40-5-824. Expedited enforcement procedures. (1) A parent, the department, or the third-party custodian may apply to the court for expedited enforcement procedures under this part. If the child receives medicaid, a parent or third-party custodian may apply to the department for and the department may on its own motion use expedited enforcement procedures under this part.
(2) Upon receipt of an application, the tribunal may issue an order requiring the obligated parent to appear and show cause why an order, penalty, fine, or any combination should not be determined, assessed, and entered under one or more provisions of this part. The obligated parent may appear at the hearing or submit an affidavit asserting the obligated parent's position and defense. The show cause order must be issued if the tribunal finds that:
(a) a medical support obligation has been established by order of a tribunal or by a court or administrative agency of another state, territory, or Indian reservation;
(b) the obligated parent is liable for medical costs and expenses or premium payments under this part;
(c) a parent receives a reimbursement payment from individual insurance or a health benefit plan and fails to promptly turn the payment over to the party who has paid or is paying the underlying bill of the health service provider;
(d) a parent is delinquent in paying to the other parent, the department, or a third-party custodian the parent's share of:
(i) copayments and deductibles required under the individual insurance or plan; or
(ii) costs and expenses not covered by individual insurance or a health benefit plan; or
(e) there are fines, penalties, or other financial sanctions that may be imposed under this part.
(3) Prior to applying for expedited enforcement, the applicant shall give the obligated parent notice of the claim under this part. The obligated parent may pay the claim within 30 days after receiving the notice. A copy of the notice must be given to the other parent, to the department, if the department is not the applicant or the tribunal hearing the matter and if public assistance is paid for the child, or to the third-party custodian. The other parent, the department, or the third-party custodian may participate in the proceedings as a party.
(4) An application for expedited enforcement may be based on any credible statements or evidence presented to the tribunal, including the sworn affidavit of:
(a) a health care provider who has provided care or benefits for the child;
(b) an authorized representative of the department, the health benefit plan, or the individual insurer;
(c) either parent of the child; or
(d) the third-party custodian of the child.
(5) The order to show cause must inform the obligated parent and any other party of the party's right to respond by affidavit. An affidavit may include written proof of payment. A hearing must be scheduled after service of the order on the obligated parent. A court hearing may be conducted by teleconferencing methods. A department hearing must initially be conducted by teleconferencing methods and is subject to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act. If an affidavit with written proof of payment is not received by the tribunal within 15 days and the obligated parent does not appear at the hearing, judgment may be entered for the relief requested. If an affidavit with written proof of payment is received but the obligated parent does not appear at the hearing, the tribunal may resolve the issues on the basis of credible documents and affidavits submitted.
(6) After issuing a show cause order and after opportunity for hearing, the tribunal shall promptly rule upon the issues. The proceeding must be dismissed if the tribunal finds written proof of payment of the liability and the amount of the liability is not contested by a party to the proceedings.
(7) If the tribunal finds the obligated parent liable, the tribunal shall enter the amount of the liability as an award against the liable parent. If requested to do so, the tribunal may make an award specifically in favor of a health care provider, health benefit plan, or individual insurer to the extent that an unsatisfied bill of the health care provider, health benefit plan, or individual insurer is part of the unsatisfied medical support liability involved. If the tribunal finds that the conduct, claim, or response of a party was frivolous or in bad faith, the tribunal may impose sanctions against the party including an award of costs and attorney fees.
(8) Awards under this section may be collected by any remedy available for the collection of delinquent child support, but claims for current or past-due child support have priority.
(9) An award under this section is a final order and may be appealed if the tribunal is a court or may be reviewed under Title 2, chapter 4, part 7, if the tribunal is the department.