Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Form of Sentence

Recovery Of Suppression And Investigation Expenses For Fires Caused By Arson

46-18-261. Recovery of suppression and investigation expenses for fires caused by arson. (1) A person convicted of arson, negligent arson, or solicitation of or conspiracy to commit arson or negligent arson may be ordered, as part of the sentence, to reimburse law enforcement agencies, governmental fire agencies organized under Title 7, chapter 33, and the state for the cost of suppressing and investigating a fire that occurred during the commission of the crime.

(2) The court may order a person doing a presentence investigation and report to include documentation of the costs of suppressing and investigating the fire and of the defendant's ability to pay and may receive evidence concerning the matters at the time of sentencing.

(3) The court shall specify the amount, method, and time of payment, which may include but is not limited to installment payments. The court may order a probation officer or other appropriate officer attached to or working closely with the court in the administration of justice to supervise payment and report any default to the court.

(4) Upon petition by the offender and after a hearing, the payment may be modified. Agencies receiving payment at that time must be notified of and allowed to participate in the hearing.

(5) This section does not limit the right of a law enforcement agency or governmental fire agency to recover from the offender in a civil action, but the findings in the sentencing hearing and the fact that payment of costs was part of the sentence are inadmissible in and have no legal effect on the merits of a civil action. Costs paid by the offender must be deducted from a recovery awarded in a civil action.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 447, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 449, L. 2007.