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HOUSE BILL NO. 261
INTRODUCED BY M. NOENNIG
BY REQUEST OF THE JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE ON CI-75
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REVISING AND CLARIFYING GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY AND DEFENSE AND INDEMNIFICATION OF PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; AMENDING SECTIONS 2-9-111, 2-9-112, 2-9-113, 2-9-114, AND 2-9-305, MCA; PROVIDING A CONTINGENT VOIDNESS PROVISION; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 2-9-111, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-9-111. Immunity from suit for legislative acts and omissions. (1) As used in this section:
(a) the term "governmental entity" means only the state, counties, municipalities, school districts, and any other local government entity or local political subdivision vested with legislative power by statute;
(b) the term "legislative body" means only the legislature vested with legislative power by Article V of The Constitution of the State of Montana and that branch or portion of any other local governmental entity or local political subdivision empowered by law to consider and enact statutes, charters, ordinances, orders, rules, policies, resolutions, or resolves;
(c) (i) the term "legislative act" means:
(A) actions by a legislative body that result in creation of law or declaration of public policy;
(B) other actions of the legislature authorized by Article V of The Constitution of the State of Montana; or
(C) actions by a school board that result in adoption of school board policies pursuant to 20-3-323(1);
(ii) the term legislative act does not include administrative actions undertaken in the execution of a law or public policy.
A Except as provided in Article VIII, section 17, of the Montana constitution, a governmental entity is immune from
suit for a legislative act or omission by its legislative body, or any member or staff of the legislative body, engaged in
Any Except as provided in Article VIII, section 17, of the Montana constitution, any member or staff of a legislative
body is immune from suit for damages arising from the lawful discharge of an official duty associated with legislative acts of
the legislative body.
(4) The acquisition of insurance coverage, including self-insurance or group self-insurance, by a governmental entity does not waive the immunity provided by this section.
(5) The immunity provided for in this section does not extend to:
(a) any tort committed by the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or other means of transportation; or
(b) any act or omission that results in or contributes to personal injury or property damage caused by contamination or other alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of surface water or ground water, for which a cause of action exists in statutory or common law or at equity. This subsection (5)(b) does not create a separate or new cause of action."
Section 2. Section 2-9-112, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-9-112. Immunity from suit for judicial acts and omissions. (1)
The Subject to Article VIII, section 17, of the
Montana constitution, the state and other governmental units are immune from suit for acts or omissions of the judiciary.
(2) A member, officer, or agent of the judiciary is immune from suit for damages arising from
his the lawful discharge of
an official duty associated with judicial actions of the court.
(3) The judiciary includes those courts established in accordance with Article VII of The Constitution of the State of Montana."
Section 3. Section 2-9-113, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-9-113. Immunity from suit for certain gubernatorial actions.
The Subject to Article VIII, section 17, of the
Montana constitution, the state and the governor are immune from suit for damages arising from the lawful discharge of an
official duty associated with vetoing or approving bills or in calling sessions of the legislature."
Section 4. Section 2-9-114, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-9-114. Immunity from suit for certain actions by local elected executives.
A Subject to Article VIII, section 17,
of the Montana constitution, a local governmental entity and the elected executive officer thereof of the entity are immune
from suit for damages arising from the lawful discharge of an official duty associated with vetoing or approving ordinances
or other legislative acts or in calling sessions of the legislative body."
Section 5. Section 2-9-305, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-9-305. Immunization, defense, and indemnification of employees. (1)
It Subject to Article VIII, section 17, of
the Montana constitution concerning immunity for tax-related matters, it is the purpose of this section to provide for the
immunization, defense, and indemnification of public officers and employees civilly sued for their actions taken within the
course and scope of their employment.
(2) In any noncriminal action brought against any employee of a state, county, city, town, or other governmental entity for a negligent act, error, or omission, including alleged violations of civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, or other actionable conduct of the employee committed while acting within the course and scope of the employee's office or employment, the governmental entity employer, except as provided in subsection (6), shall defend the action on behalf of the employee and indemnify the employee.
(3) Upon receiving service of a summons and complaint in a noncriminal action against
him an employee, the employee
shall give written notice to his the employee's supervisor requesting that a defense to the action be provided by the
governmental entity employer. If the employee is an elected state official or other employee not having no a supervisor, the
employee shall give notice of the action to the legal officer or agency of the governmental entity defending the entity in legal
actions of that type. Except as provided in subsection (6), the employer shall offer a defense to the action on behalf of the
employee. The defense may consist of a defense provided directly by the employer. The employer shall notify the employee,
within 15 days after receipt of notice, whether a direct defense will be provided. If the employer refuses or is unable to
provide a direct defense, the defendant employee may retain other counsel. Except as provided in subsection (6), the
employer shall pay all expenses relating to the retained defense and pay any judgment for damages entered in the action that
may be otherwise payable under this section.
(4) In any noncriminal action in which a governmental entity employee is a party defendant, the employee
shall must be
indemnified by the employer for any money judgments or legal expenses, including attorney fees either incurred by the
employee or awarded to the claimant, or both, to which the employee may be subject as a result of the suit unless the
employee's conduct falls within the exclusions provided in subsection (6).
(5) Recovery against a governmental entity under the provisions of parts 1 through 3 of this chapter constitutes a
complete bar to any action or recovery of damages by the claimant, by reason of the same subject matter, against the
employee whose negligence or wrongful act, error, or omission or other actionable conduct gave rise to the claim. In any
such action against a governmental entity, the employee whose conduct gave rise to the suit is immune from liability by
reasons of the same subject matter if the governmental entity acknowledges or is bound by a judicial determination that the
conduct upon which the claim is brought arises out of the course and scope of the employee's employment, unless the claim
constitutes an exclusion provided in (b) through (d) of subsection subsections (6)(b) through (6)(d).
(6) In a noncriminal action in which a governmental entity employee is a party defendant, the employee may not be defended or indemnified by the employer for any money judgments or legal expenses, including attorney fees, to which the employee may be subject as a result of the suit if a judicial determination is made that:
(a) the conduct upon which the claim is based constitutes oppression, fraud, or malice
, or for any other reason does not
arise out of the course and scope of the employee's employment;
(b) the conduct of the employee constitutes a criminal offense as defined in Title 45, chapters 4 through 7;
(c) the employee compromised or settled the claim without the consent of the government entity employer; or
(d) the employee failed or refused to cooperate reasonably in the defense of the case.
no a judicial determination has not been made applying the exclusions provided in subsection (6), the governmental
entity employer may determine whether those exclusions apply. However, if there is a dispute as to whether the exclusions
of subsection (6) apply and the governmental entity employer concludes it should clarify its obligation to the employee
arising under this section by commencing a declaratory judgment action or other legal action, the employer is obligated to
provide a defense or assume the cost of the defense of the employee until a final judgment is rendered in such the action
holding that the employer had no obligation to defend the employee. The governmental entity employer has no obligation to
provide a defense to the employee in a declaratory judgment action or other legal action brought against the employee by the
employer under this subsection."
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Contingent voidness. If Constitutional Initiative No. 75, enacting Article VIII, section 17, of the Montana constitution, is declared invalid, then [this act] is void.
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
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Latest Version of HB 261 (HB0261.01)
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New language in a bill appears underlined, deleted material appears stricken.
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Status of this Bill| 1999 Session | Leg. Branch Home
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