Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 21. Counties

Publication And Content Of Notice -- Proof Of Publication

7-1-2121. Publication and content of notice -- proof of publication. (1) Unless otherwise specifically provided by law and except as provided in 13-1-108, whenever a local government unit other than a municipality is required to give notice by publication, this section applies.

(2) A local government unit shall comply with the notice requirements of 2-3-103, including publication of an agenda prior to a meeting.

(3) Publication must be in a newspaper meeting the qualifications of subsections (4) and (5), except that in a county where a newspaper does not meet these qualifications, publication must be made by posting the notice in three public places in the county designated by resolution of the governing body, one of which may be the county's website if the county has an active website.

(4) (a) The newspaper must:

(i) be of general circulation;

(ii) be published at least once a week;

(iii) be published in the county where the hearing or other action will take place; and

(iv) have, prior to July 1 of each year, submitted to the clerk and recorder a sworn statement that includes:

(A) circulation for the prior 12 months;

(B) a statement of net distribution;

(C) itemization of the circulation that is paid and that is free; and

(D) the method of distribution.

(b) A newspaper of general circulation does not include a newsletter or other document produced or published by the local government unit.

(5) In the case of a contract award, the newspaper must have been published continuously in the county for the 12 months preceding the awarding of the contract.

(6) If a person is required by law or ordinance to pay for publication, the payment must be received before the publication may be made.

(7) The notice must be published twice, with at least 6 days separating each publication.

(8) The published notice must contain:

(a) the date, time, and place of the hearing or other action;

(b) a brief statement of the action to be taken;

(c) the address and telephone number of the person who may be contacted for further information on the action to be taken; and

(d) any other information required by the specific section requiring notice by publication.

(9) A published notice required by law may be supplemented by a radio or television broadcast of the notice in the manner prescribed in 2-3-105 through 2-3-107.

(10) Proof of the publication or posting of any notice may be made by affidavit of the owner, publisher, printer, or clerk of the newspaper or of the person posting the notice.

(11) If the newspaper fails to publish a second notice, the local government unit must be considered to have met the requirements of this section as long as the local government unit submitted the required information prior to the submission deadline and the notice was posted in three public places in the county that were designated by resolution and, if the county has an active website, was posted on the county's website at least 6 days prior to the hearing or other action for which notice was required.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 349, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 354, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 444, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 439, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 279, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 17, Ch. 49, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 139, L. 2023; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 396, L. 2023.