Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 4. Abuse or Neglect Proceedings

Putative Fathers -- Service By Publication -- Continuation Of Proceedings

41-3-430. Putative fathers -- service by publication -- continuation of proceedings. (1) Reasonable efforts must be made to resolve issues of paternity, if any, as early as possible in proceedings under this chapter. The department shall make every reasonable effort to obtain service of process of a petition on a putative father, as defined in 42-2-201.

(2) If a putative father cannot be served personally, the putative father may be served by publication as provided in 41-3-428 and 41-3-429.

(3) Regardless of the provisions of subsections (1) and (2), if a putative father cannot be identified or found prior to the initial hearings allowed by part 4, the court may grant the following relief, pending service by publication on the putative father and based upon service of process on only the parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of the child:

(a) immediate protection;

(b) temporary investigative authority; and

(c) temporary legal custody.

(4) Throughout the proceedings, the court, in its discretion, may order the department to continue to attempt to identify, locate, and serve a putative father.

(5) A court may order termination of the parental rights of a putative father under this chapter based on service by publication if the provisions of 41-3-428 and 41-3-429 have been met.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 83, L. 2001.