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Questions and Answers - Lincoln County Montana

Please browse our commonly asked Questions and Answers below.

 

 


CHILD SUPPORT


1. Question: How can I find out about my child support payment history or inquire as to the most recent payment?

  •  Answer:  A child support payment history may be obtained by sending an inquiry to the or by calling (406) 283-2343.  Payments are processed they day they are received.  If you have recently changed your residence or mailing address, be sure to advise the court in writing so your future checks will be mailed accordingly.  If you failed to notify our office of your new address and you are concerned that a check may have been mailed to an old address, please contact our office at the above listed phone number or email address.

2. Question: My child support is not being paid.  What can I do?

Answer:  The following two options should be considered:  (1)  Contact the Child Support Enforcement Division for the State of Montana (CSED) at 1-800-346-5437 to open a case.  CSED will collect child support for you by means of a wage assignment, automatically deducting funds form each paycheck.  (2) Seek advice from an attorney licensed to practice law in Montana.

 


CRIMINAL


1. Question: Can I pay supervision and/or felony restitution fees at this office?

  • Answer:  Supervision fees and felony restitution fees are paid through the State offices in Helena.  Their contact information is 1-800-801-3478.  The mailing address is: Dept. of Corrections, Collection Unit, P.O. Box 201350 Helena, MT 59620
  • The payment must include your name, your Department of Corrections (DOC) ID No. (example: AO#12345), and the name of your current Probation/Parole/ISP Officer.
  • *Note: Only criminal fine, public defender fees, and misdemeanor restitution payments are payable through the Clerk of Court.


2. Question: How much do I owe on my criminal fines and fees?

  • Answer:  Please contact the Office of the Public Defender located in Kalispell, MT can be reached by calling (406) 751-6080

 


DOCUMENT FILING


 1.  Question: Is filing by email or facsimile accepted?

  • Answer:  Only if it has to be filed by a deadline of that day.
  • **Note:  The cost for emailing and faxing is as follows:
    • Emails: $0.25 per outgoing page
    • Emails: $0.50 per incoming page

 

 2. Question:  How do you file a lien on someone’s property?

  • Answer:  Construction and Mechanic’s Liens are filed with the Clerk and Recorder.

 

 3.  Question:  If I obtained an order of protection against someone, can it be removed or voided, and if so, how?

  • Answer:  Submit a signed letter or pleading to this office requesting the judge to remove the Order and your reason.  You will need to provide proof of identification at the Office of the Clerk of Court upon submission of your request.

 

 4.  Question: I’m supposed to pay a fine today, but I can’t come in.  Will I be arrested?

  • Answer:  You must contact your probation officer about this matter.

 

 5.  Question:  How can I find out about arrest warrants on myself and others?

  •  Answer:  You must contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

 

6.  Question:  Where can I get copies of birth or death certificates?

  •  Answer:  Lincoln County Clerk and Recorders Office

 

7.  Question:  Where do I go to pay a traffic ticket or citation?

  • Answer:  Traffic tickets and citations are all handled by the courts of limited jurisdiction – Justice Court & City Court.  The ticket or citation will list the name of the court and/or the name of the Judge.

 

8.  Question:  Do I have to check-in for court?

  • Answer:  Litigants and/or their legal representations must be present in court at or prior to the scheduled date and time.  All jurors must check in at the Clerk of Court ‘s office prior to Juror Orientation.

 

9.  Question:  Can I talk to the judge?

  • Answer:  Any party to a case or one’s legal representative may only have an audience with the court at a scheduled hearing or attorney’s conference.

 

10.  Question:  How can I obtain copies of records – marriage license, divorce decree, name change order, etc.…. and what is the cost?   Can I have copies of documents certified by the court?

  • Answer: You may appear at our office personally, or you can mail your written request to:  Clerk of Court, 512 California Ave., Libby, MT 59923.  You must include a self-addressed stamped, return envelope, and a check or money order made payable to the Clerk of Court.
  • Statutory fees vary depending upon the requested document, most photocopies are $1.00 per page for the first 10 pages and $0.50  per page thereafter.
  • A copy of divorce decrees is $10. (regardless of length), a copy of a marriage license is $5, and an additional $2 is required for certification of any document. 
  • You may send a blank (signed) check with a notation to not exceed a certain amount in the memo portion if you are unsure of the exact charges.  Your copy and a receipt for the exact charge will be returned.  However, our office recommends calling to get a quote for the needed documents/fees.
  • Note:  Confidential reports require court ordered approval to open and provide copies. Please call to discuss procedure relative to requests for confidential documents (such as adoption matters).

 


 JURY


 1.  Question:  Who qualifies as a prospective juror in Montana?

  • Answer:  Any person 18 years or older that is registered to vote or that is licensed to drive is eligible to serve on jury duty.

 


MARRIAGE


 1. Question:  Who can legally marry us?

2.  Question:  My fiancé is only 17.  What steps do we have to take to get married?

  • Answer: Please contact the https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca_toc/40.htm  40-1-213.  Judicial Approved.  The underage party must seek Judicial approval prior to applying for a marriage license.  Once approval has been obtained, the couple may appear before the Clerk of Court to obtain a marriage license.  No persons under the age of 16 may be legally married in Montana.

3.  Question:  We are common law married; how do we file a declaration of marriage?

  • Answer: Please review the Montana Annotated, Title 40 - - Family Law 40-1-311.  Declaration of Marriage without solemnization https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca_toc/40_1_3.htm .  This section of the codes includes the requirements for drafting a Declaration of Marriage.  Parties must complete a marriage application and must pay the required $53.00fee to the Clerk of Court.

4.  Question: We have postponed our wedding date and already received our marriage license, what happens when the license expires 180 days.

  • Answer: If a license has expired, it is invalid, the couple must begin the process again by reapplying for another license.  A new fee must be paid.

 

5.  Question:  If we did not get married within the six months of applying for our license, is the license still valid?

  • Answer:  No.  Marriage Licenses in Montana expire after 180 days from the issue date.  The couple must begin the process again and reapply for another marriage license. 

 

6.  Question:  We never returned our marriage license for recording, are we married?

  • Answer: Until the license is filed, no record of your marriage exists, so you would only be considered married by common law – no paper trail.  Please file the original license immediately.  If it has been lost or destroyed, you must file a Declaration of Marriage; a new application process – and a fee will be required.

 

7.  Question:  What is a marriage by proxy?

  • Answer:  Marriage by proxy is when one or both parties to a marriage cannot be present at the ceremony. 
  • Section 40-1-301(2), MCA.  If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization, the party may authorize in writing a third person to act as proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied hat the absent party is unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, the person may solemnize the marriage by proxy.  If the person solemnizing the marriage is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy. 
  • Note:  The Lincoln County Clerk of Court does NOT handle marriages by proxy.

 

8.  Question:  What are the hours for processing marriage applications?

  • Answer: We can issue marriage licenses from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  The busiest time of day is from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. so we encourage couples to appear early in the day.
  • Note:  If you bring in your marriage license for processing before 12:00 p.m., our office can get the license mailed out same day, after processing, to the address listed on file.  Pickup can also be arranged through Clerk of Court Deputies.

 

9.  Question:  Do I need a blood test for rubella to get married in Montana?

  • Answer: No.  Couples can sign a waiver of the rubella blood test requirement in Montana when applying for a license.  Paperwork can be obtained from the Clerk of Court when you appear at that office to obtain a marriage license.

 


PROBATE


1.  Question:  Do I have to open a Probate case if my parent passed away?  How do I close his/her bank account? 

  • Answer: If the estate is less than $50K we have an affidavit form you may use.  The opening of a probate may not be required if the estate does not exceed $50,000.00, but all assets must be held in joint tenancy.  Should probating the estate be necessary, the filing fee is $100, and you must either consult a licensed attorney or represent yourself.  The Self-Help Law Center (406-758-2496) may be of assistance in obtaining necessary forms.  The Montana State Law Library ( https://courts.mt.gov/library ) also has a list of probate forms for use by self-represented litigants.