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In re the Parenting of CMR

In re the Parenting of CMR, 2016 MT 120 (May 24, 2016) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in denying father’s motion to change venue; (2) whether the district court erred in granting mother’s motion to dismiss the modification of the parenting plan; and (3) whether the district court violated father’s due process rights.

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

Affirmed

Facts: CMR was born in November 2009 to Ray and Amber. They lived together until May 2010, and have been litigating the terms of their parenting plan as CMR has gotten older. Amber is CMR’s primary care provider. The parents signed a mediation parenting plan in February 2015, which is the basis of this appeal.…

Estate of Kinnaman v. Mountain West Bank

Estate of Kinnaman v. Mountain West Bank, 2016 MT 25 (Feb. 2, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in grating Mountain West’s motion to change venue; (2) whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment to Mountain West on all claims; (3) whether the district court abused its discretion in taking judicial notice of the record in previous actions; and (4) whether the district court abused its discretion in denying the estate’s Rule 60(b) motion to vacate the summary judgment order.

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

Affirmed

Facts: This is the third of three lawsuits stemming from a condominium development at Hauser Lake. The first resulted in a final judgment that was not appealed, and the second was resolved in 2013 MT 99.…

State v. Deshazer

State v. Deshazer, 2016 MT 8 (Jan. 12, 2016) (Shea, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in denying Deshazer’s motion to dismiss for improper venue.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: The state charged Deshazer with felony theft by common scheme in December 2013 for double-cashing seven paychecks issued to Deshazer. Deshazer deposited the checks from a Ravalli County employment agency, SS Staffing, to one bank via a mobile banking application on his phone, and then submitted them to a different bank for deposit thereafter. SS Staffing reported the double-cashing to Hamilton police.…

Wagman v. Motl

Wagman v. Motl, 2015 MT 168 (June 23, 2015) (Rice, J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred by transferring Wagman’s declaratory judgment action to Lewis & Clark County.

Short Answer: No, transfer was warranted, but the district court lacked power to transfer to a specific department and judge.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part

Facts: Pat Wagman was a 2010 candidate for state Senate District 31, which included all of Park County and most of Sweet Grass County. The Commissioner of Political Practices, Jonathan Motl, filed a civil enforcement action against Wagman in Lewis & Clark County. Before filing, Motl notified the Lewis & Clark County attorney, providing an opportunity for the county attorney to prosecute.…

In re SCB

In re SCB, 2015 MT 19 (Jan. 27, 2015) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether district court properly granted venue change in parenting plan action.

Short Answer: No.

Reversed & remanded

Facts: SCB was born in 2006. SCB and Burrington have lived with Burrington’s mother, Hovland, in Flathead County for most of SCB’s life. Hovland financially supports Burrington and SCB.

Burrington was convincted of her fourth DUI in December 2013 and sentenced to four years with the DOC, all suspended. She and SCB moved in March 2014 to Havre. In May 2014 Burrington’s probation officer conducted a home visit, found Burrington severely intoxicated, and called police. Burrington was arrested and detained for 20 days, and Hovland was contacted to pick up SCB in Havre.…