Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. Enforcement and Penalties

Violation -- Penalty -- Injunction -- Appeal

80-9-303. Violation -- penalty -- injunction -- appeal. (1) A person who is convicted of violating this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter or who obstructs, prevents, or attempts to obstruct or prevent the department in the performance of its duty under this chapter is subject to one or both of the following penalties:

(a) a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $100 or more than $300 for the first violation and not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for a subsequent violation;

(b) an administrative civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each offense. Assessment of a penalty under this subsection (1)(b) may be made in conjunction with any other warning, order, or administrative action by the department, under the authority of this part.

(2) The department may by rule establish a penalty matrix that schedules the types of penalties, the amounts for initial and subsequent offenses, and any other matters necessary for the administration of civil penalties under subsection (1)(b). In developing rules for determining appropriate civil penalties, the department shall consider the significance or gravity of a violation, the degree of care exercised by the offender, and the adverse impact or potential adverse impact or effects on animals or humans. Violations that are determined to be nonsignificant but that are repeated within a 2-year period may also subject a person to a civil penalty. The issuance of a civil penalty is subject to the contested case procedures of Title 2, chapter 4, part 6.

(3) Nothing in this chapter requires the department to prosecute, begin seizure proceedings, issue civil penalties, or issue an embargo order as a result of minor violations or when it believes the public interest will best be served by suitable notice of warning in writing.

(4) A county attorney to whom a violation is reported shall prosecute in a court of competent jurisdiction without delay. Before the department reports a violation for prosecution, an opportunity must be given the person to present the person's view to the department.

(5) The department may, in the district court of the first judicial district, apply for and the court may grant a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter notwithstanding the existence of other remedies at law. The injunction must be issued without bond.

(6) Any person adversely affected by an act, order, or ruling made pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may within 30 days seek judicial review in the district court of the first judicial district.

History: En. Sec. 13, Ch. 356, L. 1973; R.C.M. 1947, 3-2037(1) thru (5); amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 396, L. 1999.