40-15-301. Jurisdiction and venue. (1) District courts, justices' courts, municipal courts, and city courts have concurrent jurisdiction to hear and issue orders under 40-15-201.
(2) When a dissolution of marriage or parenting action involving the parties is pending in district court, a person may file a petition for an order of protection in a justice's, municipal, or city court only if the district court judge assigned to that case is unavailable or if the petitioner, to escape further abuse, left the county where the abuse occurred. The petitioner shall provide a copy of relevant district court documents to the justice's, municipal, or city court, along with the petition. The justice of the peace, municipal court judge, or city court judge shall immediately certify the pleadings to the original district court after signing an order of protection under this subsection. The district court shall conduct the hearing unless both parties and both courts agree that the hearing may be conducted in the court of limited jurisdiction. If the district court is unable to conduct a hearing within 20 days of receipt of the certified pleadings, it shall conduct a hearing within 45 days of the receipt of the pleadings, unless the hearing is continued at the request of either party for good cause or by the court. If the hearing is continued, the order of protection must remain in effect until the court conducts the hearing.
(3) If one of the parties to an order of protection files for dissolution of marriage or files a parenting action after the order of protection is filed but before the hearing is conducted, the hearing must be conducted in the court in which the order of protection was filed. Either party may appeal or remove the matter to the district court prior to or after the hearing. If the district court is unable to conduct a hearing within 20 days of receipt of the certified pleadings, the district court shall conduct a hearing within 45 days of receipt of the pleadings. The hearing may be continued at the request of either party for good cause or by the court. If the hearing is continued, the order of protection must remain in effect until the court conducts the hearing.
(4) An action brought under this chapter may be filed in the county where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, the county where the respondent resides, or the county where the abuse occurred. There is no minimum length of residency required to file a petition under this chapter.
(5) The right to petition for relief may not be denied because the petitioner has vacated the residence or household to avoid abuse.
(6) An order of protection issued under this section is effective throughout the state. Courts and law enforcement officials shall give full faith and credit to all orders of protection issued within the state.
(7) A certified copy of an order of protection from another state, along with proof of service, may be filed in a Montana court with jurisdiction over orders of protection in the county where the petitioner resides. If properly filed in Montana, an order of protection issued in another state must be enforced in the same manner as an order of protection issued in Montana.
History: En. Sec. 27, Ch. 350, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 311, L. 1999.