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Ecton v. Ecton

Ecton v. Ecton, 2013 MT 114 (April 30, 2013) (5-0) (Cotter, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in interpreting Zales Ecton, Jr.’s will requiring IRC § 2032A property to be distributed as part of the residuary estate as requiring a specific devise rather than a devise to the residuary beneficiaries; and (2) whether the district court erred in allowing Zales III to object to the PR’s decision to award the income from the IRC § 2032A property to residuary beneficiaries more than 30 days after the proposed distribution was submitted for approval.

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

Affirmed

State v. Baker

State v. Baker, 2013 MT 113 (April 30, 2013) (5-0) (McGrath, C.J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in admitting into evidence a recorded interview with the victim; (2) whether sufficient evidence supported the conviction; (3) whether the district court erred in denying Baker’s motion for a new trial; and (4) whether’s Baker’s attorney provided ineffective assistance at trial.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) yes; (3) no; and (4) the Court declines to address this issue.

Affirmed

In the Matter of DSB and DSB

In the Matter of DSB and DSB, 2013 MT 112 (April 30, 2013) (5-0) (McGrath, C.J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly concluded that birth father JH’s treatment plans were appropriate, and (2) whether the state presented sufficient evidence to terminate JH’s parental rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) yes.

Affirmed

Stewart v. Liberty Northwest

Stewart v. Liberty Northwest, 2013 MT 107 (April 23, 2013) (5-0) (McKinnon, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the Work Comp Court erred in determining that Stewart is entitled to continued payment for the pain patches prescribed for her; (2) whether the court erred in determining Stewart was not entitled to attorneys’ fees; and (3) whether the court erred in failing to impose the statutory penalty on Liberty, pursuant to § 39-71-2907, MCA.

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

Affirmed

Sullivan v. Continental Construction

Sullivan v. Continental Construction of Montana, LLC, 2013 MT 106 (April 23, 2013) (5-0) (Morris, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly held that Continental had good cause to terminate Sullivan’s employment; (2) whether Continental improperly considered hearsay evidence in deciding to terminate Sullivan’s employment; (3) whether the district court improperly considered hearsay evidence in deciding that Continental had good cause to terminate Sullivan’s employment; and (4) whether the district court properly concluded that Continental did not violate the provisions of its employee handbook when it terminated Sullivan’s employment.

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

Affirmed

State v. MacDonald

State v. MacDonald, 2013 MT 105 (April 23, 2013) (7-0) (Baker, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred by ordering a change in parenting arrangements for John Doe as part of the criminal sentence, despite pending dependency and neglect proceedings, and (2) whether the district court exceeded statutory mandates by ordering MacDonald to pay fees, costs, and surcharges without inquiring into her ability to pay.

Short Answer: (1) No, but the court should not have included a statement in the written judgment that John Doe’s father should be presumed to have custody; and (2) no.

Affirmed and remanded to strike part of written judgment

Payne v. Berry’s Auto, Inc.

Payne v. Berry’s Auto, Inc., 2013 MT 102 (April 16, 2013) (5-0) (Rice, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether Berry’s disclaimed implied warranties of a used vehicle when the transaction included purchase of a service contract, and (2) whether the district court erred in affirming the justice court’s denial of Payne’s implied warranty claim.

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

Affirmed

CHS, Inc. v. Montana State Dept. of Revenue

CHS, Inc. v. Montana State Dept. of Revenue, 2013 MT 100 (April 16, 2013) (5-0) (McGrath, C.J.)

Issue: (1) Whether CHS’s challenge to DOR’s assessment methods may be brought as a declaratory judgment action in district court without first appealing to an administrative tax appeal board; (2) whether summary judgment was proper for CHS’s claim that DOR failed to equalize its valuation of CHS’s property; and (3) whether DOR’s assessment of CHS’s property was too late for 2009.

Short Answer: (1) No, as the only issues of fact CHS raised went to valuation; (2) yes; and (3) no.

Affirmed

Mountain West Bank v. Cherrad, LLC

Mountain West Bank v. Cherrad, LLC, 2013 MT 99 (April 16, 2013) (5-0) (Wheat, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the estate’s appeal of the order finding its construction lien invalid is moot due to sale of the property to bona fide purchasers; (2) whether the district court erred in calculating the amount of money Cherrad owed the estate for costs related to the condo construction project.

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

Affirmed, and remanded for attorneys’ fees incurred on appeal