Water Court orders being posted online, submitted to legal research sites
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Posted by: Joe Menden
The Montana Water Court has announced steps it has taken to make its case information more accessible to the public.
Starting this month, the court will be posting its previous month's masters' reports, orders adopting and amending and other substantive orders. The orders will be available on the court's website for one month before being replaced at the beginning of the next month. Orders from October are online now, and November orders are expected to be posted on Dec. 2.
Water Court Administrator Sara Calkins said the court has worked closely with Supreme Court Electronic Services Coordinator Kevin Cook to implement the project.
Additionally, the court is now submitting its orders to major legal research services.
Ryan McLane, the chair of the State Bar's Water Law Section, said the section is excited by the Water Court’s continued efforts to make its orders widely available online.
"While the Water Court regularly decides significant issues concerning Montana water rights, absent an appeal to the Supreme Court, many of these decisions are not widely known," said McLane, an attorney at Franz & Driscoll in Helena. "Having wider access to these decisions really improves our representation of clients in water-rights matters, and speeds up the litigation of some of these issues when in the Water Court."