Montana Court Records

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Major Montana courts that kept records of genealogical value were established as follows:

District Courts

District courts serve as the major trial courts for one to seven counties. They have jurisdiction over criminal cases, naturalizations, guardianships, divorces, debts, probates (since 1889), juvenile matters, and some appeals. Court sessions are held in each county, where a clerk of the district court keeps the records.

Probate Courts

Probate courts had jurisdiction over probates, marriages, and minor civil and criminal matters. Probate courts were disbanded in 1889 when their functions and records were transferred to the district courts.

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the statewide appellate court.

The Family History Library (FHL)

The Family History Library does not have copies of Montana court records. You can obtain copies at the clerk's office in each county courthouse or from the Montana State Archives at the Montana Historical Society.