City of Great Falls v. Forbes, No. DA 10–0301.

Docket NºNo. DA 10–0301.
Citation2011 MT 12, 247 P.3d 1086, 359 Mont. 140
Case DateFebruary 01, 2011
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Montana

359 Mont. 140
247 P.3d 1086
2011 MT 12

CITY OF GREAT FALLS, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
Stephen K. FORBES, Defendant and Appellant.

No. DA 10–0301.

Supreme Court of Montana.

Submitted on Briefs Dec. 15, 2010.Decided Feb. 1, 2011.


[247 P.3d 1086]

For Appellant: Stephen K. Forbes, self-represented, Great Falls, Montana.For Appellee: Neal P. DuBois, Sutton & DuBois, PLLC, Great Falls, Montana.Justice BRIAN MORRIS delivered the Opinion of the Court.

[359 Mont. 141] ¶ 1 Stephen Forbes (Forbes) appeals from the order of the Eighth Judicial District Court, Cascade County, granting the City of Great Falls's (City) application for an injunction. We affirm.

¶ 2 We consider the following issues on appeal:

¶ 3 Did the District Court abuse its discretion by enjoining Forbes from further construction on his property when the City initiated its injunction proceedings without filing a complaint and serving summons?

¶ 4 Was Forbes entitled to a jury trial on the City's application for an injunction?

BACKGROUND

¶ 5 The City issued a Stop Work Order to Forbes in June 2009 because a construction project on his property violated City zoning requirements. Forbes admittedly had not

[247 P.3d 1087]

obtained the required City building permit. Forbes failed to heed the Stop Work Order. The City petitioned the District Court on August 28, 2009, for an injunction under §§ 27–19–201 and –301, MCA, that would prohibit Forbes from further construction. Forbes received service of the City's petition. The court set a hearing date and served Forbes with notice. Forbes filed response briefs on September 1, 2009, and September 14, 2009. The court held hearings on the injunction request in October 2009 and March 2010. The court enjoined Forbes from further construction without the requisite building permit.

¶ 6 Forbes admitted that he had been doing construction work on a structure within the city limits of Great Falls. Forbes claimed that his construction project involved a “mobile home,” however, and that the City's zoning regulations did not apply to his construction. The court rejected Forbes's “mobile home” exception. The court found that the construction work had occurred on-site and that the construction had involved replacing the foundation and constructing a roof supported by walls. The court determined that Forbes's construction project met the definition of a “building” and that Forbes's construction project required a building permit.

¶ 7 The court concluded that the City had authority to adopt property and zoning codes to promote health, safety and the general welfare of the community. Section 76–2–301, MCA. Pursuant to this authority, the City had adopted the Official Code of the City of Great Falls (Code). The City had also adopted the 2006 International Residential Code for determining whether to deny or approve a building permit. The Code [359 Mont. 142] requires property owners to obtain building permits prior to beginning on-site construction of buildings within the city limits. Pursuant to the Code and § 76–2–308(2), MCA, the City had authority to issue the Stop Work Order for Forbes's unpermitted work.

¶ 8 The court granted the City's application for a preliminary injunction. The court ordered Forbes to obtain a permit from the City before commencing construction at the site. The court ordered that the City could demolish Forbes's construction if he had failed to obtain a building permit within 180 calendar days.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶ 9 We will not disturb a district...

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11 practice notes
  • Mont. Cannabis Indus. Ass'n v. State, DA 11-0460
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • September 11, 2012
    ...review a district court's granting or denying a preliminary injunction for a manifest abuse of discretion. City of Great Falls v. Forbes, 2011 MT 12, ¶ 9, 359 Mont. 140, 247 P.3d 1086. However, where the district court grants or denies injunctive relief based on conclusions of law, no discr......
  • Mont. Cannabis Indus. Ass'n v. State, No. DA 11–0460.
    • United States
    • October 23, 2012
    ...review a district court's granting or denying a preliminary injunction for a manifest abuse of discretion. City of Great Falls v. Forbes, 2011 MT 12, ¶ 9, 359 Mont. 140, 247 P.3d 1086. However, where the district court grants or denies injunctive relief based on conclusions of law, no discr......
  • Montana Cannabis Indus. Ass'n v. State, DA 11-0460
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • September 11, 2012
    ...review a district court's granting or denying a preliminary injunction for a manifest abuse of discretion. City of Great Falls v. Forbes, 2011 MT 12, ¶ 9, 359 Mont. 140, 247 P.3d 1086. However, where the district court grants or denies injunctive relief based on conclusions of law, no discr......
  • Goosebay Homeowners Ass'n, LLC v. Bureau of Reclamation, CV 13-21-H-CCL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Montana)
    • April 22, 2013
    ...forth the grounds for the order are made positively and not upon information and belief."); see also City of Great Falls v.Page 6Forbes, 247 P.3d 1086, 1088 (Mont. 2011) (injunction not to be granted unless material allegations of the complaint are made positively and not upon information a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Mont. Cannabis Indus. Ass'n v. State, DA 11-0460
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • September 11, 2012
    ...review a district court's granting or denying a preliminary injunction for a manifest abuse of discretion. City of Great Falls v. Forbes, 2011 MT 12, ¶ 9, 359 Mont. 140, 247 P.3d 1086. However, where the district court grants or denies injunctive relief based on conclusions of law, no discr......
  • Mont. Cannabis Indus. Ass'n v. State, No. DA 11–0460.
    • United States
    • October 23, 2012
    ...review a district court's granting or denying a preliminary injunction for a manifest abuse of discretion. City of Great Falls v. Forbes, 2011 MT 12, ¶ 9, 359 Mont. 140, 247 P.3d 1086. However, where the district court grants or denies injunctive relief based on conclusions of law, no discr......
  • Montana Cannabis Indus. Ass'n v. State, DA 11-0460
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • September 11, 2012
    ...review a district court's granting or denying a preliminary injunction for a manifest abuse of discretion. City of Great Falls v. Forbes, 2011 MT 12, ¶ 9, 359 Mont. 140, 247 P.3d 1086. However, where the district court grants or denies injunctive relief based on conclusions of law, no discr......
  • Goosebay Homeowners Ass'n, LLC v. Bureau of Reclamation, CV 13-21-H-CCL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Montana)
    • April 22, 2013
    ...forth the grounds for the order are made positively and not upon information and belief."); see also City of Great Falls v.Page 6Forbes, 247 P.3d 1086, 1088 (Mont. 2011) (injunction not to be granted unless material allegations of the complaint are made positively and not upon information a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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