Justice Court

Civil, Small Claims, and Order of Protection Cases:  JCcivilclerks@yellowstonecountymt.gov

Phone (email preferred): (406) 256-2899


Criminal/Ticket Cases:  JCcrimclerks@yellowstonecountymt.gov

Phone (email preferred): (406) 256-2998

Civil Case Filing Fee is now $50.00

(will be changed on respective forms/pages soon)


********* NOTICE *********

Due to staffing shortages the Justice Court must modify its weekly schedule to suspend 3 PM Video Court appearances on Tuesdays and Thursdays and open court on Wednesdays until further notice. This decision is effective 8-23-21. If a 3-day weekend exists (i.e. Labor Day, September 6th), the Justice Court will conduct a normal 3 PM Video Court session on the following Tuesday to address in-custody matters from the long weekend. The Justice Court will still review and process inmates and ensure their video appearances on the following Wednesdays and Fridays each week.

Please use the open court calendar to schedule your appearance on your citation or misdemeanor criminal matter using our online calendar. and follow the prompts.

Effective immediately the front counter of the Justice Court office will be closed to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 to 5:00. This includes the public access terminal. All scheduled court proceedings will still be held in the designated courtroom. If you are scheduled for a court appearance or a wedding during those times a sign directing you where to report will be on the office door. If the staffing issue can be remedied sooner the Justice Court will reinstitute the normal schedule immediately. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or email the Justice Court at jccrimclerks@yellowstonecountymt.gov to address any concerns.

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The Yellowstone County Justice Court seeks to ensure our staff's safety and safety of the public. The Justice Court has taken proactive steps to address the need to reduce foot traffic in the courthouse. Due to the COVID-19 precautions now in place by the Yellowstone County Unified Health Command, the Justice Court has taken the following action:

  • Wearing a face mask or other face covering is no longer mandatory, but any litigant who feels more comfortable wearing a mask is welcome to do so. Unlike a store, restaurant, tavern, or other public place that patrons choose to visit voluntarily, often court participants are ordered to attend the proceedings in person. As such, the Justice Court will utilize an abundance of caution to ensure everyone's safety under the circumstances, including court staff disinfecting the courtrooms and work stations multiple times per day after court proceedings. If you do not have a mask and wish to wear one, please inquire with court staff who will provide you a disposable mask free of charge. In these trying times, the Justice Court thanks you for your patience.

  • With the Court's permission parties may appear remotely through videoconferencing or telephone. Please call the Court PRIOR to your hearing to ask permission to appear remotely.
    • All filing and payments can be submitted electronically to the following addresses:
    • Criminal/traffic phone numbers: 256-2998 or 256-2891 Civil/small claims/orders of protection phone numbers: 256-2899, 256-2771, 256-2820, 256-2897
    • Jury question numbers: 256-2953 or 256-2889
    • o All email communication or voicemails will be returned as soon as possible; but please remember we have a very limited number of staff and are doing our best to return phone calls and emails in a timely manner. Email is our preferred method of communication.
    • Civil forms, including Petitions for Temporary Orders of Protection, are available on-line or in hanging racks outside the front door of the Justice Court (Room 603)
    • Blank criminal motions form will be available on-line and in a hanging rack outside the front door (Room 603)
    • Payments can be made over the telephone or at the citepay link above
  • Wedding services are scheduled by the judges with the parties and the judge will address any Covid 19 concerns or precautions with the parties. Making an appointment to be married is greatly appreciated, as the judges cannot always accommodate weddings without an appointment, due to the judges’ court schedules.
  • The public records access terminal is available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:45 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 8:00 to 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Users are responsible for cleaning and sanitizing the public access room BOTH PRIOR and FOLLOWING use of the public access room. Disinfecting supplies are available when you pick up the key.



Pay Tickets & Fees Online
*** You may now file documents by email or fax! See Local Rule #25 for details.
***


Jurisdiction of Justice Court

The Yellowstone County Justice Court is divided into three divisions:

The criminal division handles traffic, fish and game violations, misdemeanor offenses, alcohol involving juveniles, and preliminary hearings.  

The civil division handles actions involving personal or property damages, contract disputes, recovery of personal property, interpleader, local ordinances, protection orders, forcible entry, unlawful detainer, and landlord/tenant disputes. The amount in controversy, or the value of the property, cannot exceed $12,000.00.

The small claims division handles contracts involving the recovery of money, recovery specific personal property, and interpleader. The amount in controversy, or the value of the property, cannot exceed $7,000.00. Counterclaims cannot exceed $6,500.00.

The justice court does not handle disputes involving false imprisonment, libel, slander, criminal conversation, seduction, malicious prosecution, determination of paternity, and abduction. The justice court does not have jurisdiction which involves the title or possession of real property or the legality of any tax.

 


Justice Court Scam Alert - Telephone Call
The Yellowstone County Justice Court recently received information of a scam to steal your money and/or personal information.

(1)The Court has received calls from individuals saying that they have been contacted by phone saying that there is a civil judgment against them filed in Justice Court. The suspect states that that if they give him/her payment of the judgment by credit/debit cards they will not proceed with the action. The suspect asks for personal information and requires the person to make the payment over the telephone.

(2) The Court has received calls from individuals saying that they have been contacted by a collection agency saying that they owed money to the Justice Court and if they did not pay the collection agency immediately there would be a warrant issued for them.

If you receive a call consistent with the descriptions above, please do the following:

  • Do not provide personal information over the telephone;
  • Hang up and contact the police to report the incident;
  • Contact the Yellowstone County Justice Court to report the incident.

Justice Court personnel will never contact or email you to request payment over the telephone for any fines, fees or bonds on warrants and the Court does not accept payments over the phone. You would be directed to make payments on-line at citepayusa.com. If you have a concern regarding a matter in the Yellowstone County Justice Court clerks are available to answers questions by telephone, email or in person.


 

While the Justice Court clerks are pleased to assist you in any way possible, please understand that we are unable to provide legal advice. If you need legal advice or have questions, please contact an attorney.