Senate Bill No. 280

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act providing for an increase in the base salary of court reporters; funding the increase by a fee increase; and amending sections 3-5-602 and 25-1-202, MCA."

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

Section 1.  Section 3-5-602, MCA, is amended to read:

"3-5-602.   Salary and expenses -- apportionment. (1) Each reporter is entitled to receive a base annual salary of not less than $23,000 or more than $30,000 $35,000 and no other compensation except as provided in 3-5-604. The salary must be set by the judge for whom the reporter works. The salary is payable in monthly installments out of the general funds of the counties comprising composing the district for which the reporter is appointed and out of an appropriation made to the supreme court administrator as provided in subsection (2).

(2)  The supreme court administrator shall determine the total number of civil and criminal actions commenced in the preceding year in the district court or courts in the judicial district for which a reporter is appointed. The state shall pay its portion of the reporter's salary based on the proportion of the total number of criminal actions commenced in the district court or courts in the district and the amount appropriated for that purpose. Each county shall pay its portion of the remainder of the salary based on its proportion of the total number of civil and criminal actions commenced in the district courts in the district. The judge or judges of the district shall, on January 1 of each year or as soon thereafter as possible, apportion the amount of the salary to be paid by each county in the district on the basis prescribed in this subsection. The portion of the salary payable by a county is a district court expense within the meaning of 7-6-2351, 7-6-2352, and 7-6-2511.

(3)  In judicial districts comprising more than one county, the reporter is allowed, in addition to the salary and fees provided for in subsection (1), actual and necessary travel expenses, as defined and provided in 2-18-501 through 2-18-503, when on official business to a county of the reporter's judicial district other than the county in which the reporter resides. The expenses must be apportioned and are payable in the same way as the salary."

Section 2.  Section 25-1-202, MCA, is amended to read:

"25-1-202.   Fee for court reporter. In addition to other filing fees, a fee of $10 $20 must be paid to the clerk of the district court at the time of filing a civil action in the district court. The fee must be paid by the clerk into the treasury of the county where the action is filed, to be applied to the payment of the salary of the reporter. The prevailing party may have the amount paid by him the prevailing party taxed in his the bill of costs as proper disbursements."