her condition was unlikely to change within a reasonable time; (3) whether the district court had jurisdiction to terminate Father’s parental rights; (4) whether Father’s attorney rendered ineffective assistance of counsel; (5) whether the district court erred in terminating Father’s parental rights based upon his incarceration for mitigated deliberate homicide; and (6) whether the district court correctly concluded that terminating Mother’s and Father’s parental rights was in ADB’s best interest.…

Citizens for Balanced Use v. Maurier

Citizens for Balanced Use v. Maurier, 2013 MT 166 (June 19, 2013) (7-0) (McGrath, C.J.; Rice, J., concurring)

Issue: Whether the district court properly issued a preliminary injunction on the basis that the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks had violated § 87-1-216, MCA, by transferring bison to the Ft. Peck Reservation.
Short Answer: No. Tribal lands are not “private or public lands in Montana,” and the statute therefore does not apply.


Rose v. State

Rose v. State, 2013 MT 161 (June 18, 2013) (7-0) (Wheat, J.)

Issue: Did the district court properly deny Rose’s claim for postconviction relief, which alleged (1) that Rose’s trial counsel provided ineffective assistance, (2) that appellate counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to raise certain issues on appeal, and (3) that Rose was denied access to counsel at a critical stage of the trial.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, (2) yes, and (3) this issue could have been raised on direct appeal and will not be considered in a petition for postconviction relief.


Cartwright v. Scheels All Sports, Inc.

Cartwright v. Scheels All Sports, Inc., 2013 MT 158 (June 18, 2013) (5-0) (McKinnon, J.)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in (1) denying summary judgment to Cartwright and allowing Scheels to argue good cause for terminating Cartwright’s employment; (2) failing to sanction Scheels for discovery abuse and destruction of evidence; (3) denying Cartwright’s motion to amend the pleadings; (4) allowing Scheels’ expert witness to testify about ultimate issues of fact and law; and (5) allowing witnesses to testify about rumors heard at Scheels about Cartwright.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no; (3) no; (4) no; and (5) no.



Bell Generations Trust v. Flathead Bank

Bell Generations Trust v. Flathead Bank, 2013 MT 152 (June 5, 2013) (6-1) (Cotter, J., for the majority; Wheat, J., dissenting)

Issue: Whether the district court properly determined that Bell’s easement rights were subordinate to Flathead Bank’s interests in the property, and were properly foreclosed upon and extinguished by the bank trhough a trustee’s sale.

Short Answer: Yes.