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Rothing v. Gallatin County

Supreme Court of Montana

February 11, 2014

PETER ROTHING, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
GALLATIN COUNTY, Defendant and Appellee.

Submitted on Briefs: January 8, 2014

APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Eighteenth Judicial District, In and For the County of Gallatin, Cause No. DV-11-665A Honorable Holly Brown, Presiding Judge

For Appellant: Peter Rothing (Self Represented), Belgrade, Montana

For Appellee:Marty Lambert, Gallatin County Attorney, Bozeman, Montana

Mike McGrath Chief Justice

¶1 Pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 3(d), Montana Supreme Court Internal Operating Rules, this case is decided by memorandum opinion and shall not be cited and does not serve as precedent. Its case title, cause number, and disposition shall be included in this Court's quarterly list of noncitable cases published in the Pacific Reporter and Montana Reports.

¶2 On July 18, 2011, Rothing brought this action against Gallatin County asserting claims for damages and for injunctive relief, all arising out of the County's adoption or implementation of a floodplain regulation ordinance. Rothing filed amended and second amended complaints and the County moved to dismiss. After briefing the District Court granted the County's motion and Rothing appeals. We affirm.

¶3 The District Court concluded that Rothing's claims arose from County actions taken in April 2009, and that the two-year statute of limitations for damages to real property in § 27-2-207, MCA, applied. Since the complaint was filed in July 2011, it was barred. Even though the action was barred, the District Court analyzed Rothing's remaining claims, determining that his filings were insufficient to meet the pleading requirements of M. R. Civ. P. 8(a), and were too vague and conclusory to establish a claim upon which relief can be granted.

¶4 It is clear that the District Court afforded Rothing substantial opportunity to refine his pleadings to state claims. It is also clear that his complaint was barred by the statute of limitations and that he otherwise failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The courts cannot create a cause of action not explicitly or implicitly stated in the complaint. Sikorski v. Johnson, 2006 MT 228, ¶ 23, 333 Mont. 434, 143 P.3d 161.

¶5 We have determined to decide this case pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 3(d) of our Internal Operating Rules, which provides for memorandum opinions. The issues in this case are legal and are controlled by settled Montana law, which the District Court correctly interpreted.

¶6 Affirmed.

We concur: MICHAEL E WHEAT, PATRICIA COTTER, BETH BAKER, JIM RICE


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