Montana Rules of Civil Procedure
Does a process server have to be licensed in Montana?
There is no licensing requirement in the state of Montana, but you do have to be registered (read more below).
Visit ServeNow.com’s Become a Montana Process Server page for more information.
Montana Process Server Licensing Requirements
All individuals who do more than 10 services of process in a calendar year must obtain a registration certificate enabling them to process serve. This certificate also enables process servers to act as a levying officer. Registration requires a surety bond of $10,000 per individual and $100,000 for each firm. Process servers cannot levy on an amount in excess of their bond. Applicants must also pass a written examination based on the Handbook for Process Servers, which is published by the Montana Department of Commerce. [Montana Code Annotated §25-1-1101 and §25-1-1111]. Learn more about becoming a process server in Montana.
Continuing Education Requirements to Renew Process Service License
- According to the Administrative Rules of Montana rule number 24.182.2103 and rule number 24.182.2101, "All licensees must verify on the renewal application the completion of eight continuing education hours during the one-year license renewal period." and that "Private investigators and process servers may complete continuing legal education (CLE) approved by a state bar on legal topics that relate to their respective operations."
- Learn more about auditing and approving CLE hours for continuing license renewal with rule 24.182.2108.
Montana Rules of Civil Procedure
Please note that lobbyists are active in the state of Montana and laws concerning civil procedure and process serving can change. Therefore the information listed below may have been amended. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Montana State Legislature website.
RULE 4. Persons Subject or Jurisdiction – Process – Service
(A) Definition of Person. As used in this rule, the word “person,” whether or not a citizen or resident of this state and whether or not organized under the laws of this state, includes an individual whether operating in the individual’s own name or under a trade name; an individual’s agent or personal representative; a corporation; a limited liability company; a business trust; an estate; a trust; a partnership; an unincorporated association; and any two or more persons having a joint or common interest or any other legal or commercial entity. (B) Jurisdiction of Persons.
- Subject to Jurisdiction. All persons found within the state of Montana are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state. In addition, any person is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state as to any claim for relief arising from the doing personally, through an employee, or through an agent, of any of the following acts:
- The transaction of any business within this state;
- The commission of an act which results in accrual within this state of a court action;
- the ownership, use or possession of any property, or of any interest therein, situated within this state;
- contracting to insure any person, property or risk located within this state at the time of contracting;
- entering into a contract for services to be rendered or for materials to be furnished in this state by such person; or
- acting as director, manager, trustee, or other officer of any corporation organized under the laws of, or having its principal place of business within this state, or as personal representative of any estate within this state
- Acquisition of Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction may be acquired by our courts over any person through service of process as herein provided; or by the voluntary appearance in an action by any person either personally, or through an attorney, or through any other authorized officer, agent or employee.
- Summons – Issuance. Upon or after filing the complaint the plaintiff or, if the plaintiff is represented by an attorney, the plaintiff’s attorney shall present a summons to the clerk for issuance. If the summons is in proper form, the clerk shall issue it and deliver it to the plaintiff or to the plaintiff’s attorney who shall thereafter deliver it for service upon the defendant in the manner prescribed by these rules. Issuance and service of the summons shall be accomplished within the times prescribed by Rule E of these rules. Upon request, the clerk shall issue separate or additional summons against any parties designated in the original action, or against any additional parties who may be brought into the action, which separate or additional summons shall also be served in the manner and within the times prescribed by these rules. The party requesting issuance of the summons shall bear the burden of having it properly issued and served.
- Summons – Form. The summons shall be signed by the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff’s address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of the defendant’s failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. In an action brought to quiet title to real estate, there shall be added to the foregoing, the following: “This action is brought for the purpose of quieting title to land situated in . . . County, Montana, and described as follows: (Here insert descriptions of land.).” For exceptions to this form of summons see 4D(4) “Other service,” set forth hereinafter.
- By whom served.
- Service of all process shall be made in the county where the party to be served is found by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, or any other person over the age of 18 not a party to the action.
- (i) A summons and complaint may also be served upon a defendant who is an individual other than a minor or an incompetent person or upon a domestic or foreign corporation or partnership or other unincorporated association by mailing a copy of the summons and complaint (by first-class mail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served, together with two copies of a notice and acknowledgment conforming substantially to form 18-A and a return envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the sender. If no acknowledgment of service under this subdivision of this rule is received by the sender within 20 days after the date of mailing the summons and complaint, service of such summons and complaint shall be made by one of the persons mentioned in Rule 4D(1)(a) in the manner prescribed by Rule 4D(2) and Rule 4D(3).
- Unless good cause is shown for not doing so, the court shall order the payment of costs of the personal service by the person served if such person does not complete and return within 20 days after mailing, the notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons.
- The notice and acknowledgment of receipt of summons and complaint shall be signed and dated. Service of summons and complaint will be deemed complete on the date of signature of the defendant as shown on the acknowledgment.
- Personal service within the state. The summons and complaint shall be served together. The plaintiff shall furnish the person making service with such copies as are necessary. Service shall be made as follows:
- Upon an individual other than an infant or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process, provided that if the agent is one designated by statute to receive service, such further notice as the statute requires shall be given.
- Upon a minor over the age of 14 years, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the minor personally, and by leaving a copy thereof at the minor’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some adult of suitable discretion then residing therein, or by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.
- Upon a minor under the age of 14 years, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the minor’s guardian, if the minor has one within the state, and if not, then to the minor’s father or mother or other person or agency having the minor’s care or control, or with whom the minor resides, or if service cannot be made upon any of them, then as provided by order of the court.
- Upon a person who has been adjudged of unsound mind by a court of this state, or for whom a guardian has been appointed in this state by reason of incompetency, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the person’s guardian, if there be a guardian residing in this state appointed and acting under the laws of this state. If there be no such guardian, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the incompetent person, with or without personal service on the incompetent, as the court may direct. When a party is alleged to be of unsound mind, but has not been so adjudged by a court of this state, such party may be brought into court by service of process personally upon that party. The court may also stay any action pending against a person on learning that such person is of unsound mind.
- Upon a domestic corporation, partnership or other unincorporated association, or upon a foreign corporation, partnership or other unincorporated association, established by the laws of any other state or country, and having a place of business within this state or doing business herein either permanently or temporarily, or which was doing business herein either permanently, or temporarily at the time the claim for relief accrued: (i) by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an officer, director, superintendent or managing or general agent, or partner, or associate for such corporation, partnership, or association; or by leaving such copies at the office or place of business of the corporation, partnership, or association within the state with the person in charge of such office; or (ii) by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the registered agent of said corporation named on the records of the secretary of state, or to any other agent or attorney in fact authorized by appointment or by statute to receive or accept service on behalf of the corporation, partnership, or association, provided that if the agent or attorney in fact is one designated by statute to receive service, such further notice as the statute requires shall also be given; or (iii) if the sheriff shall make return that no person upon whom service may be made can be found in the county, then service may be made by leaving a copy of the summons and complaint at any office of the corporation, partnership, or unincorporated association within this state with the person in charge of such office; or (iv) if the suit is against a corporation whose charter or right to do business in the state has expired or been forfeited, by delivering a copy thereof to any one of the persons who have become trustees for the corporation and its stockholders or members.
- When a claim for relief is pending in any court of this state against a corporation organized under the laws of this state, or against a corporation organized under the laws of any other state or country, that has filed a copy of its charter in the office of the secretary of state of Montana and qualified to do business in Montana; or against a corporation organized under the laws of any other state or country which is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state under the provisions of Rule 4B above, even though such corporation has never qualified to do business in Montana; or against a national banking corporation which, through insolvency or lapse of charter, has ceased to do business in Montana; and none of the persons designated in D(2)(e) immediately above can with the exercise of reasonable diligence be found within Montana, the party causing summons to be issued shall exercise reasonable diligence to ascertain the last known address of any such person. Upon the filing with the clerk of court in which the claim for relief is pending of an affidavit reciting that none of the persons designated in D(2)(e) can after due diligence be found within Montana upon whom service of process can be made, and reciting the last known address of any such person, or reciting that after the exercise of reasonable diligence no such address for any such person could be found, and there has also been deposited with the said clerk the sum of $5 to be paid to the secretary of state as a fee for each of said defendants for whom the secretary of state is to receive said service, then the clerk of court shall issue an order directing process to be served upon the secretary of state of the state of Montana or, in the secretary of state’s absence from the secretary of state’s office, upon the deputy secretary of state of the state of Montana. Such affidavit shall be sufficient evidence of the diligence of inquiry made by affiant, if the affidavit recites that diligent inquiry was made, and the affidavit need not detail the facts constituting such inquiry. Whenever service is also to be made through publication as provided in 4D(5), or upon other persons as provided in 4D(6), the affidavit herein required may be combined in the same instrument with the affidavit required under 4D(5)(c) and 4D(6). The said clerk of court shall then mail to the secretary of state the original summons, one copy of the summons and one copy of the affidavit for the files of the secretary of state, one copy of the summons attached to a copy of the complaint for each of the defendants to be served by service upon the secretary of state, and the fee for service, to the office of the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall mail copy of the summons and complaint by certified or registered mail with a return receipt requested to the last known address of any of the persons designated in D(2)(e) above, if known, or, if none such is known and it is a corporation not organized in Montana, to the secretary of state of the state in which such corporation was originally incorporated, if known; and the secretary of state shall make a return as hereinafter provided under Rule 4D(6). When service is so made, it shall be deemed personal service on such corporation, and the said secretary of state, or a deputy when the secretary is absent from the secretary of state’s office, is hereby appointed agent of such corporation for service of process in cases herein before mentioned. In any action where due diligence has been exercised to locate and serve any of the persons designated in D(2)(e) above, service shall be deemed complete upon said corporation regardless of the receipt of any return receipt or advice of refusal of the addressee to receive the process mailed, as is hereinafter required by 4D(6); provided, however, that except in those actions where any of the persons designated in D(2)(e) above have been located and served personally as herein above provided, then service by publication shall also be made as provided hereafter in 4D(5)(d) and 4D(5)(h); the first publication must be made within 60 days from the date the original summons is mailed to the secretary of state as herein provided, and if said first publication is not so made, the action shall be deemed dismissed as to any such party intended to be served by such publication; and service shall be complete upon the date of the last publication of summons.
When service of process is made as herein provided, and there is no appearance thereafter made by any attorney for such corporation, service of all other notices required by law to be served in such action may be served upon the secretary of state.
- Upon a city, village, town, school district, county, or public agency or board of any such public bodies, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to any commissioner, trustee, board member, mayor or head of the legislative department thereof.
- Upon the state, or any state board or state agency, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the attorney general and to any other party which may be prescribed by statute.
- Upon an estate by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the personal representative thereof; upon a trust by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to any trustee thereof.
- Personal service outside the state. Where service upon any person cannot, with due diligence, be made personally within this state, service of summons and complaint may be made by service outside this state in the manner provided for service within this state, with the same force and effect as though service had been made within this state. Where service by publication is permitted as hereinafter provided, personal service of a summons and complaint upon the defendant out of the state shall be equivalent to and shall dispense with the procedures and the publication and mailing provided for hereafter in 4(5)(c), 4(5)(d) and 4(5)(e) of this rule.
- Other service. All process in any form of action shall be served in the manner specified in this rule with the exception that whenever a statute of this state or an order of the court or a citation by the court made pursuant thereto provides for the service of a notice or of an order or of a citation in lieu of summons upon any person, service shall be made under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed by the statute or order or citation; and with the further exception that all persons are required to comply with the provisions hereafter prescribed in D(5)(h), and with the provisions of 33-1-603, 33-1-613, 33-1-614, 33-2-314, 33-2-315, 70-28-207, 70-28-208, 70-28-209, and 70-28-212, Montana Code Annotated, when the action pertains to the provisions of such sections.
- Service by publication
-when permitted-effect- manner-proof.
- When permitted. A defendant, whether known or unknown, who has not been served under the foregoing subsections of this rule can be served by publication in the following situations only:
- When the subject of the action is real or personal property in this state and the defendant has or claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent, therein, or the relief demanded consists wholly or partially in excluding the defendant from any interest therein. This subsection shall apply whether any such defendant is known or unknown.
- When the action is to foreclose, redeem from or satisfy a mortgage, claim or lien upon real or personal property within this state.
- When the action is for dissolution or for a declaration of invalidity of a marriage of a resident of this state or for modification of a decree of dissolution granted by a court of this state.
- When the defendant has property within this state which has been attached or has a debtor within this state, who has been garnished. Jurisdiction under this subsection may be independent of or supplementary to jurisdiction acquired under subsections (5)(a)(i), (5)(a)(ii), and (5)(a)(iii) herein.
- Effect of service by publication. When a defendant, whether known or unknown, has been served by publication as provided in this rule, any court of this state having jurisdiction may render a decree which will adjudicate any interest of such defendant in the status, property, or thing acted upon, but it may not bind the defendant personally to the personal jurisdiction of the court unless some ground for the exercise of personal jurisdiction exists.
- Filing of Pleading and Affidavit for Service by Publication; and Order for Publication. Before service of the summons by publication is authorized in any case, there shall be filed with the clerk in the district court of the county in which the action is commenced (i) a pleading setting forth a claim in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant in one of the situations defined in (5)(a) above; and (ii) in situations defined in (5)(a)(i), (5)(a)(ii), (5)(a)(iii), upon return of the summons showing the failure to find any defendant designated in the complaint, an affidavit stating that such defendant resides out of the state, or has departed from the state, or cannot, after due diligence, be found within the state, or conceals defendant’s person to avoid the service of summons; or, if the defendant is a domestic or foreign corporation, that none of the persons designated in D(2)(e) above can, after due diligence, be found within the state; or, if the defendant is an unknown claimant, by showing that the affiant has made diligent search and inquiry for all persons who claim, or might claim any right, title, estate, or interest in, or lien, or encumbrance upon, such property, or any thereof, adverse to plaintiff’s ownership, or any cloud upon plaintiff’s title thereto, whether such claim or possible claim be present or contingent, including any right of dower, inchoate or accrued, and that the affiant has specifically named as defendants in such action all such persons whose names can be ascertained; such affidavit shall be sufficient evidence of the diligence of any inquiry made by the affiant, if the affidavit recite the fact that diligent inquiry was made, and it need not detail the facts constituting such inquiry, and if desired, it may be combined in one instrument with the affidavit required under 4D(2)(f), or 4D(6); and (iii) in the situation defined in (5)(a)(iv) above, there must be first presented to the court proof that a valid attachment or garnishment has been effected. Upon complying herewith, the plaintiff may obtain an order for the service of summons to be made upon the defendants by publication, which order may be issued by either the judge or the clerk of the court.
- Number of Publications. Service of the summons by publication may be made by publishing the same three times, once each week for 3 successive weeks, in a newspaper published in the county in which the action is pending, if a newspaper is published in such county, and if no newspaper is published in such county then in a newspaper published in an adjoining county and having a general circulation therein.
- Mailing Summons and Complaint. A copy of the summons for publication and complaint, at any time after the filing of the affidavit for publication and not later than 10 days after the first publication of the summons, shall be deposited in some post office in this state, postage prepaid, and directed to the defendant at defendant’s place of residence unless the affidavit for publication states that the residence of the defendant is unknown. If the defendant is a corporation, and personal service cannot with due diligence be effected within Montana on any of the persons designated in D(2)(e) above, then service may be completed on said corporation by service upon the secretary of state in the manner, and following the procedure outlined in D(2)(f) above.
- Time When First Publication or Service Outside State Must Be Made. The first publication of summons, or personal service of the summons and complaint upon the defendant out of the state, must be made within 60 days after the filing of the affidavit for publication. If not so made, the action shall be deemed dismissed as to any party intended to be served by such publication.
- When Service by Publication or Outside State Complete. Service by publication is complete on the date of the last publication of the summons, or in case of personal service of the summons and complaint upon the defendant out of the state, on the date of such service.
- Additional Information to Be Published. In addition to the form of summons prescribed above in “C. Process, (2) Summons – Form,” the published summons shall state in general terms the nature of the action, and in all cases where publication of summons is made in an action in which the title to, or any interest in or lien upon real property is involved, or affected, or brought into question, the publication shall also contain a description of the real property involved, affected or brought into question thereby, and a statement of the object of the action.
- (a) Service on secretary of state. Whenever service is to be made upon certain corporations as provided hereinabove in D(2)(f) and D(5)(e), the requirements of said D(2)(f) must be complied with. In all other cases, unless otherwise provided by statute, whenever the secretary of state of the state of Montana has been appointed, or is deemed by law to have been appointed, as the agent to receive service of process for any person who cannot with due diligence be found or served personally within Montana, the party, or the party’s attorney, shall make an affidavit stating the facts showing that the secretary of state is such agent, and stating the residence and last known post-office address of the person to be served, and shall file such affidavit with the clerk of court in which such claim for relief is pending, accompanied by sufficient copies of the affidavit, summons and complaint for service upon the secretary of state, and there has also been deposited with the clerk of court in which such claim for relief is pending the sum of $10 to be paid to the secretary of state as a fee for each address of said defendants for whom the secretary of state is to receive such service; then the clerk shall forward the original summons, one copy of the summons and one copy of the affidavit for the files of the secretary of state, and one copy of the summons attached to copy of the complaint for each of the defendants to be served by service upon the secretary of state, and the fee, to the office of the secretary of state. Such service on the secretary of state shall be sufficient personal service upon the person to be served, provided that notice of such service and a copy of the summons and complaint are forthwith sent by registered or certified mail by the secretary of state or a deputy to the party to be served at that party’s last known address, marked “Deliver to Addressee Only” and “Return Receipt Requested,” and provided further that such return receipt shall be received by the secretary of state purporting to have been signed by said addressee, or the secretary of state shall be advised by the postal authority that delivery of said registered or certified mail was refused by said addressee, except in those cases where compliance is excused under the provisions of D(2)(f) above. The date upon which the secretary of state receives said return receipt, or receives advice by the postal authority that delivery of said registered or certified mail was refused by the addressee, shall be deemed the date of service. As an alternative to sending the summons and complaint by registered or certified mail, as herein provided, the secretary of state, or a deputy, may cause copy of the summons and complaint to be served by any qualified law enforcement officer, in accord with the procedure set out in D(1), (2) or (3) of this rule. The secretary of state, or a deputy, shall make an original and two copies of an affidavit reciting: (1) the fact of service upon the secretary of state by the clerk of court, including the day, and hour of such service; (2) the fact of mailing a copy of the summons and complaint and notice to the defendant, including the day and hour thereof, except in those cases where the secretary of state is relieved from doing so under the provisions of D(2)(f) in which cases the affidavit shall so recite; and (3) the fact of receipt of a return from the postal department including the date, and hour thereof, and attaching to the affidavit a copy of such return. The secretary of state, or a deputy, shall then transmit the original summons, and original affidavit along with copy of the notice to the defendant where such notice was required, to the clerk of court in which the claim for relief is pending, and it shall be filed in the claim for relief by said clerk of court; and the secretary of state shall also transmit to the attorney for the plaintiff copy of the affidavit of the secretary of state along with copy of the notice to the defendant where such notice was required. The secretary of state shall keep on file in the secretary of state’s office a copy of the summons, a copy of the affidavit served on the secretary of state by the clerk of court, and a copy of the affidavit executed and issued by the secretary of state.
- Continuance to allow defense. In any of the cases provided for in Rule 4D(2)(f) above, or provided for herein above in 4D(6)(a), the court in which the claim for relief is pending may order such continuance as may be necessary to afford reasonable opportunity to defend the action.
- Amendment. At any time, in its discretion, and upon such notice and terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.
- Proof of service.Proof of the service of the summons and of the complaint or notice, if any, accompanying the same must be as follows:
- If served by the sheriff or other officer, the sheriff’s or other officer’s certificate thereof;
- If by any other person, that person’s affidavit thereof;
- In case of publication an affidavit of the publisher and an affidavit of the deposit of a copy of the summons and complaint in the post office as required by law, if the same shall have been deposited; or
- The written admission of the defendant showing the date and place of service.
- If service is made under Rule 4D(1)(b) above, return shall be made by the sender’s filing with the court the acknowledgment received pursuant to such subdivision. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service. The certificate or affidavit of service mentioned in this subdivision must state the time, date, place, and manner of service.
- Contents of affidavit of service. Whenever a process, pleading, order of court, or other paper is served personally by a person other than the sheriff or person designated by law, the affidavit of service when made, shall state that the person so serving is of legal age, and the date and place of making the service. It also shall state that the person making such service knew the person served to be the person named in the papers served and the person intended to be served.
- Procedure where only part of defendants are served. If the summons is served on one or more, but not all, of the defendants, the plaintiff may proceed to trial and judgment against the defendant or defendants on whom the process is served, and may at any time thereafter have a summons against the defendant not served with the first process to cause that defendant to appear in said court to show cause why that defendant should not be made a party to such judgment. Upon such defendant being duly served with such process, the court shall hear and determine the matter in the same manner as if such defendant had been originally brought into court, and such defendant shall also be allowed the benefit of any payment or satisfaction which may have been made on the judgment before recovered.
- Time limit for issuance and service of process.
- A plaintiff shall have 3 years after filing a complaint to have a summons issued and accomplish service. Unless appearance has been made by the defendant(s), the court, upon motion or on its own initiative, shall dismiss an action without prejudice if a plaintiff fails to either have the summons issued or fails to accomplish service within 3 years from the date of the filing of a complaint.
- A plaintiff who names a fictitious defendant in the complaint, pursuant to § 25-5-103, MCA, may amend the complaint to substitute a real defendant for the fictitious defendant within 3 years of filing the original complaint in the action. The 3 year time period set forth in subparagraph (1) of this rule for issuance and service begins to run, as to the newly identified defendant, from the date of the filing of the original complaint.
- The time limit imposed by subparagraphs (1) and (2) above shall apply to all lawsuits in which the original complaints were filed on or after January 1, 2000. The provisions of Rule 41(e), M.R.Civ.P., replaced by this rule, shall apply to all lawsuits in which the original complaint was filed before January 1, 2000. [Amended effective May 1, 1990; March 26, 1993; February 14, 1996; August 15, 1999; November 16, 1999; amended effective January 1, 2000.]
RULE 45. SUBPOENA.
(a)Form - Issuance.
- Every subpoena shall
- state the name of the court from which it is issued; and ##state the title of the action, and the name of the court in which it is pending, and its civil action number; and
- command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony or to product and permit inspection and copy of designated books, documents, or tangible things in the possession, custody or control of the person, or to permit inspection of premises, at a time and place therein specified; and
- set forth the text of subparagraphs© and (d) of this rule. A command to produce evidence or to permit inspection may be joined with a command to appear at trial or hearing or at deposition, or may be issued separately.
- A subpoena shall issue from the court in which the action is pending.
- The clerk shall issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service. An attorney as officer of the Court may also issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of a court in which the action is pending.
- A subpoena may be served by any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age. Service of a subpoena upon a person named therein shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to such person and, if the person’s attendance is commanded, by tendering to that person the fees for one day’s attendance and the mileage allowed by law. Prior notice of any commanded production of documents and things or inspections of premises before trial shall be served on each party in the manner prescribed by rule 5(b).
- Subject to the provisions of clause (ii) of subparagraph©(3)(A) of this rule, a subpoena
- for attendance at a hearing or trial may be served at any place within the state and may require the person subpoenaed to appear at the hearing or trial irrespective of the person’s place of residence, place of employment, or where such person regularly transacts business in person;
- for the production of documentary evidence and/or the taking of a deposition may require a person to attend an examination or produce documentary evidence only at a place within the state; and
- in the case of residents or entities located within the state, within 100 miles of where that person resides or is employed or transacts business in person, or, if on any entity, within 100 miles of the principal location of the entity, or at such other convenient place as is fixed by order of court;
- in the case of non-residents who have been served within the state, within 100 miles of where the non-resident is served, or at any other convenient place as is fixed by order of court.
- Proof of service when necessary shall be made by filling with the clerk of the court by which the subpoena is issued a statement of the date and manner of service and of the names of the persons served, certified by the person who made the service.
(c) Protection of persons subject to or affected by subpoenas.
- A party or an attorney responsible for the issuance and service of a subpoena shall take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to that subpoena. The court on behalf of which the subpoena was issued shall enforce this duty and impose upon the party or attorney in breach of this duty an appropriate sanction, which may include, but is not limited to, lost earnings and a reasonable attorney’s fee.
- (A) A person commanded to produce and permit inspections and copying of designated books, papers, documents or tangible things, or inspection of premises need not appearing person at the place of production or inspection unless commanded to appear for deposition, hearing or trial.
- Subject to subparagraph (d)(2) of this rule, a person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying, or any person affected thereby, may, within 14 days after service of the subpoena or before the time specified for compliance if such time is less than 14 days after service, serve upon the party or attorney designated in the subpoena written objection in inspection or copying of any or all of the designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated materials or of the premises. If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena shall not be entitled to inspect and copy the materials or inspect the premises except pursuant to an order of the court by which the subpoena was issued. If objections has been made, the party serving the subpoena may, upon notice to the person commanded to produce, and to any affected person who has served written objection, move at any time for an order to compel the production. Such an order to compel production shall protect any person who is not a party or an officer of a party from significant expense resulting from the inspection and copying commanded.
- (A) On timely motion, the court by which a subpoena was issued shall quash or modify the subpoena if it
- fails to allow reasonable time for compliance; or
- requires in the case of a deposition or production prior to hearing or trial, a person to travel beyond the 100 mile radius provided in subparagraph (b)(2) of this rule; or
- requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter and no exception or waiver applies; or
- subjects a person to undue burden
- If a subpoena
- requires disclosure of a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information; or
- requires disclosure of an unretained expert’s opinion or information not describing specific events or occurrences in dispute and resulting from the expert’s study made not at the request of any party; or
- requires a person who is not a party or an officer of a party to incur substantial expense to travel more than 100 miles to attend trial, the court may, to protect a person subject to or affected by the subpoena, quash or modify the subpoena or, if the party in whose behalf the subpoena is issued shows a substantial need for the testimony or material that cannot be otherwise met without undue hardship and assures that the person to whom the subpoena is addressed will be reasonably compensated, the court may order appearance or production only upon specified conditions.
(d) Duties in responding to subpoena.
- A person responding to a subpoena to produce documents shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the demand.
- When information subject to a subpoena is withheld on a claim that is privileged or subject to protection as trial preparation materials, the claim shall be made expressly and shall be supported by a description of the nature of the documents, communication, or things not produced that is sufficient to enable the demanding party to contest the claim.
- Contempt. Failure by any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon that person may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena issued. An adequate cause for failure to obey exists when a subpoena purports to require a non-party to attend or produce at a place not within the limits provided by clause ## of subparagraph©(3)(A) of this rule. [Amended effective May 1, 1990; amended June 20, 1990; amended effective January 1, 2000.]
You should contact a Montana Process Server if you have specific questions about Process Serving in Montana.