House Bill No. 321

Introduced By mcculloch, barnett, mahlum

A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act making it an offense to obstruct a person serving process; amending section

45-7-302, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  Person serving process -- penalty for obstruction. A process server registered under chapter 1, part 11, a licensed attorney, or a sheriff, constable, coroner, elisor, or other government employee who is acting in the course of the person's employment while serving process is a public servant for the purpose of determining the offense of obstructing a public servant as provided in 45-7-302. A person who obstructs a person serving process is guilty of obstruction of a public servant and is punishable as provided in 45-7-302.

Section 2.  Section 45-7-302, MCA, is amended to read:

"45-7-302.   Obstructing a peace officer or other public servant. (1) A person commits the offense of obstructing a peace officer or public servant if he the person knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the enforcement of the criminal law, the preservation of the peace, or the performance of a governmental function, including service of process.

(2)  It is no defense to a prosecution under this section that the peace officer was acting in an illegal manner, provided that he the peace officer was acting under color of his the peace officer's official authority.

(3)  A person convicted of the offense of obstructing a peace officer or other public servant, including a person serving process, shall be fined not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both."

Section 3.  Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 25, chapter 3, part 1, and the provisions of Title 25, chapter 3, part 1, apply to [section 1].

Section 4.  Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.