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SENATE BILL NO. 258
INTRODUCED BY D. GRIMES, E. FRANKLIN, S. BARTLETT, D. ECK, M. HALLIGAN, D. HARGROVE
AN ACT REVISING THE LAWS RELATED TO VICTIMS OF PARTNER AND FAMILY MEMBER ASSAULT, VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, AND VICTIMS OF STALKING; CLARIFYING TEMPORARY ORDER OF PROTECTION LAWS RELATING TO CONTINUANCES; ELIMINATING THE TERMINATION DATE ON CIVIL FILING FEES ON DIVORCE AND SEPARATION FILINGS THAT FUND THE PARTNER AND FAMILY MEMBER ASSAULT INTERVENTION AND TREATMENT FUND ACCOUNT; AMENDING SECTIONS 40-15-202 AND 40-15-301, MCA; REPEALING SECTION 14, CHAPTER 484, LAWS OF 1997; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 40-15-202, MCA, is amended to read:
"40-15-202. Order of protection -- hearing -- evidence. (1) A hearing must be conducted within 20 days from the date that the court issues a temporary order of protection. The hearing date may be continued at the request of either party for good cause or by the court. If the hearing date is continued, the temporary order of protection must remain in effect until the court conducts a hearing. At the hearing, the court shall determine whether good cause exists for the temporary order of protection to be continued, amended, or made permanent.
(2) The respondent may request an emergency hearing before the end of the 20-day period by filing an affidavit that demonstrates that the respondent has an urgent need for the emergency hearing. An emergency hearing must be set within 3 working days of the filing of the affidavit.
(3) The order of protection may not be made mutually effective by the court. The respondent may obtain an order of protection from the petitioner only by filing an application for an order of protection and following the procedure described in this chapter.
(4) (a) Except as provided in subsection (4)(b), evidence concerning a victim's sexual conduct is not admissible in a hearing under this section.
(b) Evidence of a victim's past sexual conduct with the offender or evidence of specific instances of the victim's sexual activity to show the origin of semen, pregnancy, or disease may be admitted in a hearing under this section only if that sexual conduct is at issue in the hearing.
(5) If a respondent proposes to offer evidence subject to subsection (4)(b), the trial judge shall order a separate hearing to determine whether the proposed evidence is admissible under subsection (4)(b)."
Section 2. Section 40-15-301, MCA, is amended to read:
"40-15-301. Jurisdiction and venue. (1) District courts, justices' courts, municipal courts, and city courts have concurrent jurisdiction to hear and issue orders under 40-15-201.
(2) When a
divorce dissolution of marriage or custody parenting action involving the parties is pending in district court,
a person may file a petition for an order of protection in a justice's, municipal, or city court only if the district court judge
assigned to that case is unavailable or if the petitioner, to escape further abuse, left the county where the abuse occurred.
The petitioner shall provide a copy of relevant district court documents to the justice's, municipal, or city court, along with
the petition. The justice of the peace, municipal court judge, or city court judge shall immediately certify the pleadings to
the original district court after signing an order of protection under this subsection. The district court shall conduct the
hearing unless both parties and both courts agree that the hearing may be conducted in the court of limited jurisdiction. If
the district court is unable to conduct a hearing within 20 days of receipt of the certified pleadings, it may shall conduct a
hearing within 45 days of the receipt of the pleadings, unless the hearing is continued at the request of either party for good
cause or by the court. If the hearing is continued, the order of protection must remain in effect until the court conducts the
(3) If one of the parties to an order of protection files for dissolution of marriage or files a parenting action after the order of protection is filed but before the hearing is conducted, the hearing must be conducted in the court in which the order of protection was filed. Either party may appeal or remove the matter to the district court prior to or after the hearing. If the district court is unable to conduct a hearing within 20 days of receipt of the certified pleadings, the district court shall conduct a hearing within 45 days of receipt of the pleadings. The hearing may be continued at the request of either party for good cause or by the court. If the hearing is continued, the order of protection must remain in effect until the court conducts the hearing.
(3)(4) An action brought under this chapter may be filed in the county where the petitioner currently or temporarily
resides, the county where the respondent resides, or the county where the abuse occurred. There is no minimum length of
residency required to file a petition under this chapter. (4)(5) The right to petition for relief may not be denied because the petitioner has vacated the residence or household to
avoid abuse. (5)(6) An order of protection issued under this section is effective throughout the state. Courts and law enforcement
officials shall give full faith and credit to all orders of protection issued within the state. (6)(7) A certified copy of an order of protection from another state, along with proof of service, may be filed in a
Montana court with jurisdiction over orders of protection in the county where the petitioner resides. If properly filed in
Montana, an order of protection issued in another state must be enforced in the same manner as an order of protection
issued in Montana."
Section 3. Repealer. Section 14, Chapter 484, Laws of 1997 is repealed.
Section 4. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
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Latest Version of SB 258 (SB0258.ENR)
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