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Montana Laws

The following is a collection of links to free sources of legal information on the Web. Not all laws are available for free online. The law library has many additional resources in print. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please Call or email us.

Constitutional and Statehood Resources
Constitution, Constitutional Convention Proceedings, Enabling Act, etc.

Legislative Branch Resources
Statutes, Bills, etc.

Executive Branch Resources
Administrative Rules, Attorney General Opinions, etc.

Judicial Branch/Court Resources
Supreme Court Opinions, Court Rules, etc.

Constitutional and Statehood Resources

The Territory of Montana was established on May 26, 1864, when the United States Congress passed the Organic Act. The first constitution of Montana was written in 1866. It was lost on the way to the printers and was never voted on by the citizens of Montana. A second constitution was written and ratified by the people in 1884. However, Congress failed to take any action on Montana's admission to the Union at that time for political reasons. Five years later, Congress passed the Enabling Act, which finally permitted the people of Montana to be admitted to the Union upon the adoption and ratification of a new state constitution. A third constitution was written and ratified by the people later that year. On November 8, 1889, Montana was the 41st state admitted to the Union by a Presidential Proclamation of Benjamin Harrison. The 1889 Constitution survived until 1972, when a new constitutional convention was held. The 1972 Constitution was adopted by the 100 delegates to the Constitutional Convention on March 22, 1972, and was ratified by the citizens of Montana on June 6, 1972, through Referendum No. 68.

Legislative Branch Resources

The legislature is the branch of government that is generally responsible for making the laws of the state by introducing bills and enacting statutes on various topics. In Montana, the legislature meets every 2 years (on odd years) for 90 days from January until April to pass new laws, amend the laws in place, and determine the state's budget for the next two-year cycle (called a biennium). The official website of the Montana legislature is

In addition to the laws passed by the legislature, Montana law provides that any individual or group may petition to 1) enact a law by initiative, 2) approve or reject an act of the state legislature by referendum, or 3) amend the state constitution. You can find additional information on ballot measures on the Secretary of State's website and the Legislature's website.

  • Current Montana Code Annotated (M.C.A., Mont. Code Ann.)
    Collection of laws or statutes passed by the state legislature, arranged by topic. The Montana Code Annotated is reprinted every 2 years (on odd years) after the legislature meets to incorporate changes to the laws made during the session.


  • Older versions of Montana Code Annotated (M.C.A., Mont. Code Ann.)
    The 1995-present versions are available online for free. Prior versions are available at the law library in print.


    From 1947 until 1978, the laws of Montana were compiled in a book called the Revised Code of Montana (R.C.M.). The R.C.M. is not available online, but it is available at the law library. Call or email us for more information.


  • Bill information/Montana Legislature's Website
    Information on all bills introduced by members of the state legislature from 1997-present, including the text of various versions of bills, information on upcoming hearings on bills, minutes of legislative committee hearings on bills, and audio files of selected hearings (2005 session only)


  • Legislative Minutes and Exhibits 

1986 Special Session to 1995

Legislative Minutes and Exhibits from 1997 to 2003 coming soon! Minutes and exhibits from 2003 to current are available at the Montana Legislative Website (

Executive Branch Resources

The executive branch is the branch of government that is generally in charge of implementing and enforcing the laws passed by the state legislature. The executive branch is made up of various administrative agencies, each with a different area of specialization, and the Governor and his or her Cabinet. The executive branch "fleshes out" the statutes by creating highly detailed, specific rules and regulations that tell people how to comply with the law. Many administrative agencies also have the ability to determine whether citizens are complying with their rules and regulations. They can issue and revoke licenses and fine citizens who do not comply with the law. The official website of the executive branch is To find a list of individual state agency websites, go to

  • Administrative Rules of Montana (A.R.M., Admin. R. Mont.)
    Collection of rules made by state agencies, arranged by executive department. Online version is updated on September 30th of each year. To determine whether a rule has been amended since then, check the Montana Administrative Register.


  • Montana Administrative Register (M.A.R., Mont. Admin. Reg.)
    The Montana Administrative Register is published every two weeks and contains notices of proposed administrative rules and notices of final rules and amendments to rules created by various state agencies. Also contains Attorney General opinions. Online version contains rules published from 2001-present.


  • Executive Orders
    An Executive Order is a legally binding action or statement by the Governor as the Chief Executive of the State of Montana.

    For Executive Orders from the administration of former Governor Steve Bullock, 2013-, click here

    For Executive Orders from the administration of former Governor Brian Schweitzer, 2005-2012, click here

    For Executive Orders from the administration of former Governor Judy Martz, 2000-2004, click here

    For Executive Orders from the administration of former Governor Marc Racicot, 2000 only, click here

    For Executive Orders issued before 2000, contact the State Law Library.


  • Attorney General Opinions
    The legislature or either house of the legislature, a state officer, a state board, a state commission, a county attorney, a board of county commissioners, or a city attorney may request the Attorney General to give a written opinion about any legal question related to official duties. The Attorney General does not issue decisions at the request of private citizens.


  • Attorney General Letters of Advice
    In response to a request for a formal Opinion, the Attorney General may decide to issue a Letter of Advice instead. A Letter of Advice does not have the force of law and is advisory only. This site provides copies of Letters of Advice dating back to 2002.


  • Board of Oil and Gas Conservation
    Provides access to decisions issued between 2000-2005. Browse by date.


  • Decisions of the Commissioner of Political Practices
    The Commissioner investigates complaints regarding campaign finance practices, lobbying disclosures, and ethical violations by legislators, public officers, and state employees. This site provides copies of decisions dating back to 2000.


  • Department of Labor Hearings Bureau
    Provides access to dicisions on Wage and Hour, Collective Bargaining, and Workers' Compensations cases since 2001.


  • Human Rights Commission/Human Rights Bureau Decisions
    The Human Rights Bureau investigates complaints of discrimination and issues decisions in these cases. The Human Rights Commission hears appeals of decisions of the Bureau. This site provides copies of decisions from both agencies dating back to 1996, in alphabetical order.


  • State Tax Appeal Board Decisions
    The State Tax Appeal Board hears appeals from decisions of the Department of Revenue regarding business licenses, property assessments, taxes and penalties and decisions of the county tax appeal boards. This site provides copies of decisions of the Board dating back to 1996, arranged by topic.


  • Superintendent of Public Instruction Decisions
    The Superintendent of Public Instruction hears appeals from decisions Of county superintendents (except teacher termination cases) and decisions of county transportation committees. This site provides copies of decisions of the Superintendent dating back to 1999.


  • Workers’ Compensation Court Decisions
    The Workers' Compensation Court decides cases involving workers’ compensation and occupational disease claims, among others. This site provides copies of decisions of the Court dating back to 1993, sorted by case number, year, and name.


  • Links to Montana Administrative Agency Websites

Judicial Branch/Court Resources

The Montana Court system or the Judicial Branch is the branch of state government generally in charge of applying the law to the facts of specific cases in order to decide disputes between citizens and disagreements between citizens and the government. The Montana Courts also are responsible for determining whether the statutes passed by the legislature and the rules created by the executive branch meet the requirements of the Montana Constitution and the United States Constitution. The court system includes both trial courts (District Courts, Justice Courts, City Courts, Municipal Courts, Workers' Compensation Courts, Water Courts), which hear evidence and decide the facts of a case, and the Montana Supreme Court, which decides appeals of trial court decisions on legal questions. The decisions of the Montana Supreme Court are published and are widely available; however, trial court decisions are not generally published and usually must be obtained from the Clerk of Court for the county where the case was filed and tried. The official website of the Montana Court system is

  • Montana Court Opinions
    A brief is a written argument submitted by a party to an appeal that explains why that party should win. An opinion is a written statement that explains the reasons for the Court's decision in a case. Not all cases are decided by a written opinion, and not all opinions are published decisions of the Court that can be relied upon in other cases. The State Law Library scans and posts all Montana Supreme Court opinions and the briefs that were submitted for those cases. This site provides copies of opinions and briefs dating back to the 1980s.


  • Workers' Compensation Court Decisions
    The Workers' Compensation Court decides cases involving workers' compensation and occupational disease claims, among others. This site provides copies of decisions of the Court dating back to 1993, sorted by case number, year, and name.

    Montana Court Rules

    Court rules explain the procedure to be followed in various courts, including what format paperwork should be submitted in, how to schedule hearings, and how hearings and trials will proceed. A court may be governed by several different sets of rules. Choose the appropriate court below to find links to the rules that apply in that particular court.

    Supreme Court
    District Court
    Justice Court
    City Court
    Municipal Court
    Workers' Compensation Court
    Water Court
    Rules Regarding the Practice of Law
    Rules Regarding Judicial Conduct
    Miscellaneous Rules

Montana Supreme Court Rules

District Court Rules


Justice Court Rules


City Court Rules


Municipal Court Rules

Workers' Compensation Court Rules


Water Court Rules

Rules on Practicing Law in the State of Montana

Rules on Judicial Conduct and Standards

Miscellaneous Rules