Montana State Courts
Within the Montana judicial system, there is one federal district court which can be the origin of federal cases in the state. There are a number of different trial courts, with limited jurisdiction or general jurisdiction, and appeals from these feed into the supreme court if required. Montana’s system is unusual in that there is not a specific appellate court, and this will fall under the remit of the Montana Supreme Court.
The individual district court in the state is the United States District Court for the District of Montana. There is also a federal court to deal with limited jurisdiction of bankruptcy cases and only bankruptcy cases. This is the District of Montana Bankruptcy Court.
Within 22 different districts of Montana, the state has 56 district courts in total. These process a number of civil and criminal cases including “civil actions that may result in a finding against the state”. There are lower courts in the state with subject-matter jurisdiction which sometimes see their appeals heard in these Montana District Courts.
Courts that exist within the state, but do not have general jurisdiction, include 81 city courts, 5 municipal, and 66 different justice courts spread throughout the cities and regions of Montana.
There is also a specific Water Court to hear cases relating to water rights, and a Workers’ Compensation Court for disputes regarding work and termination of contracts.
|Montana Supreme Court
|215 N Sanders St #323, Helena, MT 59601
Intermediate and Supreme Courts
As already explained, there are not specific intermediate courts in Montana. Some courts have an appellate court between the trial courts and the supreme court, but here, appeals can go straight to the supreme court.
The Montana Supreme Court is the court of last resort for Montana. It’s the highest court, being the only court that deals with the appeals from the district courts of Montana. There are seven judges in situ at the Supreme Court of Montana. This court has original jurisdiction.
Types of Courts in Montana
How to Find Montana Court Records Online
You can use our search tool to find public records of court cases from Montana. It is your right as a citizen to access these records, and the Montana Public Records Act dates all the way back to the 1800s. Most court records are freely available unless a specific law prevents them from being accessed and copied. Records you can access include plea details, sentencing, mugshots, police reports and more.
The Montana records are in the process of being digitized and while most are available via a search tool, in some scenarios you might have to specifically request the details from the specific court in question. Our search tool can help you find details of digitized court records and local government records kept by the state.