Montana has 84 City Court throughout the state. City Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. The types of cases handled by City Courts are mostly violations of city ordinances and civil cases of up to $5,000. Other types of cases are tort, landlord-tenant issues, forcible entry and detainers protection orders, juvenile issues, contract disputes, and real property cases. They also hold preliminary hearings, handle misdemeanors, and traffic violations. These types of courts see five times as many cases as District Courts.
Unlike some other judges, City Court judges do not have to be lawyers, and depending on the city; they may be appointed or elected and serve four-year terms. However, like all other limited jurisdiction court judges, they have to attend two Supreme Court sponsored training events per year. They also have to take a Certification Exam every term. Failure to comply with these terms will mean immediate removal from their seat.
There are 112 limited jurisdiction judges, and many of City Court judges also stand in at Justice Court.
Created in 1977, the Court Administrator's Office (CAO) supports all divisions of the Montana Judicial Branch. They offer services and resources in the areas of budgeting and finance, information technology, human resources, court services, and they maintain the State Law Library and help out with juvenile probation. They also offer leadership and guidance for all members of the Montana Judicial Branch.
The Montana Judicial Branch website helps out self-represented individuals and attorneys by offering numerous resources regarding forms and electronic filing options, a court locator search, search area for case files, a calendar of events, schedules, programs and services related to legal issues along with a portal where patrons can pay fees and fines online. They also connect the public with judicial branch boards, commissions, and other legal agencies.