Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 9. State Funding for District Courts

State Assumption Of District Court Expenses

3-5-901. State assumption of district court expenses. (1) There is a state-funded district court program under the judicial branch. Under this program, the office of court administrator shall fund all district court costs, except as provided in subsection (3). These costs include but are not limited to the following:

(a) salaries and benefits for:

(i) district court judges;

(ii) law clerks;

(iii) court reporters, as provided in 3-5-601;

(iv) juvenile probation officers, youth division offices staff, and assessment officers of the youth court; and

(v) other employees of the district court;

(b) in criminal cases:

(i) fees for transcripts of proceedings, as provided in 3-5-604;

(ii) witness fees and necessary expenses, as provided in 46-15-116;

(iii) juror fees and necessary expenses;

(iv) for a psychiatric examination under 46-14-202, the cost of the examination and other associated expenses, as provided in 46-14-202(4); and

(v) for commitment under 46-14-221, the cost of transporting the defendant to the custody of the director of the department of public health and human services to be placed in an appropriate facility of the department of public health and human services and of transporting the defendant back for any proceedings, as provided in 46-14-221(5);

(c) except as provided in 47-1-119, the district court expenses in all postconviction proceedings held pursuant to Title 46, chapter 21, and in all habeas corpus proceedings held pursuant to Title 46, chapter 22, and appeals from those proceedings;

(d) except as provided in 47-1-119, the following expenses incurred by the state in federal habeas corpus cases that challenge the validity of a conviction or of a sentence:

(i) transcript fees;

(ii) witness fees; and

(iii) expenses for psychiatric examinations;

(e) except as provided in 47-1-119, the following expenses incurred by the state in a proceeding held pursuant to Title 41, chapter 3, part 4 or 6, that seeks temporary investigative authority of a youth, temporary legal custody of a youth, or termination of the parent-child legal relationship and permanent custody:

(i) transcript fees;

(ii) witness fees;

(iii) expenses for medical and psychological evaluation of a youth or the youth's parent, guardian, or other person having physical or legal custody of the youth except for expenses for services that a person is eligible to receive under a public program that provides medical or psychological evaluation;

(iv) expenses associated with appointment of a guardian ad litem or child advocate for the youth; and

(v) expenses associated with court-ordered alternative dispute resolution;

(f) except as provided in 47-1-119, costs of juror and witness fees and witness expenses before a grand jury;

(g) costs of the court-sanctioned educational program concerning the effects of dissolution of marriage on children, as required in 40-4-226, and expenses of education when ordered for the investigation and preparation of a report concerning parenting arrangements, as provided in 40-4-215(2)(a);

(h) except as provided in 47-1-119, all district court expenses associated with civil jury trials if similar expenses were paid out of the district court fund or the county general fund in any previous year;

(i) all other costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the district court, including contract costs for court reporters who are independent contractors; and

(j) costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the youth court and youth court division operations pursuant to 41-5-111 and subsection (1)(a) of this section, except for those costs paid by other entities identified in Title 41, chapter 5.

(2) If a cost is not paid directly by the office of court administrator, the county shall pay the cost and the office of court administrator shall reimburse the county within 30 days of receipt of a claim.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), district court costs paid by the office of court administrator do not include:

(a) costs for clerks of district court and employees and expenses of the offices of the clerks of district court;

(b) costs of providing and maintaining district court office space; or

(c) charges incurred against a county by virtue of any provision of Title 7 or 46.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 680, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 1, Sp. L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 416, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 704, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 781, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 330, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 535, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 394, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 41, Ch. 278, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 17, Ch. 585, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 583, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 585, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 19, Ch. 449, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 140, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 358, L. 2017.