District Court Overview
The Clerk of District Court is the official keeper of all District Court records for Blaine County. These records include, but are not limited to: Adoption, Civil, Criminal, Dependent & Neglect, Domestic Relations, Guardianship, Juvenile, Marriage License, Paternity, Probate and Sanity Cases. The majority of the Clerk of District Court records are open to the public, but some are confidential and have restricted access.
Blaine County records begin in 1912, when the county was created. The computer case management system has records since 1995. There is no internet access to court records.
Our office has a public computer so record searches can be done by the general public, title companies, credit agencies and investigative agencies with no charge. Record searches, copies and certified copies are provided upon request. There are fees for searches performed by the office personnel and the costs of copies are charged according to statute.
What Does the District Court Do?
The Clerk of District Court is a constitutionally mandated office authorized by statute to perform the following duties:
Keep the records and schedules of the District Court
Take charge of and manage the records of the District Court
Attend court sessions and keep the minutes of the proceedings
Issue all processes and required notices
Properly enter all orders, judgments and decrees for the record
Act as the jury commissioner
Issue and record marriage licenses
Additional Services Handled by the District Court
The Clerk of District Court serves as Jury Commissioner for Blaine County. As required by statute, each May the Montana Secretary of State provides a combined list of registered voters, licensed drivers and holders of Montana identification cards to the Clerk of District Court. This list is stored and maintained electronically and it is from this list that jurors are pulled for the District Court, Justice Court and City Courts. The regular jury term is July 1 through June 30.
Jury Service is a important and necessary civic duty and we hope that serving as a juror will be a rewarding and interesting experience for you. You will learn more about the judicial system and the function of the Court system. Many jury trials are scheduled to last only 2-3 days. If you have any questions about jury service, please contact our office.
The requirements for marriage licenses are as follows:
The fee is $53.00. No personal checks are accepted
One piece of identification is needed to prove identity and age. Identification can be a driver’s license, birth certificate, tribal identification or other acceptable form of identification that lists your name and date of birth.
If either party has been previously married and divorced, they need to bring a certified copy of the divorce papers with them when they apply for a marriage license.
Marriage licenses are effective immediately upon being issued and expire after 180 days. If a license expires without being used, the parties must make a new application and pay a new fee.
The marriage licenses are registered in the county in which the license was issued. After the marriage, the original license is returned to our office within 30 days to be filed and recorded. The original marriage license is returned to the parties after the document is filed and recorded. Certified copies of the marriage license can be obtained through our office for a fee.
The Blaine County Clerk of District Court is also the passport agent for Blaine County. You may contact our office or view travel.state.gov for information.
The Montana Supreme Court has developed a court help program to assist self-represented litigants with civil (non-criminal) legal problems. The Court Help Program cannot give you legal advice or represent you in court. The goal of the program is to provide the information needed to understand legal rights and responsibilities and to help resolve legal problems on your own. Self Help Law Centers are located throughout the State to provide you with information and direct you to resources.
We suggest contacting the regional office, the Cascade County Self Help Law Center at 406-205-047, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The personnel from Great Falls travel to the hi-line on a regular schedule to meet with people. Other resources can be found at montanalawhelp.org, which is the Legal Services website, or email@example.com.
It is the goal and responsibility of the Blaine County Clerk of District Court to serve the public by providing efficient management of all District Court records. Our office encourages people to contact us with any questions. We cannot provide legal advice, but we will try to help with procedural information.
Blaine County District Court Contact Info
420 Ohio Street
Chinook, MT 59523
(406) 357 – 3230
Hours of Operation
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Judge: Yvonne Laird