Montana Code Annotated 2015

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     3-5-113. (Temporary) Judges pro tempore -- special masters -- scope of authority in criminal and civil cases. (1) (a) A civil action in the district court may be tried by a judge pro tempore or special master, who must be a member of the bar of the state, agreed upon in writing by the parties litigant or their attorneys of record, appointed by the court as provided in 3-5-115, and sworn to try the cause before entering upon the duties in trying the cause.
     (b) The judge pro tempore or special master has the authority and power of an elected district court judge in the particular civil action tried in the manner provided for in this subsection (1). All proceedings before a judge pro tempore or special master must be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence and procedure governing district courts.
     (c) Any order, judgment, or decree made or rendered in a civil case by the judge pro tempore or special master has the same force and effect as if made or rendered by the district court with the regular judge presiding.
     (2) (a) Preliminary, nondispositive proceedings in criminal actions in a district court may be conducted by a judge pro tempore or special master. The judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case must be appointed by a district court judge or judges as provided in 3-5-122.
     (b) All proceedings before a judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case must be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence and procedure governing district courts.
     (c) The judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case has the authority and power of a district court judge to issue orders pursuant to Title 46, chapter 9, concerning bail and conditions of release or detention of persons pending trial, and to conduct arraignments, initial appearances on warrants, and initial appearances on probation revocations. An order made by the judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case has the same force and effect as if made by a district court judge.
     (d) Within 10 days after issuance of an order by a judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case, a party may object to the order as provided by rules of court and a district court judge shall make a de novo determination of that portion of the order to which objection is made. The district court judge may accept, reject, or modify the order in whole or in part. The district court judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the judge pro tempore or special master with instructions.
     (e) All proceedings before a judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case must be conducted in a suitable room in the courthouse, subject to the provisions of Title 46 relating to the use of two-way electronic audio-video communication. All records must be filed and kept in accordance with the rules governing the district court.
     3-5-113. (Effective on occurrence of contingency) . Judges pro tempore -- special masters -- scope of authority in criminal and civil cases. (1) (a) A civil action in the district court may be tried by a judge pro tempore or special master, who must be a member of the bar of the state, agreed upon in writing by the parties litigant or their attorneys of record, appointed by the court as provided in 3-5-115 or 3-20-102, and sworn to try the cause before entering upon the duties in trying the cause.
     (b) The judge pro tempore or special master has the authority and power of an elected district court judge in the particular civil action tried in the manner provided for in this subsection (1). All proceedings before a judge pro tempore or special master must be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence and procedure governing district courts.
     (c) Any order, judgment, or decree made or rendered in a civil case by the judge pro tempore or special master has the same force and effect as if made or rendered by the district court with the regular judge presiding.
     (2) (a) Preliminary, nondispositive proceedings in criminal actions in a district court may be conducted by a judge pro tempore or special master. The judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case must be appointed by a district court judge or judges as provided in 3-5-122.
     (b) All proceedings before a judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case must be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence and procedure governing district courts.
     (c) The judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case has the authority and power of a district court judge to issue orders pursuant to Title 46, chapter 9, concerning bail and conditions of release or detention of persons pending trial, and to conduct arraignments, initial appearances on warrants, and initial appearances on probation revocations. An order made by the judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case has the same force and effect as if made by a district court judge.
     (d) Within 10 days after issuance of an order by a judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case, a party may object to the order as provided by rules of court and a district court judge shall make a de novo determination of that portion of the order to which objection is made. The district court judge may accept, reject, or modify the order in whole or in part. The district court judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the judge pro tempore or special master with instructions.
     (e) All proceedings before a judge pro tempore or special master in a criminal case must be conducted in a suitable room in the courthouse, subject to the provisions of Title 46 relating to the use of two-way electronic audio-video communication. All records must be filed and kept in accordance with the rules governing the district court.

     History: En. Sec. 37, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 6271, Rev. C. 1907; re-en. Sec. 8822, R.C.M. 1921; Cal. C. Civ. Proc. Sec. 72; re-en. Sec. 8822, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 93-311; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 663, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 394, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 473, L. 2001.

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