Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 7. Rights of Parents

Interference With Fundamental Parental Rights Restricted -- Cause Of Action

40-6-701. Interference with fundamental parental rights restricted -- cause of action. (1) A governmental entity may not interfere with the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of their children unless the governmental entity demonstrates that the interference:

(a) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and

(b) is narrowly tailored and is the least restrictive means available for the furthering of the compelling governmental interest.

(2) This section may not be construed as invalidating the provisions of Title 41, chapter 3, or modifying the burden of proof at any stage of the proceedings under Title 41, chapter 3.

(3) When a parent's fundamental rights protected by this section are violated, a parent may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and may obtain appropriate relief against the governmental entity. The prevailing party in an action filed pursuant to this section is entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs.

(4) As used in this section, "governmental entity" has the meaning provided in 2-9-101.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 502, L. 2021.