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In re Montana Uniform District Court Rules

Supreme Court of Montana

October 29, 2019

IN RE THE MONTANA UNIFORM DISTRICT COURT RULES

          ORDER

         On May 2, 2019, the Uniform District Court Rules Commission submitted proposed revisions to the Montana Uniform District Court Rules.

         The Court opened a 60-day comment period on the revisions, and after review and consideration of the revisions in a public meeting held on September 24, 2019, the Court determined the revisions were well taken, and approved them with some revisions.

         IT IS ORDERED that the proposed revisions as approved by the Court are ADOPTED. The Montana Uniform District Court Rules are amended to read as shown in the attachment to this Order, effective January 1, 2020.

         This Order and the attached rules shall be posted on the Court's website. In addition, the Clerk is directed to provide copies of this Order and the attachment to the State Law Library, to Todd Everts and Connie Dixon at Montana Legislative Services, to Chad Thomas at Thomson Reuters, to Patti Glueckert and the Statute Legislation department at LexisNexis, and to the State Bar of Montana, with the request that the State Bar provide notice of the revised rules on its website and in the next available issue of the Montana Lawyer.

          MIKE McGRATH, LAURIE McKINNON, JAMES JEREMIAH SHEA, DIRK M. SANDEFUR, INGRID GUSTAFSON, BETH BAKER, JIM RICE

         MONTANA UNIFORM DISTRICT COURT RULES

         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.
(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)On 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 case the motion will be deemed submitted as of the date designated as the time for filing the final brief.

         (f) Subject to subsection (e), above, the moving party shall file a notice with the court within five days after the filing of a reply brief, or if no reply brief is filed, within five days after the filing of all response briefs, advising the court that the matter is fully submitted and ready for decision. A copy of the notice shall be sent to the presiding judge's chambers.

         (g) In the event of conflict, the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure shall control. Time computation shall be governed by M. R. Civ. P. 6.

         Rule 3 - Ex Parte Matters.

         Except as otherwise provided by these Rules or statute, no document, including briefs, proposed orders and proposed judgments, or other communications, may be presented to the court at any time unless it is first filed with the court and served on all parties.

         Rule 4 - Filing of Discovery.

         (a) Depositions upon oral or written examinations, interrogatories and answers thereto, requests for production of documents and responses thereto, and requests for admissions and responses thereto shall not be filed without leave of court. When any motion is filed referring to discovery, the party filing the motion shall submit with the motion relevant unfiled documents.

         (b) The pre-trial order shall identify all those portions of depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions and answers and responses thereto that the parties intend to introduce into evidence.

         Rule 5 - Pre-Trial Order and Pre-Trial Conference.

         (a)Pre-trial. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a pre-trial conference shall be ...


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