Know the Laws: Montana
UPDATED May 25, 2012
A an order of protection is a civil order that protects you from someone who is harming you or has threatened to harm you.
This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting an order of protection.
Under Montana law, domestic violence crimes are crimes committed by a partner or family member. These crimes include:
"Partner" refers to spouses, former spouses, people who have a child in common, and people who have been or are currently in a dating or ongoing intimate relationship with a person of the opposite sex.
"Family member" refers to mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, and other past or present family members of a household whether these relationships are biological, or through adoption or remarriage.*1
"Partner and family member assault" is:
For the exact wording of the law, see Section 45-5-206 on our Legal Statutes page.
"Stalking" is when someone causes you serious emotional distress or makes you scared that they are going to hurt you by repeatedly:
Harassment, threats, and intimidation can be in person, by mail, over the phone, through email, or any other way.*3
For the exact wording of the law, see § 45-5-220 on our Legal Statutes page.
* Mont. Code Anno. § 40-15-102(1)
*1 Mont. Code Anno. § 45-5-206(2)
*2 Mont. Code Anno. § 45-5-206(1)
*3 Mont. Code Anno. § 45-5-220(1)
An order of protection is a court order that is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior. It is designed to protect you and your family members from someone who has harmed or threatened to harm you and makes you afraid.
In Montana there are two types of orders of protection:
A Temporary Order of Protection is a court order designed to provide you and your family members with immediate protection. It is effective for up to 20 days. The abuser does not get prior notice that you are requesting a temporary order of protection from the court. However, the abuser will be served with a copy of the order after it is granted. This copy will generally also include a notice of court hearing for a more permanent order, as described below. *
A Written Order of Protection is a written court order to protect you and your family members from violent and/or harassing behavior by the abuser. A written order of protection is sometimes also called a "permanent order of protection". It may last for a specific period of time (for example, 3 months) or remain in effect permanently. A written order of protection can be granted only after a full court hearing where the abuser has an opportunity to appear and tell his/her side of the story.**
*Mont. Code Anno., § 40-15-201
**Mont. Code Anno., § 40-15-204
An order of protection can order the abuser to:
Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.
You can file a petition in the county where you live, in the county where the abuser lives, or in the county where the abuse took place. There is no minimum length of residency required to file a petition.*
* Mont. Code Ann. § 40-15-301(4)