Montana

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Ongoing Projects:

State Project:

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) supports a volunteer water quality monitoring group, Montana Watercourse, with grants.  See Water Monitoring, Montana Water Center, http://www.montanawatercenter.org/water-monitoring (last visited Apr. 10, 2017).  We were unable to find any statutory authority for these grants, which DEQ appears to have issued on its own initiative.

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“A person who does not have the effective consent of the owner and who intends to damage the enterprise conducted at an animal facility may not:

    (a) damage or destroy an animal facility or an animal or property in or on the premises of an animal facility;

    (b) enter an animal facility that is at the time closed to the public with the intent to commit an act prohibited by this chapter;

    (c) remain concealed in an animal facility with the intent to commit an act prohibited by this chapter;

    (d) enter an animal facility and commit or attempt to commit an act prohibited by this chapter; [or]

    (e) enter an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other means with the intent to commit criminal defamation”  Mont. Code Ann. § 81-30-103.  “A person convicted of an act that violates [this provision] and that results in more than $500 in damage or destruction shall be fined not more than $50,000 or be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years, or both.”  Mont. Code Ann. § 81-30-105.

    (f) enter or remain on the premises of an animal facility if the person:

        (i) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or

        (ii) received notice to depart but failed to do so.”  Mont. Code Ann. § 81-30-103.

 

“Animal facility” includes “a vehicle, building, structure, research facility, or premises where an animal is lawfully kept, handled, housed, exhibited, bred, or offered for sale.”  Mont. Code Ann. § 81-30-102.

 

“A person convicted of an act that violates [81-30-103](2)(a) through (2)(e) and that results in more than $500 in damage or destruction shall be fined not more than $50,000 or be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years, or both.”  Mont. Code Ann. § 81-30-105.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  “Privilege to enter or remain upon land is extended . . . by the failure of the landowner . . . to post notice denying entry[.]”  Mont. Code  Ann. § 45-6-201.

Other Provisions:

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person commits the offense of stalking if the person purposely or knowingly causes another person substantial emotional distress or reasonable apprehension of bodily injury or death by repeatedly:

    (a)   following the stalked person; or

    (b)  harassing, threatening, or intimidating the stalked person, in person or by mail, electronic communication, as defined in 45-8-213, or any other action, device, or method.”  Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-220.

Use of Information:

Although incomplete, our research has not found any provisions relating to the use of information collected by citizens in enforcement or administrative/legislative actions.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that “the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.”  Mont. R. Civ. P. 11.

Authentication or Chain of Custody:

“The requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.”  Mont. R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Daubert standard, but only for novel science.  See State v. Damon, 119 P.3d 1194, 1198 (Mont. 2005); State v. Moore, 885 P.2d 457, 471 (Mont. 1994).

Discussion

Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.