§ 1-1-201 Terms of wide applicability
§ 1-1-202 Terms relating to procedure and the judiciary
§ 1-1-203 Terms relating to instruments and other writings
§ 1-1-204 Terms denoting state of mind
§ 1-1-205 Terms relating to property and decedents’ estates
§ 1-1-206 Terms relating to obligations and transactions
§ 1-1-207 Miscellaneous terms
§ 1-1-208 Terms relating to legislature
§ 1-1-215 Residence — rules for determining
§ 1-1-216 Legal holidays and business days
§ 1-1-217 Notice — actual and constructive
§ 1-1-218 Words giving joint authority
§ 1-1-219 Relationship by affinity
§ 1-1-224 Observance of right to keep and bear arms
§ 1-1-225 Arbor Day as official day of observance
§ 1-1-226 Official observance of Montana’s hunting heritage
§ 1-1-227 Bill of rights day
§ 1-1-228 American Indian heritage day
§ 1-1-229 State teen driver safety day
§ 1-1-230 Welcome home Vietnam veterans day
§ 1-1-231 Juneteenth national freedom day
§ 1-1-232 Montana prescription drug take-back day

Terms Used In Montana Code > Title 1 > Chapter 1 > Part 2 - General Definitions of Terms Used in Code

  • Acknowledgment: means a declaration by an individual appearing before a notarial officer that the individual has willingly signed a record for the purposes stated in the record and, if the record is signed in a representative capacity, that the individual signed the record with proper authority and signed the record as the act of the individual or entity identified in the record. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Adjourn: A motion to adjourn a legislative chamber or a committee, if passed, ends that day's session.
  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Affidavit: means a sworn written declaration made before an officer authorized to administer oaths or an unsworn written declaration made under penalty of perjury as provided in 1-6-105. See Montana Code 1-1-203
  • Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Appearing before: means :

    (a) being in the same physical location as another person and close enough to see, hear, communicate with, and exchange identification credentials with that individual; or

    (b) interacting with another individual by means of communication technology in compliance with this part. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
  • Appraisal: A determination of property value.
  • Arraignment: A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
  • Attorney-in-fact: A person who, acting as an agent, is given written authorization by another person to transact business for him (her) out of court.
  • Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Caucus: From the Algonquian Indian language, a caucus meant "to meet together." An informal organization of members of the legislature that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern and possibly to perform legislative research and policy planning for its members. There are regional, political or ideological, ethnic, and economic-based caucuses.
  • Certification of fact: means a notarial act in which a notary reviews public or vital records or other legally accessible data to ascertain or confirm any of the following facts:

    (a) date of birth, death, marriage, or divorce, or that an individual is alive;

    (b) name of parent, marital partner, offspring, or sibling;

    (c) that an event has occurred; or

    (d) any matter authorized by law or rule of this state for certification by a notary public. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Chambers: A judge's office.
  • Clerk of court: An officer appointed by the court to work with the chief judge in overseeing the court's administration, especially to assist in managing the flow of cases through the court and to maintain court records.
  • Communication technology: means a real-time, two-way audiovisual electronic device or process that:

    (a) allows a notarial officer located in this state and a remotely located individual to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound;

    (b) facilitates communication with a remotely located individual with a vision, hearing, or speech impairment when necessary under and consistent with applicable law; and

    (c) complies with this part and implementing rules. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • Credential analysis: means a process or service operating according to criteria approved by the secretary of state through which a third person affirms the validity of a government-issued identification credential through review of public and proprietary data sources. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Customary: means according to usage. See Montana Code 1-1-206
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
  • Deposition: means a written declaration under oath or affirmation, made upon notice to the adverse party for the purpose of enabling the adverse party to attend and cross-examine. See Montana Code 1-1-202
  • Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
  • Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
  • Dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment: means an identity assessment that is based on a set of questions formulated from public or private data sources that does not contain a question for which the principal provided a prior answer to the entity doing the assessment. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Electronic: means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Electronic notarization system: means a set of applications, programs, hardware, software, or technologies designed to enable a notary public to perform electronic notarizations that renders every electronic notarial act tamper-evident through the use of a security procedure and that meets the requirements of this part and implementing rules. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Electronic signature: means an electronic symbol, sound, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by an individual with the intent to sign the record. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Folio: when used as a measure for computing fees, means 100 words, counting every two letters or numbers necessarily used as a word. See Montana Code 1-1-203
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Habeas corpus: A writ that is usually used to bring a prisoner before the court to determine the legality of his imprisonment. It may also be used to bring a person in custody before the court to give testimony, or to be prosecuted.
  • Identification credential: means a government-issued record evidencing an individual's identity. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Identity proofing: means a process or service by which a third person provides a notarial officer with a means to verify the identity of a principal by:

    (a) a review of personal information from public or proprietary data sources; or

    (b) biometric data including but not limited to facial recognition, voice analysis, or fingerprint analysis. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Impeachment: (1) The process of calling something into question, as in "impeaching the testimony of a witness." (2) The constitutional process whereby the House of Representatives may "impeach" (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal government for trial in the Senate.
  • In a representative capacity: means acting as:

    (a) an authorized officer, agent, partner, trustee, or other representative for a person other than an individual;

    (b) a public officer, personal representative, guardian, or other representative, in the capacity stated in a record;

    (c) an agent or attorney-in-fact for a principal; or

    (d) an authorized representative of another in any other capacity. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
  • Judicial officers: means justices of the supreme court, judges of the district courts, justices of the peace, municipal judges, and city judges. See Montana Code 1-1-202
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Juror: A person who is on the jury.
  • Knowingly: means only a knowledge that the facts exist which bring the act or omission within the provisions of this code. See Montana Code 1-1-204
  • Legislative session: That part of a chamber's daily session in which it considers legislative business (bills, resolutions, and actions related thereto).
  • Majority party: means the party with the most members in a house of the legislature, subject to subsection (2). See Montana Code 1-1-208
  • Minority party: means the party with the second most members in a house of the legislature, subject to subsection (2). See Montana Code 1-1-208
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Notarial act: means an act, whether performed with respect to a tangible or electronic record, that a notarial officer may perform under the law of this state. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Notarial officer: means a notary public or other individual authorized to perform notarial acts. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • notary: means an individual commissioned to perform a notarial act by the secretary of state. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Oath: includes an affirmation or declaration. See Montana Code 1-1-201
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • Oath or affirmation: means a solemn verbal promise by which a person knowingly and willingly attests to the truthfulness of a statement and that is administered by a notarial officer. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • Official record: means a record or copy of a record attested by the officer or the officer's deputy with legal custody of the record that is accompanied by a certificate that the officer has custody of the record. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Official stamp: means a physical image affixed to or embossed on a tangible record or an electronic image attached to or logically associated with an electronic record. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • Person: means an individual, corporation, business trust, statutory trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Person: includes a corporation or other entity as well as a natural person. See Montana Code 1-1-201
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Personal property: means money, goods, chattels, things in action, and evidences of debt. See Montana Code 1-1-205
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Presiding officer: A majority-party Senator who presides over the Senate and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing Members to speak, and interpreting the Senate's rules, practices and precedents.
  • Principal: means :

    (a) an individual whose signature is notarized; or

    (b) an individual taking an oath or affirmation from the notary public but not in the capacity of a credible or other witness for the notarial act. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Printing: means the act of reproducing a design on a surface by any process. See Montana Code 1-1-203
  • Probate: Proving a will
  • Process: means a writ or summons issued in the course of judicial proceedings. See Montana Code 1-1-202
  • Property: means real and personal property. See Montana Code 1-1-205
  • Public defender: Represent defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
  • Public key certificate: means an electronic credential that is used to identify an individual who signed an electronic record with the credential and is issued and managed by a third-party provider utilizing public key infrastructure technology. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Public key infrastructure technology: means a method of enabling a user of an unsecured public network, including the internet, to securely and privately exchange data and money through a public and private cryptographic key pair that is obtained and shared through a trusted certificate authority that provides for:

    (a) a digital certificate that is able to identify an individual or organization; and

    (b) a directory service that is able to store and, if necessary, revoke a digital certificate. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Real property: means lands, tenements, hereditaments, and possessory title to public lands. See Montana Code 1-1-205
  • Recodify: means to compile, arrange, rearrange, and prepare for publication. See Montana Code 1-11-101
  • Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Remote notarization: means a notarial act performed by means of communication technology on a tangible record that meets the standards adopted under this part. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Remote online notarization: means a notarial act or notarization performed by means of communication technology and an electronic notarization system on an electronic record that meets the standards adopted under this part. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Remote presentation: means transmission to the notarial officer through communication technology of an image of a government-issued identification credential that is of sufficient quality to enable the notarial officer to:

    (a) identify the individual seeking the notarial officer's services; and

    (b) visually review the identity credential and its data; and

    (c) perform credential analysis. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Security procedure: means a procedure employed for the purpose of verifying that an electronic signature, record, or performance is that of a specific person or for detecting changes or errors in the information in an electronic record. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • Several: means two or more. See Montana Code 1-1-201
  • Sign: means , with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:

    (a) to execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or

    (b) to attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • Signature: means a tangible symbol or an electronic signature that evidences the signing of a record. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Signature witnessing: means the notarial act in which a notarial officer witnesses a principal execute a record knowingly and willingly for the purposes intended while appearing before the notarial officer. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Sole control: means at all times being in the direct physical custody of the notarial officer or safeguarded by the notarial officer with a password or other secure means of authentication or access. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Stamping device: means :

    (a) a physical device capable of affixing to or embossing on a tangible record an official stamp; or

    (b) an electronic device or process capable of attaching to or logically associating an official stamp with an electronic record. See Montana Code 1-5-602

  • State: means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories. See Montana Code 1-1-201
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • Subscribing witness: means a person who sees a writing executed or hears it acknowledged and at the request of the party signs the person's name as a witness. See Montana Code 1-1-203
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
  • Tamper-evident: means that any change to a record must provide evidence of the change. See Montana Code 1-5-602
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Transcript: A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation, as in a transcript of a hearing or oral deposition.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • United States: includes the District of Columbia and the territories. See Montana Code 1-1-201
  • Usage: means a reasonable and lawful public custom concerning transactions of the same nature as those which are to be affected thereby, existing at the place where the obligation is to be performed, and either known to the parties or so well established, general, and uniform that the parties must be presumed to have acted with reference thereto. See Montana Code 1-1-206
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
  • Writ of certiorari: An order issued by the Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case for which it will hear on appeal.
  • Writing: includes printing. See Montana Code 1-1-203