Frequently Asked Questions

Criminal and Traffic

When can I see the Judge?

Glendive City Court has appearances on Mondays at 2:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. The issuing agency will write an appearance date on your citation showing the date and time you are expected to appear. If you fail to appear at the date and time you were given on your citation, your driving privilege may be suspended, a warrant for your arrest may be issued, and any bond you have posted may be forfeited.

What happens when I see the Judge?

Some offenses are mandatory appearances before the Judge. The Judge will ask you to enter a plea. If you plead Guilty, the Judge will sentence you. You must explain to the Judge why you are Guilty. A Guilty plea will not be accepted by the Judge if your explanations do not support the Guilty plea.

If you plead Not Guilty, your case will be set for Pre-Trial Hearing. The Judge will advise you of your hearing date.

What is the difference between a Jury and Non Jury trial?

A Jury Trial in City Court consists of 6 residents of the city randomly chosen. All 6 jurors must agree if you are guilty or not guilty. Upon conviction, the Court may assess jury costs and witness fees against the Defendant.

A Non Jury Trail is before the Judge. The Judge determines whether you are guilty or not guilty.

In both a Jury and Non Jury (Bench Trial) trial, the verdict must be based upon a finding of a guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

What is a Pre-Trial Hearing?

A Hearing with the Prosecutor (City Attorney), the Defendant and the Judge to discuss and consider matters related to discovery of evidence procedures and pre-trial motions. Settlement of the case can be considered by the parties at this hearing. This is also the time when the trial date and type of trial will be set.

How do I get a Public Defender?

If the charge you are faced with meets certain criteria, you may be appointed a Public Defender by the court. If jail time will not be assessed during sentencing, you do not qualify for a Public Defender.  When you appear in front of the Judge, you will then have the opportunity to request a Public Defender to be appointed to your case. You may be required to pay for your representation by the Office of the State Public Defender’s Office.

Can I get my ticket deferred?

After the entry of a guilty plea or verdict, you may request a deferred sentence. You can not condition a guilty plea upon receiving a deferred sentence. The granting of a deferred sentence is at the discretion of the Judge. The Judge will take into consideration: the offense you are charged with, driving history, whether or not the citation was the result of an accident involving damage to property or injury to person, whether you have received a deferred sentence in the past, and other considerations. If you have a CDL (Commercial Driver License) a deferred sentence for traffic cannot be granted.

How will a traffic offense affect my insurance?

City Court does not report traffic tickets to insurance companies. Insurance companies have access to your driving record and make their own decisions on how traffic offenses will affect your rates. We have no input or control on what insurance companies will do.

Can you keep my charge out of the newspaper?

Charges filed in City Court are public information. Any person may request information on charges filed in City Court. We cannot deny the receipt of public information to any person.

What happens if I fail to appear for my trial?

Typically a warrant for non-appearance is issued and your driving privileges are suspended.  You should appear in Court before the Judge as soon as possible to clear the matter.

Can my trial date be continued?  What do I have to do?

You must request a continuance in writing, explaining the reason for the continuance and waive your right to a speedy trial.  The written request must be filed with the clerk a minimum of five (5) days prior to your scheduled trial date and a copy filed with the city attorney at the same time.

What is the ACT/PFL (Prime For Life) program/classes?

ACT stands for Assessment, Course and Treatment. Classes in Montana are now called Prime for Life. It is a state approved program required by Montana Law for those convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI or DUI per se - .08 violation).  It may also be required for misdemeanor drug charges, .02 violations, and subsequent MIP charges.

How do I get a probationary driver's license?

A first offense DUI or Per Se offender must have the approval of the Court, be enrolled in ACT/PFL, and have a valid Montana driver license. You are required to pay a $200 reinstatement fee to Records and Driver Control Bureau.

A person with two or more DUI offenses must wait a minimum of 45 days, have the Court’s approval and apply directly to the Records and Driver Control Bureau. In addition to other strict conditions, the person is required to be in compliance with the Court order and complete alcohol and drug treatment.

Contact Record and Driver Control Bureau for more information:

Records and Driver Control Bureau
303 North Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
(406) 444-3289

My license is suspended. Can I get a work permit?

A person who is suspended for failure to appear, failure to pay fines, or failure to comply with sentence – NO. You will need to contact the Court that requested your driving privilege be suspended. If you aren’t sure, contact Records and Driver Control Bureau at (406) 444-3289. You will be required to pay a $100 reinstatement fee to that Bureau, and the Court must issue an order allowing your driving privileges.

Why did the Judge suspend my driver's license?

When the Court sent a Fail to Pay, Fail to Appear or Fail to Comply Notice (also known as a Show Cause Hearing Notice) for not making a payment on time, not appearing in Court or not complying with a requirement of your sentence, the notice warns of pending suspension if you do not pay your fine or see the Judge by a prescribed date.

My name appears on the Warrant List.  What do I do?

If you are able, the best way to clear a warrant is to appear before the Judge.  Contact the Court at (406) 377-3131 to discuss ways to clear the warrant and to schedule a date to appear.  It is possible that your warrant can be cleared by simply paying any overdue fines.  If the warrant was issued for non-compliance or for failure to appear, you must appear in Court.

Can I check if I have a warrant (or someone else)?

You can contact the clerk at (406) 377-3131 to check all warrants out of Glendive City Court only.  You can also check the warrants list HERE.

Orders of Protection

How do I file for an Order of Protection?

You can do this in several different ways.

1. Dawson County Domestic Violence can assist you in filling out the paperwork.

122 W Bell
Glendive,MT 59330
(406) 377-6477

2. Appear in Glendive City Court and request the paperwork.

3. Download the forms (http://courts.mt.gov/library/topic/domestic.mcpx), fill out and bring in to Glendive City Court.

Can I keep my address confidential?

Yes – except for the Court and Law Enforcement

Will I see the Judge when I file for an Order of Protection?

You must sign the petition in front of a notary or the Court Clerk and then file with the Clerk. Once filed, the Judge will review your petition and either grant or deny a Temporary Order of Protection. If granted, the Judge will issue a Temporary Order of Protection, a date will be set for a hearing within 20 days to determine if the Order of Protection will be granted for a greater length of time. At the hearing, all parties will have an opportunity to be heard by the Judge. The Judge may grant the petition of an Order of Protection for a specific time period, or may deny the petition.

Can I file a Petition for an Order of Protection to protect my property?

No. However, an Order of Protection may contain a provision that your property cannot be destroyed.

How much does an Order of Protection cost?

There is no cost that you are required to pay.

When does the Temporary Order of Protection go into effect?

Immediately upon issuance by the Judge. The Temporary Order of Protection remains in effect until the hearing on the Petition.