Archive | Administrative rule interpretation

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Mitchell v. Dept. of Justice

Mitchell v. Dept. of Justice, 2015 MT 120 (Apr. 8, 2015) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether a momentary deviation from a lane of traffic violates § 61-8-328, MCA.

Short Answer: Yes.


Facts: Officer began following two cars one night near Red Lodge. After some time, car in front of officer passed Mitchell, who was two cars ahead of patrolman. As it was passed, Mitchell’s car crossed yellow center line. Before being passed, Mitchell’s vehicle crossed the fog line. Officer stopped Mitchell and cited him for crossing center line. Mitchell refused a breath alcohol test, resulting in suspension of his driver’s license.

Procedural Posture & Holding: A month later, Mitchell petitioned the district court to reinstate his license. After a hearing, lower court denied the petition, finding Mitchell’s car slightly crossed over the center yellow line in violation of § 61-8-328, MCA.…

Bailey v. Montana Dept. of Health & Human Services

Bailey v. Montana Dept. of Health & Human Svcs., 2015 MT 37 (Feb. 10, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether an administrative rule excluding from Medicaid coverage all invasive procedures undertaken for the purpose of weight reduction, including gastric bypass, is unreasonable and contrary to federal law.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: Bailey is a 51-year-old mother. She is about 5’3” and 445 pounds, and is considered morbidly obese. She qualifies for Montana Medicaid because she is legally blind. In 1990 Bailey was in a car that was hit by a train, causing long-term injuries to her ribs, knees, and back. In 2000, she broke both legs in a fall, and had pins and screws put into her legs.…