Select a State:

State of Montana

Methods of Judicial Selection: Montana

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships
Supreme Court: 7
District Court: 43
Number of Districts/Circuits
Supreme Court: --
District Court: 22
Geographic Basis for Selection
Supreme Court: statewide
District Court: district
Method of Selection (full term)
Supreme Court: nonpartisan election*
District Court: nonpartisan election*
Length of Term
Supreme Court: 8 yrs
District Court: 6 yrs
Method of Retention
Supreme Court: reelection
District Court: reelection
Length of Subsequent Terms
Supreme Court: 8 yrs
District Court: 6 yrs
Method of Filling Interim Vacancies
Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
District Court: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission with senate confirmation
When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment
Supreme Court: hold office for remainder of unexpired term
District Court: hold office for remainder of unexpired term
Selection of Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: nonpartisan election
District Court: seniority/rotation
Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice
Supreme Court: 8 yrs
District Court: duration of service/1 yr
Qualifications
Supreme Court: U.S. citizen; state resident 2 yrs; admitted to practice law in Montana for at least 5 years prior to date of appointment/election
District Court: U.S. citizen; state resident 2 yrs; district resident; admitted to practice law in Montana for at least 5 yrs prior to date of appointment
*The two candidates receiving the most votes in the primary election run in the general election. If an incumbent judge is unopposed, voters are asked whether the judge should be retained in office.