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City of Helena v. Community of Rimini

City of Helena v. Community of Rimini, 2017 MT 145 (June 13, 2017) (Wheat, J.; Rice, J., dissenting) (4-3, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether § 85-2-227(4), MCA, is impermissibly retroactive as applied to Helena’s water rights claim; (2) whether the Water Court erred in reinstating 7.35 cfs of Helena’s Tenmile Creek water rights; (3) whether the Water Court erred in finding Helena had abandoned .6 cfs of its Tenmile Creek water rights; and (4) whether the Water Court erred in imposing specific place of use restrictions on Helena’s decreed Tenmile Creek water rights.

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

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded

Facts: This case is on appeal for the second time, and involves two water rights claims filed by the city of Helena for waters of Tenmile Creek.…

Keuffer v. O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.

Keuffer v. O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., 2016 MT 127 (May 31, 2016) (Wheat, J.; Baker, J., dissenting; McKinnon, J., dissenting) (4-3, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court abused its discretion in disqualifying Mossberg’s out-of-state and local counsel for violation of Rule 1.20 of the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: Luke and Stephanie Keuffer were hunting in Montana in October 2008. Stephanie was using a .308 Mossberg model 800 rifle. The Keuffers allege that the Mossberg rifle fell and struck Luke’s rifle, which discharged and shot Luke in the face, causing serious and permanent injury.

In August 2010, Luke called Tarlow & Stonecipher, PLLC and spoke to attorney Margaret Weamer regarding a possible claim against a gun manufacturer for injuries sustained in a hunting accident.…

Montana Cannabis Industry Assoc. v. State

Montana Cannabis Industry Assoc. v. State, 2016 MT 44 (Feb. 25, 2016) (Baker, J., for the majority; McKinnon, J., concurring & dissenting; Rice, J., concurring & dissenting; Wheat, J.,concurring & dissenting) (6-1 on 5 of 6 issues; 4-3 on the 6th issue; aff’d & rev’d) (Cotter, J., recused and replaced by District Judge Robert Olson)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly held unconstitutional the statutory requirement that DPHHS notify the Board of Medical Examiners of any physician who certifies more than 25 patients a year for medical marijuana; (2) whether the district court properly held unconstitutional (a) the statute’s 3-patient limit and (b) the remuneration restriction; (3) whether the district court properly applied strict scrutiny to the statutory provision prohibiting advertising by medical marijuana providers; (4) whether the district court properly held that the statutory provision prohibiting probationers from becoming registered cardholders for medical marijuana was facially constitutional; and (5) whether the district court properly held constitutional the statutory provision allowing warrantless inspections of medical marijuana providers’ business by DPHHS and law enforcement.…

State v. Root

State v. Root, 2015 MT 310 (Oct. 27, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.; Cotter, J., dissenting) (4-3, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether Root’s attorney was ineffective for not requesting an accomplice instruction; and (2) whether the district court erred in denying Root’s motion to dismiss based on the prosecution’s failure to disclose a video statement of a witness.

Short Answer: (1) No; and (2) no, with Justices Cotter, McKinnon, and Shea dissenting on (2).

Affirmed

Facts: Lawrence Lee was stabbed in the arm and neck while in his pickup truck with Root and juvenile S.R. Lee and S.R. testified that Root stabbed Lee, after which S.R. jumped out of the truck and Lee pushed Root out of the truck. S.R. testified that after Lee left, S.R.…

Kent v. City of Columbia Falls

Kent v. City of Columbia Falls, 2015 MT 139 (May 19, 2015) (Cotter, J.; Cotter, J., concurring; Baker, J., dissenting) (4-3, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court properly applied the public duty doctrine in granting summary judgment to the city.

Short Answer: No.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: Casey Kent, 35, died June 14, 2008, from a head injury he suffered from a fall while skateboarding in a planned unit development (PUD) in Columbia Falls, Cedar Pointe Estates. His wife Sara sued the city of Columbia Falls and various other entities that designed, developed and constructed Cedar Pointe Estates. Sara alleged the path where Casey was skating was built at a 24% grade, and the steepness of this grade caused Casey’s fall and fatal head injury.…

Beach v. State

Beach v. State, 2015 MT 118 (May 5, 2015) (Baker, J.; McKinnon, J., concurring: Wheat, J., dissenting; Shea, J., dissenting; Cotter, J. dissenting) (4-3, petition denied)

Issue: Whether Barry Beach’s sentence of 100 years without the possibility of parole is unconstitutional under Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012).

Short Answer: No.

Petition for writ of habeas corpus denied

Facts: Beach was convicted of deliberate homicide in 1984 for a crime committed in 1979, when Beach was 17. The district court imposed the maximum sentence of 100 years without the possibility of parole. The record does not show that the court expressly considered Beach’s youth when imposing the sentence.

Procedural Posture & Holding: Beach petitions for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that his sentence is unconstitutional under Miller v.

State v. Beach

State v. Beach, 2013 MT 130 (May 14, 2013) (4-3) (Rice, J., for the majority, joined by Baker, J. McKinnon, J. and Dist. Judge Richard Simonton; McKinnon, J. concurring separately; Morris, J., dissenting, joined by Wheat, J., and Cotter, J.)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in concluding that Beach was entitled to a new trial because he had demonstrated his actual innocence.

Short Answer: Yes.

Reversed