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Attorney General's Opinions - 1983 & 1984 (Volume 40)


In the table below, click on a specific opinion number to view the full opinion issued by the Attorney General.  The full opinions are in PDF format.

Volume & Opinion Number Opinion Held Date Issued
40 A.G. Op. 82 (1984) A sugar refinery’s piled sugar beets are exempt from taxation as business inventory under section 15-6-202, MCA. 12/31/1984
40 A.G. Op. 81 (1984) When a county’s classification changes according to section 7-1-2111, MCA, the salaries of the county officials listed in section 7-4-2503(1), MCA, must also change. The salaries must change as of July 1 of the following year, with the onset of a new fiscal year for the county. 11/13/1984
40 A.G. Op. 80 (1984) 1.    Local tax liens on personal or real property have priority over liens of private mortgages.
2.    When federal mortgages are involved, the rule regarding priorities between local taxes and those mortgages is: First in time is first in right, unless federal statute provides otherwise.
3.    Under 15 USCA §646, SBA liens are subordinate to local tax liens.
11/5/1984
40 A.G. Op. 79 (1984) A resident bidder whose materials are manufactured in Montana by Montana labor may not be awarded a state contract under section 18-1-102, MCA, when his bid is more than 3% higher than that of the lowest responsible nonresidential bidder. 11/2/1984
40 A.G. Op. 78 (1984) If the local government elects to hold a hearing pursuant to section 17-5-1526 or 17-5-1527, MCA, to determine whether a project is in the public interest, the Montana Economic Development Board is bound by the decision of the local government on the public interest question. 10/30/1984
40 A.G. Op. 77 (1984) Section 2-18-501, MCA, does not, by its own terms, govern meal and lodging expenses payments to county officers or employees. Except as may otherwise be specified statutorily, a board of county commissioners with general governmental powers may adopt rules and regulations providing for payment of reimbursement of reasonable meal and lodging expenses incurred by county officers of employees in the performance of official duties. 10/12/1984
40 A.G. Op. 76 (1984) The authority of city and town councils to prescribe building construction regulations pursuant to section 7-15-4122, MCA, and to prescribe limits within which combustible buildings must not be erected, pursuant to section 7-33-4203, MCA, was repealed by the enactment in 1969 of the state building code, Title 50, ch. 60, pt. 2, MCA. 10/11/1984
40 A.G. Op. 75 (1984) The Lewistown city ordinance which allows an escalating monthly penalty for failure to obtain a city business license is valid. 10/5/1984
40 A.G. Op. 74 (1984) 1.    Section 41-5-511, MCA, does not preclude commitment of a youth to the Department of Institutions following revocation of probation for violating its terms where the youth and the youth’s parents waived counsel at the adjudicatory hearing at which the youth was placed on probation as a youth in need of supervision but was represented by counsel during proceedings to revoke probation.
2.    A youth adjudicated as a youth in need of supervision who violates probation cannot be committed to the Department of Institutions for more than six months, but such a youth may then be charged as a delinquent youth in an original proceeding with a possible result that the youth could be committed to the Department of Institutions for more than six months.
10/3/1984
40 A.G. Op. 73 (1984) After State assumption pursuant to section 53-2-811, MCA, the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services is not responsible for the expenses associated with transfer of seriously mentally ill patients involuntarily committed to the Montana State Hospital. 10/1/1984
40 A.G. Op. 72 (1984) A private attorney may register and enforce a foreign support order under the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act in Montana; the county attorney shall represent an obligee in registration and enforcement under URESA when so requested pursuant to section 40-5-139, MCA. 9/27/1984
40 A.G. Op. 71 (1984) In accordance with the Stream Protection Act, the Department of Highways must notify the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks of the construction of work bridges by private contractors on state highway projects when such bridges may, or will, obstruct, damage, diminish, destroy, change, modify or vary the natural existing shape and form of any stream, its banks or tributaries. 9/26/1984
40 A.G. Op. 70 (1984) A motor vehicle dealer may not obtain a “title only” from the Registrar’s Bureau on a motor vehicle that is part of his inventory. If a dealer wishes to obtain a title on such a vehicle, he must also register the vehicle and pay any taxes or fees due on the vehicle. 9/25/1984
40 A.G. Op. 69 (1984) In most cases where a child attends school outside his or her school district of residence, financial responsibility will fall in one of three places: the parents or guardians, the school district of residence, or the sending agency. The particular circumstances of the placement will determine who is financially responsible for school tuition. 9/24/1984
40 A.G. Op. 68 (1984) The Classification Bureau of the Department of Administration has the authority to classify and to establish the grade level for the positions of state librarian and director of the Montana Historical Society. 9/21/1984
40 A.G. Op. 67 (1984) The Legislature may not appropriate, by bill, revenue generated from sources pledged to cover university system revenue bond requirements, when the revenue obtained from these sources exceeds the bond requirements. 9/18/1984
40 A.G. Op. 66 (1984) The local law enforcement agency that directs that a medical examination be conducted pursuant to section 46-15-411, MCA, and within whose jurisdiction the alleged sexual offense occurred, is responsible for bearing the costs of the examination. 9/12/1984
40 A.G. Op. 65 (1984) Municipalities are not required to refund any portion of prepaid, annual license fees tendered in connection with the use or possession of electronic poke game machines for the period following issuance of the Montana Supreme Court’s decision in Gallatin County v. D & R Music & Vending. 8/30/1984
40 A.G. Op. 64 (1984) The City of Belgrade is required to make semiannual collections of special improvement district assessments only when both of the following conditions are met: (1) The SID bond specifies annual interest payments, and (2) the bond was issued after July 1, 1981. 8/28/1984
40 A.G. Op. 63 (1984) Under section 39-51-2306(1)(a), MCA, an individual who receives a severance allowance upon separation from employment is disqualified for unemployment benefits for the entire period of time that the allowance was intended to cover. 8/27/1984
40 A.G. Op. 62 (1984) The filing fee payable to the district court clerk for a declaration of invalidity of a marriage is twenty-five dollars. 8/16/1984
40 A.G. Op. 61 (1984) 1.    Under section 2-18-304, MCA, a state employee must be in a pay status for 2,080 hours in order to be credited with a year of service for longevity accrual purposes.
2.    Under section 2-18-612, MCA, a public employee must be in a pay status for 2,080 hours in order to be credited with a year of employment for vacation accrual purposes.
7/31/1984
40 A.G. Op. 60 (1984) 1.    A valid continuation statement becomes effective upon the conclusion of the five-year initial period during which a financing statement is effective or upon the conclusion of any previous five-year extension of that initial period.
2.    To be valid, continuation statements must be filed during the six-month period preceding conclusion of the initial five-year financing statement period of any extension thereof.
3.    County clerk and recorders are not required to accept for filing continuation statements tendered other than during the six-month period preceding conclusion of the initial five-year financing statement period or any extension thereof.
7/30/1984
40 A.G. Op. 59 (1984) Under section 19-13-701(2), MCA, the retirement date for a firefighter retiring from active service is the first day of the month following his last day of membership service. On that day, and not before, his service retirement benefits become payable. 7/23/1984
40 A.G. Op. 58 (1984) When recording documents for mining claims by mechanical means, the clerk and recorder is to charge only the fee prescribed by section 7-4-2632, MCA. 7/20/1984
40 A.G. Op. 57 (1984) A developer’s construction of 48 four-plexes, to be used as rental occupancy buildings, on a tract of land owned by the developer is a “subdivision,” and consequently must be submitted for local review under the Subdivision and Platting Act. 6/27/1984
40 A.G. Op. 56 (1984) When a district court judge appoints a water commissioner pursuant to Title 85, chapter 5, MCA, the district court judge is considered the employer for the purpose of payment of workers’ compensation. 6/26/1984
40 A.G. Op. 55 (1984) Deputy sheriffs and undersheriffs may not receive cash payments in lieu of compensatory time off for overtime hours worked prior to July 1, 1981. 6/25/1984
40 A.G. Op. 54 (1984) The Montana statutes concerning the licensing of real estate brokers and salesmen apply to property transactions involving rental leasing, condominiums, the providing of lists of real property by rental agencies for a fee, and those timesharing arrangements where there purchaser becomes an owner of the timeshare unit. 6/7/1984
40 A.G. Op. 53 (1984) A 14-passenger van owned by two school districts and used to transport students to and from activity events is a school bus under section 20-10-101(3)(a), MCA. 6/1/1984
40 A.G. Op. 52 (1984) County attorneys are not eligible to participate in the State of Montana group health insurance plan. 5/11/1984
40 A.G. Op. 51 (1984) A board of county commissioners, constituted in a commission form of government, may alter otherwise statutorily established speed limits by compliance with section 61-8-310, MCA. It may further adopt traffic ordinances to the extent permitted under section 61-12-101(14), MCA, and any such ordinances may include penalty provisions. 5/8/1984
40 A.G. Op. 50 (1984) Rules promulgated by the Board of Radiologic Technologist which require applicants for permits under section 37-14-306, MCA, to take a 24-hour course, to be employed, to have six months’ experience and to pass a permit examination are void and unenforceable. 5/3/1984
40 A.G. Op. 49 (1984) 1.    A county park board does not have the authority to levy a special tax for park purposes.
2.    The funding for the county park board’s obligations is derived from the county general fund as well as from other specified sources as enumerated by sections 7-16-2328, 7-16-2324 and 76-3-606, MCA.
3.    Revenues from sale of lands and cash donations are restricted in use and should be separated from unrestricted revenues within the park fund through acceptable accounting procedures.
4.    Interest earned from the deposit or investment of the park fund must be credited to the county general fund.
4/25/1984
40 A.G. Op. 48 (1984) In Montana, neither cities nor counties have authority to enact ordinances requiring wholesale and retail distributers of keg beer to keep and maintain records of the sales or distribution of all beer kegs within the city or county. 4/19/1984
40 A.G. Op. 47 (1984) Section 82-4-234(2), MCA, contains those matters which must be addressed in any reclamation contract entered into by the State Board of Land Commissioners under the Opencut Mining Act. The Board has the discretion to include other requirements in the reclamation contract which reasonably relate to the general purpose of the Act as set forth in section 82-4-402. 4/18/1984
40 A.G. Op. 46 (1984) A municipal officer who holds “public office of a civil nature” as that phrase is defined in State ex rel. Barney v. Hawkins, 79 Mont. 506, 257 P. 411 (1927), is prohibited by article V, section 9 of the Montana Constitution from serving as a member of the Legislature during his continuance in municipal office. 4/11/1984
40 A.G. Op. 45 (1984) 1.    If a property owner fails to pay the refuse disposal district service fee required by section 7-13-231, MCA, the underlying real property is subject to a tax sale.
2.    Tax notices for assessment of fees for operation of the refuse disposal district should not be sent to taxpayers in advance of actual commencement of service.
3.    It is the responsibility of the county treasurer to issue a receipt to taxpayers who have paid property taxes but withheld payment of the refuse disposal service fee.
4/4/1984
40 A.G. Op. 44 (1984) Where a contemplated improvement would constitute a substantial expansion of both an existing improvement and a rural special improvement district, section 7-12-2161(4), MCA, is inapplicable, and the procedures for the creation of a new rural special improvement district in sections 7-12-2102 to 2113, MCA, must be followed. 3/30/1984
40 A.G. Op. 43 (1984) The provisions of the Montana Youth Court Act which apply to a youth charged with violation of section 45-5-624, MCA, in justice, municipal or city court proceedings are sections 41-5-303 to 307, 41-5-402, 41-5-601(1), 41-5-602 and 41-5-604, MCA. A youth charged with violation of section 45-5-624, MCA, is further entitled to the following rights in addition to those normally accorded defendants in justice, municipal or city court criminal proceedings: (1) service of the criminal summons upon both the youth and a custodial parent or guardian; (2) advisement of the right to counsel; and (3) waiver of the right to counsel only by both the youth and a custodial parent or guardian. 3/22/1984
40 A.G. Op. 42 (1984) A shareholder in a closed, or family, type Subchapter S corporation is not eligible to claim tuition offset under section 20-5-303, MCA, when the corporation is the taxpayer responsible for the district and county property taxes referred to in that section. 3/16/1984
40 A.G. Op. 41 (1984) 1.    A school district superintendent does not have the inherent power to enter a contract on behalf of the school district.
2.    A school district board of trustees may delegate a portion of its exclusive power to contract if the delegated power involves only the performance of administrative nondiscretionary acts.
3/15/1984
40 A.G. Op. 40 (1984) The 1983 amendments to the Montana Human Rights Act, §§ 49-2-101 to 49-2-601, MCA, and the Governmental Code of Fair Practices, §§ 49-3-101 to 49-3-312, MCA, did not revive the impliedly repealed portion of section 2-2-302, MCA, restricting employment on the basis of affinity. 3/13/1984
40 A.G. Op. 39 (1984) Under section 7-6-2352, MCA, county governments may be eligible to receive state grants to district courts only after the completion of the fiscal year in which the need for assistance arose. 3/13/1984
40 A.G. Op. 38 (1984) The amount of an existing benefit award under sections 39-71-701(1), 39-71-702(1) or 39-71-703(1), MCA, is unaffected by increases in the state’s average weekly wage level. 3/9/1984
40 A.G. Op. 37 (1984) 1.    A school district is not required by section 20-9-204(3), MCA, to let bids on employer provided employee health insurance.
2.    Insurance purchased by a school district is not a school supply for purposes of section 20-9-204(3), MCA.
3/8/1984
40 A.G. Op. 36 (1984) Mobile home park owners, not mobile home lessees, are responsible for payment of refuse disposal district fees under section 7-13-231, MCA. 3/2/1984
40 A.G. Op. 35 (1984) 1.    Before entries concerning convictions, deferred prosecutions or deferred sentences, which are contained in a “record or index,” as such term is used in section 44-5-301, MCA, may be withheld from public inspection, two conditions must be met: (1) The involved conviction record must reflect only misdemeanors or deferred prosecutions, and (2) the conviction record must reflect no convictions for traffic, regulatory or fish and game offenses.
2.    The nondissemination provisions of section 44-5-301(1)(b), MCA, apply to information concerning convictions, deferred prosecutions or deferred sentences derived from a “record or index” which is compiled by name or universal identifier from a manual or automated system.
3.    All “public criminal justice information,” as that term is defined in section 44-3-101(12), MCA, is available under section 44-5-301(2), MCA, for public inspection from the originating criminal justice agency.
2/24/1984
40 A.G. Op. 34 (1984) 1.    Under section 49-4-302, MCA, a request by a private property owner for establishment of special parking spaces reserved for handicapped persons on private property available for public us should be made to the governing body of the local government unit.
2.    A city has authority to enforce the prohibition in section 49-4-302(2), MCA, on private property available for public use, and such enforcement does not depend upon enactment of local implementing ordinances.
2/17/1984
40 A.G. Op. 33 (1984) If the sale of a county building is not being attempted, the board of county commissioners may use monies obtained from tenants in the county-owned building to defray the operational and maintenance costs of such building. 2/1/1984
40 A.G. Op. 32 (1984) 1.    A subcontract between a corporation, in which a city councilman is a major shareholder, and a prime contractor on a city project is not a “contract” under section 2-2-201, MCA.
2.    A contract awarded to a prime contractor by a city council is not a “contract” under section2-2-201, MCA, when the prime contractor was selected in compliance with section 7-5-4302, MCA, as the lowest responsible bidder after bid advertisements.
3.    A subcontract between a corporation, in which a city councilman is a major shareholder, and a prime contractor on a city project is not a “contract” under section 7-5-4109, MCA.
4.    A contract awarded to a prime contractor by city council is not a “contract” under section 7-5-4109, MCA, when the prime contractor was selected in compliance with section 7-5-4302, MCA, as the lowest responsible bidder after bid advertisement.
5.    The provisions of section 7-5-4302, MCA, do not apply to the awarding of a subcontract by a prime contractor on city project.
6.    Section 45-7-401, MCA, is a remedial provision and does not create substantive duties or obligations for public servants.
1/27/1984
40 A.G. Op. 31 (1984) A city with general government powers may not establish a civil penalty and collection system for motor vehicle parking offenses. 1/18/1984
40 A.G. Op. 30 (1984) The question of conducting local government review and establishing a study commissioner must appear on the June 1984 primary election ballot pursuant to section 7-3-173(2), MCA, notwithstanding any recommendations made by the study committee now reviewing Lewis and Clark County government, or placement on ballot thereof. 1/16/1984
40 A.G. Op. 29 (1983) 1.    Title 53, chapter 2, part 3, MCA, does not authorize a county to set aside monies in the poor fund to be unavailable for supporting public assistance activities in the county.
2.    Section 7-34-2402, MCA, permits transfer of a poor fund cash balance to another fund at the end of the fiscal year only when there is an excess of the amount budgeted for the poor fund for the next fiscal year.
3.    Section 7-34-2402, MCA, permits poor fund monies to fund a depletion allowance reserve fund only to the extent that they represent actual excess of expenses incurred from or for indigent patients in the county facility.
4.    Transfer of monies into a depletion allowance reserve fund is not subject to the requirements in section 7-6-2326, MCA.
5.    Section 53-2-322(7), MCA, permits use of poor fund monies to build a new nursing home, but not to improve an existing one. The county is subject to the requirements in this section before expending poor fund monies to build or improve county facilities.
6.    Under section 53-2-323, MCA, the inquiry into a county’s fiscal activities by the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services is limited to the fiscal year in which the county applies for emergency grant-in-aid.
12/30/1983
40 A.G. Op. 28 (1983) 1.    The definitions of “be interested in” and “contracts” contained in section 2-2-201, MCA, are incorporated into sections 7-5-4109 and 7-5-2106, MCA.
2.    Disclosure under section 2-2-131, MCA is purely voluntary and may be done prior to taking any official action, as defined by section 2-2-102(5), MCA.
3.    Even though an interest may be permissible under the exceptions listed in section 2-2-201, MCA, an official who has a substantial interest in the affected business must comply with sections 2-2-125 and 2-2-131, MCA.
4.    If the interest is not permissible under the exceptions listed in section 2-2-201, MCA, then the contract is voidable, and abstinence from voting will not exonerate the official.
12/14/1983
40 A.G. Op. 27 (1983) 1.    It is not the duty of the county attorney to represent rural improvement districts formed pursuant to sections 7-12-2101 to 2186, MCA.
2.    As part of his private practice, a part-time county attorney may represent a rural improvement district subsequent to its creation under section 7-12-2113, MCA, and receive compensation therefor.
11/22/1983
40 A.G. Op. 26 (1983) 1.    A board of county commissioners may not appoint an acting justice of the peace in advance, to act whenever a justice is sick, disabled or absent.
2.    If the only justice of the peace in a county is disqualified from acting in any action, he must be replaced by a justice form a neighboring county.
3.    There is no minimum of time that a justice of the peace must be sick, disabled or absent before an acting justice of the peace may be appointed.
4.    A justice court is always open for the transaction of business except on legal holidays and nonjudicial days. However, the office hours that must be kept by a justice of the peace are set by the county commissioners and need not include hours on every day that the justice court is open for the transaction of business.
11/21/1983
40 A.G. Op. 25 (1983) The budget amendment process does not apply to appropriation measures enacted by statute. 10/31/1983
40 A.G. Op. 24 (1983) The Board of Land Commissioners in establishing state grazing lease fees has not only the authority to negotiate leases in excess of the formula established by statute, but, in light of its constitutional sources, an absolute duty to achieve fair market value on each grazing lease it negotiates. 10/11/1983
40 A.G. Op. 23 (1983) The term “discontinue” as utilized in Title 7, chapter 14, parts 26 and 41, MCA, is synonymous with the terms “abandon” and “vacate.” 9/30/1983
40 A.G. Op. 22 (1983) A property owner is “receiving a service” for purposes of fee assessment under the refuse disposal district law whether or not he is actually making use of the facilities. 9/28/1983
40 A.G. Op. 21 (1983) 1.    When a claimant has received unemployment insurance benefits, parts of which may have been obtained fraudulently, the Department of Labor and Industry is limited to recovery of those amounts wrongfully received by the claimant. Additionally, the claimant may be disqualified from receipt of future benefits for up to 52 weeks.
2.    The Department of Labor and Industry may not sue a claimant for the additional penalty provided in section 17-51-3201, MCA, because section 39-51-3201, MCA, provides a specific remedy for the department in such cases.
9/7/1983
40 A.G. Op. 20 (1983) The Department of Natural Resources has power under section 75-7-209, MCA, to adopt regulations for the issuance or denial of permits for work in lakes. The only limitation on this power is the adoption of regulations by a local governing body as provided in section 75-7-207, MCA. 9/2/1983
40 A.G. Op. 19 (1983) 1.    A city may use its share of gasoline tax allocation under section 15-70-101(2), MCA, for construction of storm sewers and drains in and under city streets for removal of runoff water.
2.    The gasoline tax allocation moneys may be put into a sinking fund for general obligation bonds which are sold specifically for the purpose of constructing the storm sewers and drains in and under city streets.
8/23/1983
40 A.G. Op. 18 (1983) 1.    SRS should rely upon the tax levies presented in the county clerk and recorders’ reports that are provided pursuant to section 7-6-2322, MCA for determining the amount levied by the county for purposes of its county poor fund during fiscal year 1982.
2.    The proceeds of the mill levy set pursuant to section 7(1)(a) of HB 798 should include revenue from any source that is normally allocated among county funds in the proportion a fund bears to the total mill levies of the county.
8/11/1983
40 A.G. Op. 17 (1983) 1.    A county with general government powers has no inherent authority to administer a program for the rehabilitation of privately owned housing funded under the CDBG block grant program.
2.    A county housing has implicit statutory power to administer the CDBG project for the rehabilitation of privately owned housing, and a general power county government may therefore administer the CDBG program through a county housing authority.
3.    A county with general government powers and a city generally may not enter into an interlocal agreement under which the county could administer the CDBG project for the rehabilitation of privately owned housing.
4.    If the city has created a municipal housing authority, the municipal housing authority and county may enter an interlocal agreement under which the county may administer the CDBG project for the rehabilitation of privately owned housing within ten miles of the city limits.
8/2/1983
40 A.G. Op. 16 (1983) 1.    A single certificate of survey may not reflect the creation of more than one lot to be conveyed under the “occasional sale” exemption embodied in section 76-3-207(1)(d), MCA.
2.    The question of whether an exemption is claimed “for the purpose of evading” review under the act is one of fact to be decided by the local government in the first instance, taking into consideration all of the surrounding circumstances.
3.    A local government may require a person claiming exemption from subdivision review to furnish evidence of entitlement to the claimed exemption.
7/20/1983
40 A.G. Op. 15 (1983) The period of redemption for land sold for delinquent taxes is provided for by section 15-18-101, MCA. Payment of all taxes and assessments is required for redemption to occur. The time period cannot be tolled by payment of part of the delinquent taxes. 7/19/1983
40 A.G. Op. 14 (1983) The provisions of section 7-13-2234(3), MCA, which provide for staggered terms of office for elected water and sewer district directors, apply to all counties in which water and sewer directors are elected. 7/5/1983
40 A.G. Op. 13 (1983) 1.    The length of term of office for new district judges elected at the 1983 general election as provided for in Senate Bill 26 is six years.
2.    Sections 13-1-104(2), 13-1-107(2), and 13-14-112, MCA, are applicable to those elections held in 1983 for the purpose of filling new judgeships created by Senate Bill 26.
6/13/1983
40 A.G. Op. 12 (1983) Tax payments deposited in the United State mail on or before payment deadlines enumerated in section 15-16-102, MCA, as shown by the postmark on the envelope received by the treasurer’s office, are considered timely paid irrespective of the date upon which such payment is actually received by the county treasurer. 6/1/1983
40 A.G. Op. 11 (1983) The exemption from television district taxes for CATV subscribers provided in section 7-13-2529, MCA, benefits subscribers to CATV systems which receive signals from a television district translator. 5/10/1983
40 A.G. Op. 10 (1983) When a teacher retires on a disability allowance prior to the completion of a full year and is statutorily entitled to earned compensation in the Teachers’ Retirement System in an amount equal to the “compensation, pay or salary which he would have received had he completed the full year,” the Teachers’ Retirement Board must include in the calculation of his earned compensation the value of the sick leave and vacation leave the member would have earned had he completed the contract year. 4/21/1983
40 A.G. Op. 9 (1983) Volunteer firefighters in unincorporated areas are not “employees” within the meaning of the Workers’ Compensation Act, but are entitled to benefits under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Compensation Act. 4/20/1983
40 A.G. Op. 8 (1983) 1.    Under section 53-3-306, MCA, a county may not automatically disclaim financial responsibility for new applicants for general relief who have moved to that county in order to receive medical care in a nursing home. The county of financial responsibility is the county where the applicant resides. Residence is determined by factors such as whether the placement in the nursing home is permanent or temporary, in which county the applicant is registered to vote, owns property, owns or leases a home, pays property taxes or registers a vehicle, and in which county the applicant intends to remain.
2.    Under section 53-2-610(3), MCA, recipients of general relief who move to a new county in order to receive medical care in a nursing home remain the financial responsibility of the original county unless a court decree declares the recipient’s residence to be other than the original county.
4/7/1983
40 A.G. Op. 7 (1983) Under existing Montana law, a city or town may not file a lien against a landowner’s property due to the tenant’s failure to pay for water service contracted for and used by the tenant. Discontinuance of service is the only remedy available for nonpayment of water charges. §§69-7-201, 7-13-4306, MCA. 3/18/1983
40 A.G. Op. 6 (1983) The exemption given each “nonresidential structure” in section 15-6-201(3), MCA, refers to each energy generating system, not to its individual parts. 2/22/1983
40 A.G. Op. 5 (1983) 1.    The owner of a motor vehicle must purchase a liability policy for each vehicle he owns
2.    An individual may be cited and convicted for failure to have liability insurance if he is discovered operating a third party’s uninsured motor vehicle.
2/18/1983
40 A.G. Op. 4 (1983) 1.    The coal board does not incur a “valid obligation” against its appropriation by inviting a full application for grant after screening a pre-application.
2.    The provision of section 17-7-304, MCA, requiring the reversion of unexpended and unencumbered portions of appropriations at the close of the fiscal year, applies to the appropriations to the coal board from the local impact and education trust fund.
3.    The coal board may encumber funds at the close of a fiscal year only by incurring a “valid obligation” against them under section 17-7-302, MCA.
4.    The legislative interpretation of section 90-6-205, MCA, suggests that the Legislature intended to limit the coal board appropriations to seven-fifteenths of the income projected to the local impact and education trust fund in each fiscal year.
2/3/1983
40 A.G. Op. 3 (1983) 1.    Section 53-3-304, MCA, requires all participants in the “workfare” program to be paid, i.e. receive benefits, at the prevailing rate of wages paid by the county for similar work.
2.    The prevailing wage is the most frequent or commonly used rate of pay.
3.    The county may pay the minimum wage only if similar work has generally been performed for the minimum wage or it the county has never had similar work performed.
4.    To determine what is similar work the county should classify the work to be performed under the program with other work closely resembling the type currently being done for the county.
1/24/1983
40 A.G. Op. 2 (1983) The terms of office of members of the Montana State Senate who were elected in 1982 may not be shortened as a result of reapportionment and redistricting. 1/21/1983
40 A.G. Op. 1 (1983) Aldermen elected to four-year terms in 1981 need not run for re-election in 1983 as a result of reapportionment and redistricting. 1/6/1983