Per the governor's signature on SB 238, the state of Montana is modifying the courts' limits for Civil Actions and for Small Claims. Effective July 1, 2011, the District Courts, which are the general jurisdiction courts, will only try civil matters exceeding $12,000. The previous limit was $7,000. The courts of limited jurisdiction, which are Justice Courts, City Courts and Municipal Courts, will have the maximim civil amount raised from $7,000 to $12,000. The Small Claims maximum limit will increase as well, from $3,000 to $7,000.
The enacted legislation decreed that in certian case types (including recovery of money and damages involving personal property) the new limits are exclusive of attorney fees. The new law also increases the City Court jurisdiction on certain matters from $5,000 to $9,500.
To view a copy of the bill, visit https://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2011/billhtml/SB0238.htm