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Articles with the Tag: Courts

MT Supreme Court affirms decision enjoining restrictive voting laws

News from Rylee Sommers-Flanagan, Upper Seven Law   HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court has upheld an earlier ruling prohibiting Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen from enforcing several election-related bills enacted last year, including House Bill 176, which eliminated election day ...

Heavy Runner sentenced for endangerment

POLSON — A Pablo man, formerly of Browning, was committed at District Court in Polson on Sept. 1 to the Montana Department of Corrections for a total of 10 years with five years suspended. Curtis James Heavy Runner, 40, entered a plea of guilty during an earlier court appearance to felony charges of cr...

Ruling says 18-year-olds must be allowed to access their ballots

News from Rylee Sommers-Flanagan, Upper Seven Law BILLINGS — Judge Moses of the Thirteenth Judicial District Court held Wednesday that House Bill 506, which restricts ballot access for voters who turn 18 in the month before Election Day, violates the Montana Constitution. Youth plaintiff groups...

Lawsuit filed by Lake County against the state

LAKE COUNTY — This week a lawsuit was officially filed against the State of Montana by attorney Lance Jasper with the law firm Reep, Bell, and Jasper on behalf of Lake County for unfulfilled obligations of Public Law 280.  Public Law 280 was passed by legislation in 1963, whereby the State of M...

New Lake County attorney sworn in New Lake County attorney sworn in

POLSON — Molly Owen, Lake County’s new District Court judge, swore in new Lake County Attorney James Lapotka Thursday afternoon before a crowd of well-wishers. Lapotka ran unopposed for the post in the recent primary election, and replaces Steve Eschenbacher, who retired six months shy of the end...

New hire and retirements

POLSON — James Lapotka has been sworn in as the top prosecutor of Lake County. Former Lake County Attorney Steve Eschenbacher’s last day was June 30. Lapotka was sworn-in as the new Lake County Attorney that afternoon by District Judge Molly Owen.  Also retiring this week was Barbara Mars...

Moore sentenced for negligent homicide

POLSON — A Marion woman convicted of causing a fatal crash in a stolen car was sentenced at District Court in Polson on June 30 to a total of 18 years in the Montana State Women’s prison with 10 years suspended. Lease Sierra Moore, 19, entered a plea of guilty on April 7 to felony negligent homic...

Overturn of Roe shifts Montana abortion debates to state courts Overturn of Roe shifts Montana abortion debates to state courts

MONTANA — Montana’s elected officials reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Friday overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which had made abortion legal nationwide for nearly 50 years. The majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, written by Justice Samu...

Hoskinson to pay restitution Hoskinson to pay restitution

POLSON — The imposition of sentencing was deferred for six years for a St. Ignatius woman after she entered an Alford plea to one count of felony exploitation of an older or disabled person. The sentence for Shara Darlene Hoskinson, 45, was handed down at District Court in Polson on June 23 by Judge Ka...

New district court judge selected New district court judge selected

LAKE COUNTY — When Molly Owen takes her oath of office June 20, her appointment as judge for the 20th Judicial District represents a generational shift. At 35, she’ll be one of the youngest judges ever appointed to the bench in Montana – a career move she describes as humbling, challenging,...


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