Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Depositions

When Depositions May Be Taken

46-15-201. When depositions may be taken. (1) In district or municipal court cases, a deposition may be taken if it appears that a prospective witness:

(a) is likely to be either unable to attend or otherwise prevented from attending a trial or hearing;

(b) is likely to be absent from the state at the time of the trial or hearing; or

(c) is unwilling to provide relevant information to a requesting party and the witness's testimony is material and necessary in order to prevent a failure of justice. The court shall, upon motion of any party and proper notice, order that the testimony of the witness be taken by deposition and that any designated books, papers, documents, or tangible objects, not privileged, be introduced at the time the deposition is taken.

(2) The witness whose deposition is to be taken may be required by subpoena to attend at any place designated by the court, taking into account the convenience of the parties and of the witness.

(3) If the defendant is charged with a felony and it appears upon the affidavit of counsel for a party that good cause exists to believe that a witness will not respond to a subpoena and the administration of justice requires, any district judge may issue an arrest warrant commanding the arrest of a material witness. The arrest warrant must further order a deposition to be taken without unnecessary delay. A person may not be imprisoned for the purpose of securing testimony in any criminal proceeding longer than is necessary to take the person's deposition.

History: En. 95-1802 by Sec. 1, Ch. 196, L. 1967; R.C.M. 1947, 95-1802(a); amd. Sec. 146, Ch. 800, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 31, Ch. 262, L. 1993.