Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Administrative Enforcement of Support

Filing And Docketing Of Final Orders -- Orders Effective As District Court Decrees

40-5-227. Filing and docketing of final orders -- orders effective as district court decrees. (1) An abstract of any final administrative order under this chapter may be filed in the office of the clerk of the district court of any county of Montana and must be filed in the office of the clerk of the district court that received notice under 40-5-222(5). The order must be docketed in the judgment docket of the district court. The properly filed and docketed order has all the force, effect, and attributes of a docketed order or decree of the district court, including but not limited to lien effect and enforceability by supplemental proceedings, writs of execution, and contempt of court proceedings. A final administrative order of the department is effective and enforceable without filing and docketing the order in the district court. Contempt of court proceedings and writs of execution based on the administrative order may not be requested from the district court unless the administrative order is first docketed with the district court. The administrative order may not operate as a judgment lien unless the order is first docketed with the district court or a lien is otherwise perfected under the laws of this state, including 40-5-248.

(2) A final administrative order that determines and sets periodic support payments in the absence of a district court order, when filed and docketed under this section, may be modified by a district court order only as to installments accruing after actual notice to the parties of any motion for modification. The standard for a modification is that set forth in 40-4-208.

(3) The department may issue a warrant for distraint based upon a properly filed and docketed order pursuant to 40-5-247.

(4) If the department has filed an abstract pursuant to subsection (1) after issuing a notice of a support debt pursuant to 40-5-222, the department shall petition the district court to find the obligor in contempt if the obligor has not made a payment on the debt in 30 days.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 544, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 212, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 15, Ch. 631, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 46, Ch. 552, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 202, L. 2007.