Archive | Subject matter jurisdiction

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Rimrock Chrysler, Inc. v. State

Rimrock Chrysler, Inc. v. State, 2016 MT 165 (July 12, 2016) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred by assuming subject matter jurisdiction to review Lithia Motors’ administrative protest; and (2) whether the district court erred by dismissing Rimrock’s petition for judicial review on the grounds of mootness.

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

Affirmed (1), reversed (2), and remanded

Facts: Lithia Motors bought a Dodge franchise in Billings in 2003. At the time, Dodge was a division of Chrysler, LLC (Old Chrysler). Old Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in April 2009. AS part of its restructuring, Old Chrysler rejected 789 existing dealer agreements, including Rimrock’s in May 2009. Most of Old Chrysler’s assets were sold to Chrysler Group, LLC (New Chrysler.…

In the Matter of AS & AM

In the Matter of AS & AM, 2016 MT 156 (June 28, 2016) (Rice, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion and violated Mother’s constitutional rights by terminating her parental rights; and (2) whether the district court lacked jurisdiction and abused its discretion in terminating Father’s parental rights to AS. 

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

Affirmed

Facts: AS was born in 2011, and AM was born in 2008. DPHHS became involved with the family in 2014 upon receiving reports that Father, Mother, and Mother’s boyfriend were involved with methamphetamine. The department found AS but did not find father. AS was placed into protective custody, and the parents were served by publication.

A few months later, Mother called the department and told a child protective specialist she was in Great Falls and wanted to pick up her daughter.  …

In the Matter of KB

In the Matter of KB, 2016 MT 73 (March 29, 2016) (McKinnon, J.) (7-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over KB’s abuse and neglect proceeding, and (2) whether Father received ineffective assistance of counsel.

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

Affirmed

Facts: KB was removed from her mother’s care in November 2012, at the age of 5, due to concerns about Mother’s inability to protect KB from domestic violence. KB was placed in kinship foster care with her aunt and uncle, where she has remained. Her younger sister, TH, also lives with aunt and uncle.

KB was adjudicated a youth in need of care in 2013, and the Department drafted a treatment plan for Father.…

Interstate Explorations, LLC v. Morgen Farm & Ranch, Inc.

Interstate Explorations, LLC v. Morgen Farm & Ranch, Inc., 2016 MT 20 (Jan. 26, 2016) (Rice, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in denying Interstate’s motion to dismiss Morgen’s counterclaims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because Morgen did not exhaust its statutory remedies.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: Morgen owns the surface rights of property to which it leased the oil and gas rights to Montana Oil Properties, Inc., which assigned its lease interest to Interstate. Interstate drilled and completed a well on the Morgen property.…

Harrington v. Energy West, Inc.

Harrington v. Energy West, Inc., 2015 MT 233 (Aug. 11, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court correctly considered evidence outside the pleadings in deciding Energy West’s 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss; and (2) whether the district court correctly dismissed Harrington’s suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; ad (2) no.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings

Facts: Energy West is a Montana corporation with its principal place of business in Montana. It is a subsidiary of Gas Natural, Inc., an Ohio corporation with corporate offices in Montana and Ohio.

In February 2011, either Energy West or Gas Natural (the parties dispute which) hired Harrington as a corporate controller.…

Commissioner of Political Practices v. Bannan

Commissioner of Political Practices v. Bannan, 2015 MT 220 (Aug. 4, 2015) (Cotter, J.) (7-0, appeal dismissed)

Issue: Whether the Lewis & Clark County District Court had subject matter jurisdiction over the commissioner’s enforcement action against Bannan.

Short Answer: Yes, the district court had subject matter jurisdiction. The real issue on appeal is an issue of statutory interpretation, and this appeal is premature.

Appeal dismissed

Facts: Terry Bannan was an unsuccessful candidate for the Montana Legislature in the 2010 primary. Commissioner Motl issued a decision in January 2014, concluding there was sufficient evidence to demonstrate Bannan had violated various campaign practices and finance law warranting civil adjudication.

The commissioner forwarded his decision to the Lewis and Clark county attorney for consideration of pursuing an action against Bannan.…

State v. Montgomery

State v. Montgomery, 2015 MT 151 (June 2, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Montgomery’s felonies because he was charged by information rather than indicted by a grand jury.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: In 2006, Montgomery was charged with felony counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse involving four alleged child victims. He eventually pled guilty to two counts of sexual assault, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended for each felony, to run consecutively. In addition, his probation in a 2003 case was revoked and he was sentenced to an additional consecutive 20-year sentence.

Procedural Posture & Holding: In October 2014, Montgomery moved to vacate his conviction and dismiss the charges, arguing the district court lacked jurisdiction because the charges were not brought via a grand jury.…