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Montana Supreme Court to Hear Case at University of Montana [AUDIO]

Montana Supreme Court
photo courtesy of State of Montana

The Montana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case about land-use regulation near Whitefish on Friday, April 11, at the University of Montana. 

Law School Professor Michelle Bryan Mudd said the Montana Supreme Court hearing is part of the annual ‘Law Week’ commemoration on campus.

“The Montana Supreme Court will travel to Missoula, as it does to other towns, to allow the public to see the court in action,” Bryan Mudd said. “They are hearing an appeal between the City of Whitefish and Flathead County, and it has already been tried, so the parties are now appealing the decision to the Montana Supreme Court.”

This case arises from long-term issues between the city of Whitefish and Flathead County regarding land-use regulation in a 2-mile-wide “donut” surrounding Whitefish city limits. In this case, the district court invalidated a 2011 city referendum that repealed a city-county resolution on the subject.

The city appealed, arguing that the post-election challenge to the referendum was filed too late, the district court erred when it determined that the resolution was an administrative act that was not repealable through the referendum process, and the effect of the repeal of the referendum should be to return the city and county to a 2005 agreement under which the city had zoning and planning jurisdiction for the “donut.”

Bryan Mudd sets the stage for the high court’s appearance on Friday.

“There’s an introduction to the case at 9:30 a.m. and them there will be a call to rise, and then the court will begin their session at 10 a.m.” Bryan Mudd said. “And so the University Center theater will become the courtroom on Friday.”

The session is hosted by the UM School of Law, and is open to the public.

UM Law School Professor Michelle Bryan Mudd

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