Senate Bill No. 138
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act requiring that a person elected or appointed to fill a county attorney position in a county with a population of less than 30,000 be admitted to the practice of law for 3 years before the date of election or appointment; eliminating the requirement that a person appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of county attorney be designated an acting county attorney until that person establishes residency in the county; and amending sections 7-4-2701 and 7-4-2702, MCA."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 7-4-2701, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-4-2701. Qualifications for county attorney in certain counties. (1)
No A person is not eligible for the position of
county attorney in counties which that have a population in excess of 30,000 unless he the person is a citizen of the United
States who and has resided in the state 2 years immediately before taking office and has been admitted to the practice of
law for at least 5 years prior to before the date of election or appointment.
(2) A person is not eligible for the position of county attorney in counties that have a population less than 30,000 unless the person is a citizen of the United States and has resided in the state 2 years immediately before taking office and has been admitted to the practice of law for at least 3 years before the date of election or appointment."
Section 2. Section 7-4-2702, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-4-2702. Procedure to fill vacancy in office of county attorney.
(1) Whenever a vacancy in the office of county
attorney shall arise arises in any a county and there is no licensed attorney residing in said county who is eligible to be
appointed to fill said vacancy, the board of county commissioners is authorized to appoint an attorney who meets the
qualifications established in 7-4-2701 to fill the vacancy. and has the power to employ special counsel from without the
county, who shall be designated and officially known as the "acting county attorney" and who during said employment
shall be vested with all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the county attorney, including the filing of all
complaints, informations, and/or other proceedings for and in which the county or state may be a party and the prosecution
and defense of the same to the same extent and with the same force and effect as if he were the regular qualified county
attorney. Said attorney shall be paid a monthly compensation not to exceed the monthly salary of the county attorney.
Whenever any such attorney is employed, the county clerk of said county shall certify to the attorney general the name of
such acting county attorney and the fact of his employment. (2) Whenever any licensed attorney shall establish residence in said county and become eligible to hold the office of
county attorney, it shall be the duty of the board to appoint such attorney to fill said vacancy, and the employment of said
special attorney shall thereupon cease."