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the Governor of Montana for a public fast, thanksgiving or holiday. If January 1st, February 22d, May 30th, July 4th, or December 25th is Sunday, the following day is a holiday. 1
In counties which constitute but part of a judicial district, at least four terms of court must be held every year.
The following classes of cases may be begun in the District Court:
All cases involving the right to real property.
All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll or municipal fine.
All other civil cases in which the value of fifty dollars is involved.
All criminal cases amounting to felony.
All cases of misdemeanor, where the punishment exceeds six months' imprisonment or a fine of $500 or more, or both such fine and imprisonment, and other special actions and proceedings.
The District Courts also:
Have power to issue, hear and determine writs of mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, prohibition, injunction, habeas corpus and other original and remedial rights. 3
The process of the District Courts extends to all parts of the state. But actions involving title to real property must be begun in the county in which the property is located, and all criminal prosecutions must be begun in the county in which the felony was committed, except in the asportation of property.
* Political Code, 2 10; Civil Code, 84,655 ; Code of Civil Procedure, 2121. ? Const. Mont., Art. vii, Sec. 17. 3 Const. Mont., Art. VIII, fec. 11; Code of Civil Procedure, % 41.
A civil action may be tried in the District Court, or may be tried by a judge, pro tempore, when agreed upon in writing by the parties litigant.
Justices of the Peace.—All civil cases, not involving the title to real property, where the value of less than $50 is involved, are tried before a Justice of the Peace, and such cases, where the value at issue is between $50 and $300, may be so tried. A Justice of the Peace also examines the evidence in criminal cases amounting to felony or indictable misdemeanor in order to hold the accused for trial before the District Court and has final jurisdiction in all criminal actions where the punishment does not exceed $500 fine or six months' imprisonment or both, solemnizes marriages, issues writs of attachment for debt, and performs other similar duties. The court of a Justice of the Peace is open for business every day in the year except legal holidays.
In towns one of the Justices of the Peace may appointed Police Judge by the Council, and when so appointed has exclusive jurisdiction over all cases arising under the town ordinances where the town is a
Const. Mont., Art. VIII, Sec. 20; Code of Civil Procedure, & 60.
Police Court.—Every town and city contains a Police Court which must be open every day in the year except legal holidays, and on the excepted days may transact criminal business.
In petit larceny, minor cases of assault and battery, breaches of the peace, riots, and proceedings respecting vagrants and disorderly persons the jurisdiction of the Police Judge is concurrent with that of the Justice of the Peace.
Exclusive jurisdiction belongs to the Police Court in all cases arising under the ordinances of the city or town; also in all cases for the collection of any moneys claimed by the city or town, or claimed from the city or town, where the amount exclusive of interest and costs does not exceed $300. Such claims on the part of the city or town may be for collection of tax, license or assessment, breach of official bond, recovery of personal property belonging to the city or town, or for other cause.
In cases where the judge is interested or when he is related within the sixth degree to either party, or in case of sickness, absence or inability to act, either the Judge or the Mayor may call in a Justice of the Peace to preside and act. 1
Other Judicial Officers. Besides the judges of the courts which we have mentioned, many other officers and employes are necessary for the administration of justice. Among these are the following elective county
1 Const. Mont., Art. viii, Sec. 24; Political Code, 24,910, et seq.
officers: Sheriff, Clerk of the District Court, Coroner, Public Administrator and Attorney, also the Constable elected by the township. Sheriffs, Clerks, Constables and their deputies may not practice law or be in partnership with any person so practicing.
Sheriff.—The Sheriff is the principal police officer of the county, is responsible for the preservation of the peace and the custody of all persons under arrest for infringement of the laws. In the performance of his duty of preserving the peace he must arrest and bring before the nearest magistrate any person apprehended in committing a public offense. For the prevention or suppression of affrays or riots, or for the arrest of criminals, he may command the assistance of such and as many male inhabitants of the county as he may deem necessary.
He must attend all sessions of the District Court held in his county, proclaim the opening and closing of the court, secure the attendance of and call all witnesses, parties and other persons bound to appear before the Court. He serves notices, processes and other papers
and in general executes the orders of the Court. He appoints an Under Sheriff and such deputies as may be necessary for the performance of his duties.
When the Sheriff is a party to an action or proceeding, the Coroner performs his duties. When it is considered improper for either the Sheriff or Coroner to act, the Court appoints pro tempore some other resident of the county, who is called an Elisor.
So far as the duties assigned to a Sheriff in the jurisdiction of the District Court are necessary in the jurisdiction of other courts, they are performed in the Supreme Court by the Marshal appointed by the Court itself, by the Constable in a Court of a Justice of the Peace, and by the Court Officer in a Police Court. 1
County Attorney.—The County Attorney, as the public prosecutor of the County, conducts on behalf of the state all prosecutions for public offenses, and draws all papers necessary for such prosecutions.
He is also the legal advisor of the county oflicers, and when required, must give his opinion in writing on all matters referred to him respecting the duties of their positions, by the county, district and township officers. He must attend the meetings of the Board of County Commissioners when required and must oppose all claims against the county which are unjust or illegal.
In case any money shall have been illegally paid through the action of the Commissioners or any other county officers, the County Attorney must institute proceedings for the recovery of the same and twentyfive per cent. in addition to the amount for damages, without formal authorization. And in case warrants have been illegally drawn and no moneys paid upon them, he shall commence action in the name of the county restraining such payment. ?
1 Political Code, %4,320, et seq. 2 Political Code, 34,450, et seq.