Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. Regulation by Board of Oil and Gas Conservation

Subpoena Power -- Civil Actions

82-11-142. Subpoena power -- civil actions. (1) If the Montana Administrative Procedure Act does not apply, the board may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and require the production of records, books, and documents for examination at any hearing or investigation conducted by it. Witnesses subpoenaed under this subsection must be paid the same per diem and mileage as is provided to be paid to witnesses attending the district courts of this state.

(2) This chapter, a suit by or against the board, a violation charged or asserted against a person under this chapter, or a rule or order issued under this chapter does not impair, abridge, or delay a cause of action for damages or other civil remedy that a person may have or assert against a person violating this chapter or a rule or order issued under it. A person aggrieved by the violation may sue for and recover damages or relief that the person otherwise may be entitled to receive.

(3) A person, association, corporation, or agency of the state or federal government may apply to the board protesting a violation or a threatened violation of this chapter. The board shall make an investigation and make a written report to the person, association, corporation, or agency that made the protest. If a violation is established by the investigation of the board, the board shall take appropriate enforcement action. If the board fails to take appropriate enforcement action or to bring suit to enjoin a threatened violation of this chapter or a rule or order of the board within 10 days after receipt of written request to do so by a person who is or will be adversely affected, the person making the request may bring the suit in the person's own behalf to restrain the threatened violation in a court in which the board might have brought suit. The board must be made a party defendant in the suit in addition to the person threatening to violate this chapter or a rule or order of the board, and the action must proceed and injunctive relief may be granted without bond in the same manner as if suit had been brought by the board.

(4) If a person fails or refuses to comply with the subpoena issued by the board or if a witness refuses to testify as to any material matter regarding which the person may be interrogated, any district court in the state, upon good cause shown by the application of the board, may issue a warrant of attachment for the person and, if after hearing the court finds the person's failure or refusal to be unjustified, compel the person to comply with the subpoena and to attend before the board and produce any subpoenaed records, books, and documents for examination and to give testimony. The court may punish for contempt as in the case of disobedience to a like subpoena issued by the court or for refusal to testify in the proceeding.

History: En. Sec. 10, Ch. 238, L. 1953; amd. Sec. 72, Ch. 253, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 60-133; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 503, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 2743, Ch. 56, L. 2009.