3-7-224. (Temporary) Jurisdiction of chief water judge and associate water judge. (1) The chief water judge and the associate water judge may, at the discretion of the chief justice of the Montana supreme court, also serve as water judge for one of the water divisions.
(2) The chief water judge and the associate water judge have jurisdiction over cases certified to the district court under 85-2-309, all matters relating to the determination of existing water rights within the boundaries of the state of Montana, and all petitions for judicial review filed with the water court under 2-4-702.
(3) With regard to the consideration of a matter within the chief water judge's jurisdiction, the chief water judge and the associate water judge have the same powers as a district court judge. The chief water judge and the associate water judge may issue orders, on the motion of an interested party or on the judge's own motion, that may reasonably be required to allow the judge to fulfill the judge's responsibilities, including but not limited to requiring the joinder of persons not parties to the administrative hearing being conducted by the department pursuant to 85-2-309 or 85-2-402 as considered necessary to resolve any factual or legal issue certified pursuant to 85-2-309(2). (Terminates September 30, 2025--sec. 6, Ch. 126, L. 2017.)