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(1) The court has divided the state into six geographic areas. Generally, trials will be held in the place designated in (3) except for cases in the Butte venue, which shall be tried in Helena unless the parties specifically request otherwise. Upon agreement of the parties and consent of the court, or upon order of the court, a trial may be held at any time and any place. The court will attempt to accommodate parties' requests for special trial settings; however, the court reserves the discretion to finally determine the time and place of all trials.

(2) Unless otherwise ordered, trials will commence on Monday of the week set for trial. The court will convene in each area four times per year unless good cause to cancel a trial term exists. Court will be in session or recess at the convenience of the court. The court will regularly prepare a schedule which sets deadlines, the dates for pretrials and trials and the location of the pretrials or trials in each area.

(3) Each of the six areas designated for trial schedule purposes is named for the principal city in the counties making up the area as follows:

(a) Kalispell area:

(i) Flathead and Lincoln

(b) Missoula area:

(i) Lake, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders

(c) Butte area:

(i) Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Granite, Jefferson, Madison, Powell, Silver Bow, Gallatin, Park, Sweet Grass and Wheatland

(d) Billings area:

(i) Big Horn, Carbon, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Petroleum, Stillwater, Treasure, Yellowstone, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, McCone, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Rosebud, Wibaux, Daniels, Garfield, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Valley

(e) Great Falls area:

(i) Blaine, Cascade, Chouteau, Fergus, Glacier, Hill, Judith Basin, Liberty, Pondera, Teton and Toole

(f) Helena area:

(i) Broadwater, Lewis and Clark and Meagher

(4) Upon receipt of a petition regarding a dispute meeting the requirements of these rules, the court will issue a scheduling order fixing deadlines for discovery, the filing of pretrial motions, preparation of a pretrial order, and other pretrial matters, setting the date of the final pretrial conference, and setting a trial at a time that will allow 75 days notice to be given of the trial. The court may, for good cause, hold a trial over to the next regular trial date or specially set the trial for a different time and/or place.

History: Sec. 2-4-201, MCA; IMP, Sec. 2-4-201, 39-71-2901, MCA; NEW, 1983 MAR p. 1715, Eff. 11/26/83; PREV. Rule #, ARM 2.52.208; AMD, 1987 MAR p. 1618, Eff. 9/25/87; TRANS, from Admin. , 1989 MAR p. 2177, Eff. 12/22/89; AMD, 1990 MAR p. 847, Eff. 5/1/90; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 27, Eff. 1/14/94; AMD, 2003 MAR p. 650, Eff. 4/11/03.

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