Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions

Appointment Of Judge

16-12-115. Appointment of judge. (1) A petition for expungement or resentencing of a marijuana conviction filed as provided in 16-12-113 may be determined by a judge pro tempore or special master, who must be a member of the bar of the state, agreed on in writing by the petitioner and the county attorney, appointed by the supreme court as provided in 3-5-115, and sworn to determine whether the petitioner meets the criteria for expungement or resentencing as provided in 16-12-113. On appointment, the individual must be designated as the decriminalized marijuana conviction expungement judge.

(2) A judge appointed under subsection (1) has the authority and power of an elected district court judge in the civil action involving petitions filed as provided in 16-12-113. All proceedings must be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence and procedure governing district courts.

(3) Any determination rendered in a petition by the judge has the same force and effect as if determined by the district court with the regular judge presiding.

(4) A party stipulating to have a petition determined by the judge appointed under subsection (1) may not file a motion for substitution of the judge pursuant to 3-1-804.

(5) All filings relating to a petition filed as provided in 16-12-113 must be filed with the clerk of court in the judicial district in which the marijuana conviction took place. The applicant and the county attorney shall provide a copy of each filing to the judge appointed as provided in subsection (1).

History: En. Sec. 102, Ch. 576, L. 2021.