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Marble v. State

Marble v. State, 2015 MT 242 (Aug. 14, 2015) (Cotter, J.; Rice, J., concurring & dissenting; McKinnon, J., concurring & dissenting) (5-2, rev’d) (Judge Michael Hayworth sitting for Chief Justice McGrath)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in predicating its decision denying Marble’s petition for postconviction relief on the concurring opinion in Beach II; and (2) what test a district court must use in reviewing a petition for postconviction relief predicated on newly discovered evidence and filed within one year of discovering such evidence.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) The district court shall determine whether the new evidence “if proved and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole would establish that the petitioner did not engage in the criminal conduct for which he or she was convicted.”

Reversed

Facts: In 2002, 17-year-old Cody Marble spent several weeks in Pod C of the Missoula County detention center (MCDC) with seven boys aged 13-18.…

Montana Dept. of Revenue v. Priceline.com, Inc.

Montana Dept. of Revenue v. Priceline.com, Inc., 2015 MT 241 (Aug. 12, 2015) (Shea, J.; McKinnon, J. concurring & dissenting) (5-2, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in determining online travel companies are not required to collect and remit taxes on OTC fees under the Lodging Facility Use Tax; (2) whether the district court erred in determining OTCs are not required to collect and remit taxes on OTC fees under the sale tax on accommodations and campgrounds; (3) whether the district court erred in determining OTCs are not required to collect and remit taxes on OTC fees under the sales tax on rental vehicles; and (4) whether this decision should be applied retroactively.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) yes; (3) yes; and (4) yes, to the date the department filed this action.…

State v. Spady

State v. Spady, 2015 MT 218 (July 30, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.) (7-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred when it granted Spady’s motion to dismiss and concluded the 24/7 Sobriety Program is unconstitutional.

Short Answer: The Court holds that the 24/7 program is constitutional, but that state law and due process require an individualized assessment to determine whetherae defendant is an appropriate candidate for the program. Because the justice court did not conduct such an assessment here, the Court affirms the district court’s decision to remand Spady’s case to justice court with instructions to dismiss the contempt charges against him.

Affirmed and reversed, remanded with instructions

Facts: The 2011 Legislature enacted the 24/7 Sobriety Program Act, §§ 44-4-1201 through -1206, MCA.…

Masters Group Internat’l, Inc. v. Comerica Bank

Masters Group Internat’l, Inc. v. Comerica Bank, 2015 MT 192 (July 1, 2015) (Baker, J. wrote an opinion in which Shea, J., joined; Shea, J. concurred; Rice, J., concurred and dissented and was joined by McKinnon, J.; Cotter, J., concurred and dissented, and was joined by McGrath, C.J., and Wheat, J.) (aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Comerica’s motion to sever; (2) whether the district court erred in applying Montana law despite the contractual choice-of-law provision; (3) whether the district court erred in not deciding contract formation issues as a matter of law; (4) whether the district court erred by allowing TARP evidence to be presented to the jury.

Short Answer: (1) No (Baker, Shea, Cotter, McGrath, Wheat); (2) yes (Baker, Shea, Cotter, McGrath, Wheat); (3) no (5-Baker, Shea, Cotter, McGrath, Wheat- to 2-Rice, McKinnon); (4) yes (7-0 agree admission was error, but 4 (Baker, Shea, Rice.…

Allstate Insurance Co. v. Posnien, Inc.

Allstate Insurance Co. v. Posnien, Inc., 2015 MT 162 (June 16, 2015) (Rice, J.) (7-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in determining that Posnien retained no security interest in the Allstate book of business sold to Baird 7 pursuant to the terms of Allstate’s contract documents.

Short Answer: Yes.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: Fay Posnien was an exclusive agent for Allstate. In 2006, Fay decided to sell the agency and retire. Allstate placed an ad on its website listing the agency for sale, and Mary Baird, incorporated at Baird 7, offered to buy the agency from Posnien for $450,000.

Posnien was required to obtain Allstate’s approval of Baird 7 as the buyer. Allstate’s Montana field manager met with Baird, shared the agency’s revenue and expense history, reviewed her business plan, tax returns and other financial documents, and conducted personal interviews with her.…

Metro Aviation, Inc. v. United States

Metro Aviation, Inc. v. United States, 2013 MT 193 (July 16, 2013) (7-0) (Cotter, J.)

Issue: The Court answers three certified questions from the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah:
(1) May a person who has settled a claim with a victim bring an action for contribution against a joint tortfeasor under § 27-1-703. MCA, if the victim never filed a court action?
(2) When a defendant in a pending action settled with the plaintiff ahead of trial, does § 27-1-703, MCA, allow the settling defendant to bring a subsequent contribution action against a person who was not a party to the tort action?
(3) Does Montana recognize a common-law right of indemnity where the negligence of the party seeking indemnification was remote, passive, or secondary, compared to that of the party from whom indemnity is sought?…