Articles Posted in Montana Supreme Court

by
Defendant Sebastian Olivares-Coster pled guilty to deliberate homicide and attempted deliberate homicide and was sentenced to three life sentences. The district court did not orally impose any parole restrictions but presumed that Defendant would be eligible for parole after sixty years of incarceration. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment and commitment of the district court to the extent it provided that Defendant would be eligible for parole after sixty years, holding that because Defendant was a juvenile at the time he committed the offenses, the sixty-year restriction on Defendant's parole eligibility pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. 46-23-201(4) was expressly prohibited by Mont. Code Ann. 46-18-222(1), which provides that restrictions on parole eligibility do not apply if the offender was less than eighteen years old at the time of the commission of the offense. View "State v. Olivares-Coster" on Justia Law

by
J.A. was charged with burglary by common scheme and theft by common scheme when he was 17-years-old and placed on probation until February 2009 by the Youth Court. In December 2008, the State filed a petition to revoke probation and transfer supervision of J.A. to district court. The Youth Court issued a summons and, when J.A. did not appear, the court issued a warrant for his arrest. J.A. was not picked up on the warrant until May 2010, when he was 21-years-old. J.A. appealed the order entered by the Youth Court denying his motion for release from custody due to lack of jurisdiction. The court held that the Youth Court Act, section 46-18-203(2), MCA, did not provide for continuing jurisdiction in youth court over revocation proceedings after youth turned 21, even where a petition to transfer had previously been filed and therefore, the court held that it could not extend the Youth Court's jurisdiction beyond what the Legislature had clearly provided. Accordingly, the court held that the Youth Court erred in denying J.A.'s motion and reversed the Youth Court's order, remanding for further proceedings. View "In the matter of J.A. " on Justia Law

by
Respondent entered a true plea and was adjudged delinquent in the district court in 2005 for knowingly engaging in sexual acts with a person under 12 years of age, which would have been a crime under 18 U.S.C. 2241(c) and 1153(a) if committed by an adult. At issue, in a certified question, was whether respondent's duty to remain registered as a sex offender under Montana law was contingent upon the validity of the conditions of his now-expired federal juvenile-supervision order that required him to register as a sex offender or was the duty an independent requirement of Montana law that was unaffected by the validity or invalidity of the federal juvenile-supervision conditions. The court held that respondent's state law duty to remain registered as a sex offender was not contingent upon the validity of the conditions of his federal supervision order, but was an independent requirement of Montana law. Therefore, the Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registration Act ("SVORA"), 46-23-501 through 502, directly applied to respondent and he had a continuing duty to register under SVORA, which was entirely independent from the registration conditions imposed by his federal supervision order.