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State v. Lee

State v. Lee, 2015 MT 259 (Sept. 1, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court had authority to order the sale of Lee’s firearms and apply the proceeds to the costs of Lee’s incarceration in a county detention center.

Short Answer: No.

Reversed and remanded for entry of amended judgment

Facts: Lee was charged with robbery, assault with a weapon and burglary after allegations that he unlawfully entered a couple’s home in July 2013, pointed a gun and demanded money. Officers arrested Lee and confiscated weapons from his home and vehicle. Garfield County paid to incarcerate Lee until his sentencing in May 2014.

Lee pled nolo contender to all charges in exchange for the state not pursuing sentencing enhancements for using a dangerous weapon.…

Muir v. Bilderback

Muir v. Bilderback, 2015 MT 181 (June 30, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court properly dismissed Marie Felton’s objection to civil forfeiture of a Hummer that she co-owned with her son.

Short Answer: No. The police were required to personally serve the summons and petition for forfeiture on Felton.

Reversed and remanded to vacate the forfeiture order with respect to Felton

Facts: Bobby Bilderback is Marie Felton’s son. See 2015 MT 180. Missoula police found Bilderback in Missoula after being contacted by law enforcement in Washington. They executed a search warrant for a Hummer owned by Bilderback and Felton, and found $36,000 in cash and a plastic bag with methamphetamine residue. The Missoula chief of police instituted forfeiture proceedings against the Hummer, the cash, and other items found in the search, alleging they were involved with unlawful drug transactions.…

Muir v. Bilderback

Muir v. Bilderback, 2015 MT 180 (June 30, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d) 

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly denied Bilderback’s motion to suppress; (2) whether the district court properly denied Bilderback’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal service; and (3) whether the district court properly denied Bilderback’s motion for summary judgment.

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

Affirmed

Facts: Washington law enforcement contracted Missoula police in March 2013 for help in finding Bobby Bilderback, who was wanted in Washington in connection with a homicide. Missoula police found and arrested Bilderback and seized his Hummer. Missoula Detective Curtis applied for and received a search warrant for the Hummer, based on an affidavit that incorporated an affidavit from a Washington detective.…