Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions

Challenges For Cause

46-16-115. Challenges for cause. (1) Each party may challenge jurors for cause, and each challenge must be tried by the court.

(2) A challenge for cause may be taken for all or any of the following reasons or for any other reason that the court determines:

(a) having consanguinity or relationship to the defendant or to the person who is alleged to be injured by the offense charged or on whose complaint the prosecution was instituted;

(b) standing in the relation of guardian and ward, attorney and client, master and servant, landlord and tenant, or debtor and creditor with or being a member of the family or in the employment of the defendant or the person who is alleged to be injured by the offense charged or on whose complaint the prosecution was instituted;

(c) being a party adverse to the defendant in a civil action or having complained against or been accused by the defendant in a criminal prosecution;

(d) having served on the grand jury that found the indictment or on a coroner's jury that inquired into the death of a person whose death is the subject of the indictment or information;

(e) having served on a trial jury that tried another person for the offense charged or a related offense;

(f) having been a member of a jury formerly sworn to try the same charge, the verdict of which was set aside or which was discharged without verdict after the case was submitted to it;

(g) having served as a juror in a civil action brought against the defendant for the act charged as an offense;

(h) if the offense charged is punishable with death, having any conscientious opinions concerning the punishment as would preclude finding the defendant guilty, in which case the person must neither be permitted nor compelled to serve as a juror;

(i) having a belief that the punishment fixed by law is too severe for the offense charged; or

(j) having a state of mind in reference to the case or to either of the parties that would prevent the juror from acting with entire impartiality and without prejudice to the substantial rights of either party.

(3) An excuse from service on a jury is not a cause of challenge but the privilege of the person excused.

History: En. 95-1909 by Sec. 1, Ch. 196, L. 1967; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 131, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 28, Ch. 184, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 95-1909(2)(b), (4); amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 51, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 192, Ch. 800, L. 1991; Sec. 46-16-304, MCA 1989; redes. 46-16-115 by Code Commissioner, 1991.