Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Municipal Court Judges

Qualifications -- Certification -- Training

3-6-202. Qualifications -- certification -- training. (1) A municipal court judge must have the same qualifications as a judge of a district court, as set forth in Article VII, section 9, of the Montana constitution, except that a municipal court judge need only be admitted to the practice of law in Montana for at least 3 years prior to the date of appointment or election.

(2) A municipal court judge shall reside in the county in which the court is located and shall meet the residency requirements provided in 3-10-204.

(3) The commission on courts of limited jurisdiction, upon finding compliance with subsections (1) and (2), shall issue a certificate, as required in 3-1-1502, prior to the municipal court judge assuming office. The certificate must be conditioned upon continued compliance with the minimum judicial education requirements provided for in this section. The certificate must be filed with the clerk and recorder as provided in 3-1-1502.

(4) A municipal court judge shall complete a minimum of 15 hours of continuing judicial education requirements each year or a greater number established by the supreme court. Attendance at the two annual training sessions under 3-10-203 may fulfill the requirement provided for in this subsection.

(5) Completion of a course approved for continuing judicial or legal education hours applies to the judicial education requirements under subsection (4).

(6) A municipal court judge is entitled to reimbursement by the city in which the judge holds or will hold court for all actual and necessary expenses and costs incurred in attending a continuing judicial or legal education course.

(7) On or before December 31 of each year, a municipal court judge shall file an affidavit of compliance with the continuing judicial education requirements established in this section with the commission on courts of limited jurisdiction. The supreme court may sanction a municipal court judge or declare a vacancy in the office of the judge for failure to meet the training requirements established in this section.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 177, L. 1935; re-en. Sec. 5094.4, R.C.M. 1935; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 124, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 429, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 11-1704(1); amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 317, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 389, L. 2003.