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Court Clerks

what court clerks can and cannot do

Court Clerks Have Responsibilities and Obligations

Montana court clerks have certain duties and responsibilities when helping the citizens of Montana. .

Court clerks do not know the answers to all questions about court rules, procedures, and practices. 

If a Court Clerk does not know the answer to a particular question or is unable to provide you with an answer you will be directed to talk with an attorney.

What Can a Court Clerk do and Cannot Do?

Court Clerks CAN:

  • CAN give information
  • CAN answer general questions about how the county court works
  • CAN provide you with contact information for legal service programs
  • CAN give you general information about court rules, terminology, procedures and practices
  • CAN give you legal definitions
  • CAN give procedural definitions
  • CAN cit statutes, court rules and ordinances.
  • CAN give you public case information
  • CAN give you forms and instructions on how to complete them
  • CAN review your form(s) by checking for signatures, notarization, correct county name and case number (if applicable)
  • CAN answer general questions about court deadlines.

Court Clerks CANNOT:

  • CANNOT give legal advice by law.
  • CANNOT explain judicial decisions, let you speak to the Judge outside of the courtroom or talk to the judge about your case and what will happen with your case.
  • CANNOT refer you to specific lawyers, bail bondsmen, contact programs or lawyers or bail bondsmen for you or give answers that involve or pertain to legal advice.
  • CANNOT give you legal interpretations of the law
  • CANNOT give you procedural advice
  • CANNOT complete research of statutes, court rules or ordinances
  • CANNOT give you confidential case information
  • CANNOT deny access, discourage access or encourage litigation.
  • CANNOT fill out forms for you except for persons with disabilities.
  • CANNOT correct forms for you or tell you what corrections should be made.
  • CANNOT change an order issued by a judge.