On February 5, 2003, the Commission adopted the final redistricting plan (with some minor amendments). Commissioners Sheila Rice and Joe Lamson submitted the plan to the Secretary of State as provided in the Montana Constitution. Bob Brown, Secretary of State, refused to accept the plan based on HB 309, which had been signed into law by Governor Martz on February 4, 2003. House Bill No. 309 required a plus or minus 1% deviation and the plan had been drawn using a criterion of plus or minus 5% deviation.
Secretary of State, Bob Brown, filed a complaint for declaratory judgment on February 5, 2003 requesting "the court to determine the constitutionality and statutory validity of the Statewide Redistricting Plan adopted by the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission." A hearing for partial summary judgment on the complaint was held May 15, 2003, at the First Judicial District Court in Helena. Supplemental briefs were requested by May 29, 2003.