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Montana Court Appeals

The Montana Circuit Court of Appeals is an arm of the Montana state government, empowered to apply the law of the land in order to resolve conflicts between citizens and disagreements between citizens and the government. It lies under the appellate jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the largest amongst all the thirteen courts of appeals in the United States of America. The Montana Supreme Court hears civil and criminal appeals directly from the Montana District Courts (which are the trial courts of general jurisdiction) as it does not have a distinct intermediate appellate court. The court also hears appeals from the special courts of Montana Water Courts and the Montana Workers' Compensation Court.

The Montana Court of Appeals presides over the entire Montana County, except an area within the Yellowstone National Park that is under the ambit of the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. It has its divisional offices at Billings, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula.

Montana Court civil appeals and Montana Court criminal appeals are directed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. However, patent claims and those against the federal government that are filed under the Tucker Act, are appealed to the Federal Circuit. William W. Mercer is at present the U.S. Attorney for the district of Montana.

The judicial armory of the Montana County operates through the many trial courts like District Courts, Justice Courts, and City Courts. Evidence is presented in such a court of appeal and the facts of a case are decided upon.

The Montana Supreme Court is the highest judicial body and presides over cases that arise in the Montana Court of Civil Appeals and also all Montana Court Appeals for criminal cases. Montana County does not possess an intermediate appellate court, and so the Montana Supreme Court presides directly over all civil and criminal appeals from the Montana District Courts and some specialized legislative courts.

Within the Montana Court appeal system, the Supreme Court may also execute original jurisdiction in cases that have not originated in a District Court. If a trial court decides against a party in a civil case, that party may appeal, contending that legal errors were made during the previous court proceedings. In a criminal case, the State generally cannot appeal a finding of not guilty, but a defendant may appeal a conviction. In Montana, the Montana Supreme Court automatically reviews all cases resulting in a death penalty sentence. An appellate court in Montana (Supreme Court) is quite different from a trial court. Appellate courts review a trial court's findings of fact, conclusions of law, and procedures employed, but it does not engage in independent fact-finding.

Appeals to the Montana Supreme Court are appeals of right, and that the court does not have discretion as to whether it accepts review of the lower court's decision. A party filing a notice of appeal in the District Court that issued the judgment from which the appeal is sought takes appeals from both civil and criminal grounds.

The Supreme Court may affirm, reverse, or modify any judgment and may allow the order to be entered or direct a new trial for further proceedings to be had. When a lower court's judgment is altered on review of civil matters, the court may order restitution for any property or rights that a party lost due to an erroneous order, either by ordering it directly, or by ordering to District Court to itself order it. In case of criminal matters, the Montana Supreme Court may reverse, affirm, or modify the lower court's judgment, set aside, affirm, or modify any proceedings subsequent to the judgment from which the appeal is taken, reduce the offence of which the defendant was convicted to a lesser included offense, reduce the punishment imposed by the lower court, or order a new trial.

The Montana Court of Appeal (or the Supreme Court) strives to uphold the dictates of the U.S. Constitution and also that of the Montana County. It also works to maintain rules of the legislature. These it does by providing a neutral platform wherein conflicts may be resolved fairly. Montana State appeals also aim to safeguard the rights and freedom of individuals. The circuit appeals are conducted so as to maintain judicial independence of the court, which in turn works to instill public faith in the judicial machinery of the United States of America. Montana Court cases are conducted using sophisticated communication protocols. All district courtrooms host video-conferencing facilities during trials.

Access and Review Montana Court of Appeals Cases and Records


The Montana Circuit Court of Appeals has also made its foray into the digital domain. During Montana Court Appeals, you may also access court dockets from your personal computer. The court has also embraced the Electronic Case Filing mechanism that allows you to file or access legal documents over the Internet.

The Montana Circuit Court of Appeals is both a component of the United States judicial machinery and a people's body that dispenses justices and thus ensures sustainable social harmony and stability.