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SENATE BILL NO. 320
INTRODUCED BY R. HOLDEN
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT PROHIBITING UNINSURED DRIVERS FROM COLLECTING NONECONOMIC DAMAGES AS THE RESULT OF AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT; PROHIBITING FELONS FROM RECOVERING ANY DAMAGES DUE TO PERSONAL INJURY SUFFERED WHILE COMMITTING OR FLEEING FROM A FELONY; AMENDING SECTION 61-6-304, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 61-6-304, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-6-304. Penalties. (1) Conviction of a first offense under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302 is punishable by a fine of not less than $250 or more than $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 10 days, or both. A second conviction is punishable by a fine of $350 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 10 days, or both. A third or subsequent conviction is punishable by a fine of $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months, or both.
(2) Upon a second or subsequent conviction under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302, the sentencing court shall order the surrender of the vehicle registration receipt and license plates for the vehicle operated at the time of the offense if that vehicle was operated by the registered owner or a member of the registered owner's immediate family or by a person whose operation of that vehicle was authorized by the registered owner. The court shall send the receipt and plates, along with a copy of the complaint and dispositional order, to the department, which shall immediately suspend the receipt and plates for a period of 90 days from the date of a second conviction or 180 days from the date of a third or subsequent conviction. The receipt and plates may not be reinstated until the expiration of that period and until proof of compliance with 61-6-301 is furnished to the department, but if the vehicle is transferred to a new owner, the new owner is entitled to register the vehicle.
(3) Upon a fourth and subsequent conviction under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302, the court shall order the surrender of the driver's license of the offender, if the vehicle operated at the time of the offense was registered to the offender or a member of the offender's immediate family. The court shall send the driver's license, along with a copy of the complaint and the dispositional order, to the department, which shall immediately suspend the driver's license. The department may not reinstate a driver's license suspended under this subsection until the registered owner provides the department proof of compliance with 61-6-301 and the department determines that the registered owner is otherwise eligible for licensure.
(4) The court may suspend a required fine only upon a determination that the offender is or will be unable to pay the fine.
(5) Except as provided in subsection (6), in an action to recover damages arising out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, an injured person may not recover noneconomic damages, including but not limited to damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, disfigurement, or any other noneconomic loss, if:
(a) the injured person was the owner of a motor vehicle involved in the accident;
(b) the injured person was previously convicted of violating 61-6-301 or 61-6-302; and
(c) at the time of the accident, the injured person's vehicle involved in the accident was not insured and the injured person could not establish financial responsibility as required by 61-6-132.
(6) If a person described in subsection (5) was injured by an impaired driver who at the time of the accident was operating a motor vehicle in violation of 61-8-401 or 61-8-406, any action by the injured person to recover damages from the impaired driver is not limited by subsection (5).
(7) Except as provided in subsection (6), an insurer is not liable, directly or indirectly, under a motor vehicle liability
policy, defined in 33-23-204, for noneconomic damages of an injured person described in subsection (5). (5)(8)(7) A court may not defer imposition of penalties provided by this section. (6)(9)(8) An offender is considered to have been previously convicted for the purposes of sentencing this section if less
than 5 years have elapsed between the commission of the present offense and a previous conviction."
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Limits on recovery by person involved in felony -- insurer not liable. (1) In an action
for damages based on negligence, a person may not recover damages of any kind for THE PERSON'S injuries
for which a
contributing cause was INCURRED DURING the person's commission of, attempt to commit, or immediate flight from a
(2) An insurer is not liable directly or indirectly for any loss to which a contributing cause was the claimant's commission of, attempt to commit, or immediate flight from a felony.
(3) After all right to appeal has been exhausted, a judgment of conviction, as defined in 45-2-101, establishing criminal
accountability for the felonious act conclusively establishes the fact of commission of a felony by the convicted person for
purposes of this section.
In the absence of a conviction, the court, upon the petition of an interested person, shall determine
whether, under the preponderance of evidence standard, the person would be found criminally accountable for a felonious
act. If the court determines that under that standard the person would be found criminally accountable for the felonious act,
the determination conclusively establishes the fact of commission of a felony by the person for purposes of this section.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 2] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 27, chapter 1, part 7, and the provisions of Title 27, chapter 1, part 7, apply to [section 2].
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
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Latest Version of SB 320 (SB0320.02)
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