Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg offers an opinion on a case that came before a Lincoln County judge regarding the constitutionality of language in a partner or family member assault.

Lincoln County Justice of the Peace Stormy Langston dismissed a partner or family member assault case filed against Dale Miller in May, saying the law unconstitutionally applied to people of the opposite sex who were involved in intimate relationships, but not to same-sex relationships.

Van Valkenburg says Missoula County prosecutors would avoid the possible problem by charging the offending partner with simple assault, to avoid the potentially unconstitutional language.

Miller was charged with slapping and choking his girlfriend until she nearly passed out.

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg