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In re Proposed Amendments to Montana Uniform District Court Rules

Supreme Court of Montana

June 13, 2019

IN RE THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MONTANA UNIFORM DISTRICT COURT RULES

          ORDER

         The members of the Uniform District Court Rules Commission have submitted proposed amendments to the Uniform District Court Rules to the Court for its consideration. After consideration of the proposed amendments, the Court has determined that the bench and bar of the State of Montana should be provided an opportunity to comment thereon.

         The proposed amendments consist of changes throughout the Rules, including the incorporation of Rule 6 into Rule 2, changes to Rule 3, and a substantial addition to Rule 16. The proposed amendments to the Rules are attached to this Order. Language proposed to be stricken from the Rules is interlineated, and language proposed to be added is underlined.

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that all members of the bench and bar of Montana and any other interested persons are granted 60 days from the date of this order in which to file with the Clerk of this Court appropriate comments and/or suggestions to the attached 2019 Proposed Amendments to the Uniform District Court Rules.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the 2019 Proposed Amendments to the Uniform District Court Rules in their entirety shall be posted on the websites of the Montana State Law Library and the State Bar of Montana. The State Bar of Montana is further requested to give notice of this Order and of its website posting of the Proposed Revisions in the next available issue of The Montana Lawyer.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court shall post this Order with attached proposed amendments on the Court's website and shall provide copies of such to the State Bar of Montana, and shall provide to each District Court Judge and each Clerk of the District Court a copy of this Order with attached proposed amendments with a request that each Clerk of the District Court make the Order available for public review in the Office of the Clerk of the District Court.

         Montana Uniform District Court Rules

         2019 Proposed Amendments

         RULE 1 - FORM OF PAPERS PRESENTED FOR FILING

         (a) Papers Defined. The word "papers" as used in this Rule includes all documents and copies except exhibits and records on appeal from lower courts.

         (b) Pagination, Printing, Etc. All papers shall be:

         (1) Typewritten, printed or equivalent;

         (2) Clear and permanent;

         (3) Equally legible to printing;

         (4) Of type not smaller than pica;

         (5) Only on standard quality opaque, unglazed, recycled paper, 8 1/2" x 11" in size. [Additional language deleted to match M. R. App. P. 11 revisions.]

         (6) Printed one side only, except copies of briefs may be printed on both sides. The original brief shall be printed on one side.

         (7) Lines unnumbered or numbered consecutively from the top;

         (8) Spaced one and one-half or double; (9)Page numbered consecutively at the bottom; and

         (10) Bound firmly at the top. Matters such as property descriptions or direct quotes may be single spaced. Extraneous documents not in the above format and not readily conformable may be filed in their original form and length.

         (c) Format. The first page of all papers shall conform to the following:

         (1) Commencing at line 1 at the left margin, single spaced, shall be the name of the attorney or party responsible for the pleadings, together with the telephone number and complete mailing address for service of papers.

         (2) Lines 1 through 7 of the right one-half of the page shall be left blank for the use of the clerk.

         (3) One or below line 8, the title of the court.

         (4) Commencing at line 9 or below on the left, the title of the case.

         (5) On the right and opposite the title of the case, the case number and identification of the document being filed.

         (6)Nonconforming papers may not be filed without leave of the court. (d)Changes, Conformance of Copies. Additions, deletions or interlineations shall be initialed by the clerk or Judge at the time of filing. All copies served shall conform to the original as filed.

         RULE 2 - MOTIONS

         (a) Prerequisites to Filing a Motion. The text of the motion must state that other parties have been contacted and state whether any party objects to the motion. Parties that have not yet appeared in the action or whose default has been entered need not be contacted. When a motion is unopposed, the word "unopposed" must appear in the title of the motion.

         (b) Filing Briefs in Support of Motions. The moving party shall file with the court a supporting brief upon filing a motion. The brief may be accompanied by appropriate supporting documents. Except as provided in M.R. Civ. P. 56(c) within fourteen days after service of the movant's brief, the opposing party shall file an answer brief which also may be accompanied by appropriate supporting documents. Within fourteen days after service of the opposing party's answer brief, the movant may file a reply brief or other appropriate responsive documents.

         (c) Failure to File Briefs. Failure to file briefs may subject the motion to summary ruling. The moving party's failure to file a brief shall be deemed an admission that the motion is without merit. Failure to file an answer brief by the opposing party within the time allowed shall be deemed an admission that the motion is well taken. Reply briefs by movant are optional, and failure to file will not subject a motion to summary ruling.

         (d) Oral Argument. The court may order oral argument sua sponte or upon application of a party for good cause shown.

         (e) When Motion Deemed Submitted. Unless oral argument is ordered, or unless the time is enlarged by the court, the motion is deemed submitted at the expiration of any of the applicable time limits set forth above. If oral argument is ordered, the motion will be deemed submitted at the close of argument unless the court orders additional briefs, in which ...


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