23.1.101 ORGANIZATIONAL RULE
(1) Organization of the Department of Justice:
(a) History: Under the Executive Reorganization Act of 1971, the Governor implemented the creation of a Department of Law Enforcement and Public Safety by Executive Reorganization Order 3-72 on September 1, 1972. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Justice on March 9, 1973, under Chapter 250, 1973 Montana Laws.
(b) Department Head: The department head is the Attorney General.
(c) Divisions: The department is divided into divisions, headed by administrators. Some divisions are divided into bureaus, headed by chiefs. The divisions are:
(i) Central Services Division;
(ii) Division of Criminal Investigation;
(iii) Forensic Science Division;
(iv) Gambling Control Division;
(v) Montana Highway Patrol;
(vi) Justice Information Technology Services Division;
(vii) Legal Services Division;
(viii) Motor Vehicle Division.
(d) There are three boards attached to the department for administrative purposes only:
(i) The Gaming Advisory Council is composed of nine members, seven of whom are appointed by the Attorney General pursuant to 2-15-2021, MCA. The remaining two members represent the Montana House of Representatives and Senate. The council is directed to study all aspects of gambling in Montana, to review administrative rules relating to gambling, and to submit a biennial report to the department.
(ii) The County Motor Vehicle Computer Committee is composed of five members, two of whom are appointed by the Attorney General, two by the County Treasurers Association, and one by the director of the Department of Administration. The committee is directed to establish requirements, specifications, and approve the purchase of and training for the county motor vehicle computer system.
(iii) The Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council is made up of 13 members appointed by the Governor. It adopts administrative rules separately from the Department of Justice.
(2) Functions of department:
(a) Central Services Division provides the personnel, budgetary, accounting, and fiscal support for the department.
(b) Division of Criminal Investigation provides direct statewide investigative services to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The services include criminal investigation, narcotics investigation, fire investigation and fire safety inspection services, and professional training and educational programs offered through Montana's Law Enforcement Academy.
(i) Investigations Bureau provides criminal investigative assistance to city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies at their request. Investigative assistance is provided in a wide range of cases, including major cases (i.e., homicides), Medicaid fraud, fire prevention and investigation, internal affairs, Internet Crimes Against Children, computer crime, financial and elder exploitation, workers' compensation fraud, and organized crime. Additionally, the bureau operates the Montana Analysis and Technical Information Intelligence Center (MATIC). The bureau also provides professional training at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy and at trainings hosted regionally throughout the state.
(ii) Narcotics Bureau investigates dangerous drug violations and provides investigative assistance to city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies at their request. The bureau also investigates organized crime and conducts other criminal investigations in support of the Investigations Bureau. The bureau provides training to public, private sector, and law enforcement agencies. The bureau also manages some of the state's multijurisdictional drug task forces.
(iii) Law Enforcement Academy provides Montana public safety officers and other qualified individuals with a means of securing education and training in the field of law enforcement and criminal justice. The basic programs provide public safety officers with the education and training required by state law or administrative rule to attain certification and as a condition of continued employment. The professional programs provide public safety officers continued education and training to increase competency, develop leadership skills, and increase professionalism.
(iv) Crime Information Bureau provides criminal investigative assistance to city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies through the Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN), as well as through maintenance of the state's criminal records and identification services. The bureau's Criminal Records and Identification Services (CRIS) collects and stores criminal history information, provides fingerprint identification, and disseminates the information to law enforcement agencies and others lawfully entitled to receive it. The bureau's investigative assistance is wide ranging as it also manages the state Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), Sexual and Violent Offender Registry (SVOR), and the Computer Internet Crime Unit. The bureau also provides professional training and other training hosted regionally throughout the state.
(v) Children's Justice Bureau promotes successful prosecution of child abuse perpetrators and high quality response to child victims by providing coordinated community response resources for reports of crimes against children in Montana. A multidisciplinary team (MDT) investigative model uses improved evidence collection through forensic interview and forensic medical exam techniques, reduces contaminated evidence from multiple interviews, and also provides victim support to traumatized children and their non-offending caregivers. The core member agencies of an MDT are county prosecutors, law enforcement, medical, child protection and mental health and victim advocacy. The bureau prioritizes children endangered by caregiver drug abuse and child victims of sexual assault. The state Child and Family Ombudsman Office is managed by the Children's Justice Bureau. The bureau also manages the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), the Montana Developmental Center Facility Investigator and Human Trafficking Outreach, which are programs responding to underserved and vulnerable adult populations.
(c) Forensic Science Division provides the personnel, facilities, and procedures necessary for the study and application of science to the examination, evaluation, and explanation of physical evidence for law enforcement. These services are available to all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies upon request.
(i) Forensic Science Division provides examinations and expert testimony in the disciplines of serology/DNA, toxicology, firearms, toolmarks, serial number restoration, latent fingerprints, breath alcohol, controlled substances, and trace evidence, which includes: ignitable liquid residue, paint, headlamp filament, and gunshot residues.
(ii) State Medical Examiner provides assistance, consultation, and training to associate medical examiners, coroners, and law enforcement. The state medical examiner also performs autopsies, reviews reports of coroners and associate medical examiners, and provides expert testimony as requested in certain death cases.
(d) Gambling Control Division is responsible for regulating and licensing all forms of legalized gambling except horse racing and the Montana Lottery. The division also enforces the state's gambling laws and provides assistance to local law enforcement, conducts investigations for gambling and alcoholic beverage license applications, collects and distributes gambling taxes and permit fees, conducts tax and financial audits related to licensing and taxation, and tests and approves video gambling machines for play in licensed establishments. The division conducts administrative hearings under the Montana Administrative Procedure Act for contested licensure actions and licensee disciplinary cases.
(i) Operations Bureau provides budget preparation and management services for the division and compiles gambling statistics reports that are published by the division. In addition, the bureau includes the License and Tax Section and the Audit Section.
(A) License and Tax Section initiates review of gambling and alcoholic beverage license applications, issues licenses and permits, collects permit fees for distribution to local governments and state funds, provides general information on licensing, and maintains license and statistical information. The section also collects all gambling taxes, conducts office audits, and runs other compliance programs.
(B) Audit Section conducts field audits on video gambling and live game tax reports, financial reviews of gambling and alcoholic beverage license applications, and provides financial examination support for criminal investigations.
(C) Technical Services Section is responsible for design and compliance testing of video gambling machines and modifications before approval is granted to authorize placement of the devices in Montana. Section staff also design and test tier 1 automated accounting and reporting systems and modifications, perform regulatory inspections of video gambling machines, provide technical investigation assistance, and assist in local law enforcement training.
(ii) Investigation Bureau is the primary gambling, alcoholic beverage, and gambling law enforcement agency in Montana. The bureau conducts background suitability licensing investigations of gambling and alcoholic beverage license applicants, as well as routine regulatory inspections of gambling and alcoholic beverage licensed premises. The bureau assists federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The bureau conducts investigations and takes enforcement action on illegal gambling and illegal alcoholic beverage activities. The bureau also conducts routine inspections and criminal investigations related to illegal tobacco tax activities. Bureau staff provide training at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy and other training regionally throughout the state.
(e) Montana Highway Patrol is responsible for enforcing traffic and criminal laws and investigating vehicle crashes on Montana highways.
(i) Field Forces Bureau is responsible for traffic and criminal law enforcement, crash investigations on all public highways outside cities and towns, and service to the public.
(ii) Operations Bureau is responsible for the following sections and their respective activities: crash records, fleet and supply, training and research, radio maintenance, dignitary protection, K-9 detail, budget and finance, information technology, human resources, aircraft operations, the communications center, and the office of professional standards.
(A) Records Section tabulates and analyzes collision reports, compiles special accident studies, and develops annual statistical reports.
(B) Fleet and Supply Section purchases necessary equipment and material to supply entire division.
(C) Training and Research Section develops, schedules, and provides training for all division personnel; provides public information and safety education; and designs and completes research projects.
(D) Radio Maintenance Section designs or procures all radio communication equipment and installs and maintains radios and other emergency equipment used in patrol vehicles.
(E) Dignitary Protection Section provides personal protection for the Governor and other designated officials. All security planning, coordination, and execution of protection activities fall under this section.
(F) K-9 Section supports the Field Forces Bureau through K-9 patrol, searches, and criminal interdiction expertise.
(G) Budget and Finance Section supports the division by planning, processing, and reporting all financial transactions.
(H) Information Technology Section supports the division through planning and research on technology topics, provides training to division members, and assures technology applications are working properly.
(I) Human Resource Section plans, executes, and reports on all personnel related matters.
(J) Aircraft Operations Section plans, executes, and reports on all aircraft activities provided to the division and other law enforcement agencies.
(K) The Communications Center is the emergency point of contact for the public needing Highway Patrol services and coordinates and supports Field Forces Bureau using radio and other communications equipment.
(L) The Office of Professional Standards researches, develops, and updates MHP policies and procedures and ensures compliance through training, inspections, audits, and internal investigations when warranted.
(f) Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) engineers, designs, plans, implements, directs, evaluates, operates, and manages all information technologies systems and services, and all related project planning and execution activities and processes, within the Department of Justice (DOJ). These systems include the Montana Enhanced Registration and Licensing Network (MERLIN) (MVD), driver testing, and license/identification production (MVD), IJIS Broker, SmartCop (MHP), CJIN (DCI), Computerized Criminal History (DCI), Automated Biometric Identification System (DCI), Sexual or Violent Offender (SVOR) registry and website, Laboratory Information Management System (FSD), GENTAX (GCD) and many other technology solutions within the department. The division also provides direct and indirect support for statewide services to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in identification of persons, fingerprint processing, and criminal records storage and dissemination. The division is also responsible for DOJ information security, disaster recovery plan and implementation, and the IT Strategic Plan.
(i) The Applications Services Bureau (ASB) is responsible for all DOJ software, including databases, commercial off the shelf and custom software, websites, and the integration of these items, along with all operations support.
(ii) The Systems Support Bureau (SSB) is responsible for the hardware, including more than 2,000 end user devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones, printers, and back office infrastructure, such as servers, storage, and networking. SSB also provides tier 1 call support assisting both DOJ and nearly 4,000 users from the law enforcement community.
(iii) The Project Management Office (PMO) manages DOJ projects, the project portfolio, and implements project management standards and processes. The PMO also manages relationships and interactions with DOJ divisions, service providers, and customers.
(iv) The Information Security Office (ISO) is responsible for the security, auditing, and compliance of systems and networks that contain criminal justice information. Incident response, security training, education, and outreach are provided to DOJ and local law enforcement agencies.
(g) Legal Services Division provides the Attorney General with legal research and analysis, provides legal counsel to state agencies, represents Montana's interests in cases before state and federal courts, and assists local jurisdictions with criminal cases and other areas involving state law. The division consists of the following bureaus:
(A) Appellate Services Bureau represents the state of Montana in criminal, post-conviction, dependent-neglect, and involuntary commitment appeals, as well as original proceedings before the Montana Supreme Court. The bureau also handles habeas corpus cases in the Montana Supreme Court and federal courts, as well as capital litigation and appeals in state and federal courts. Further, it provides legal assistance, advice, and continuing education to county attorneys and other agencies of state government on a range of issues, including criminal law, dependent-neglect, involuntary commitment, and local government matters.
(B) Prosecution Services Bureau assists all counties in the state with the prosecution of complex criminal cases, including homicides and child sexual abuse. It also prosecutes cases where the county attorney has a conflict of interest and cases for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Dedicated positions prosecute workers' compensation fraud and Medicaid fraud cases. The bureau also handles complaints against, and inquiries regarding, county attorneys. The bureau provides relevant criminal law information, including briefs and outlines for prosecutors. Further, it provides training to county prosecutors as well as training and guidance for law enforcement throughout the state. The bureau's Child Protection Unit handles child abuse and neglect cases around Montana and provides training to all disciplines involved in such cases.
(A) Civil Services Bureau represents the state of Montana's interests in complex civil litigation where the state is a party or in which the state has an interest, handles constitutional challenges filed against state laws, drafts Attorney General opinions involving questions of law, and coordinates the department's involvement in appeals of civil cases to which the state is a party. The bureau also serves as legal counsel to the divisions of the department and represents the department in litigation, and provides legal assistance to the state and local jurisdictions on certain matters, including motor vehicle law and gambling law. Further, it provides legal assistance to state government and local governments on matters involving Indian jurisdiction, federal reserved water rights, election law, antitrust, charitable trusts, conflicts of interest, and open meetings.
(B) Agency Legal Services Bureau provides legal assistance to state agencies on a contractual basis. The bureau provides litigation and other case-related services, hearing examiner services, and general legal counsel services to numerous state agencies, boards, and commissions. As a proprietary agency, the bureau bills for services performed by its attorneys and paralegals to generate sufficient revenue to sustain the program. The fees charged to client agencies are substantially less than fees charged by private law firms.
(C) Office of Consumer Protection and Victim Services Bureau supports Montana's consumers and victims of crime. The Office of Consumer Protection consists of three full time attorneys and four investigators who handle a wide variety of consumer complaints involving unfair and deceptive business practices. The office also educates the public on consumer-related issues, regulates charities, enforces antitrust laws, and resolves consumer complaints regarding the tow truck industry. Investigators at the Office of Consumer Protection are responsible for answering general questions from consumers, taking written consumer complaints, and investigating those complaints. The office does not directly represent individual consumers, but takes enforcement action on behalf of all citizens of Montana to stop violations of Montana law. Victim Services provides financial assistance to victims of crimes occurring in Montana, including the payment of medical bills and lost wages.
(h) Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is responsible for administering laws and programs in the areas of motor vehicle titling, registration, and security interest filing; licensing and compliance of motor vehicle dealers; driver licensing, driver improvement, and financial responsibility; maintaining driver-history records and imposing driver licensing sanctions as required by law; inspection and verification of vehicle identification numbers; mandatory insurance; public safety; and dissemination of motor vehicle information.
(i) Driver Services Bureau (DSB) is responsible for programs relating to issuance of identification cards and driver licenses. This includes applicant credentialing for driver licenses and identification cards; vision, knowledge, and skill testing for all Montana driver license types and endorsements, including commercial and motorcycle; offering organ donor designation, Motor Voter registration, and Selective Service registration; and, conducting vehicle identification number inspections to assist with vehicle titling and detection of potential fraud. The purpose and intent of the DSB is to apply due diligence in deterring identity theft, vehicle fraud or theft, and determining an applicant's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. DSB maintains noncommercial and commercial driver history records, including traffic convictions and driver improvement actions; provides driver license, traffic conviction, and other information from motor vehicle records maintained by the department to those authorized by law to receive such information; suspends, cancels, and revokes driver licenses in accordance with laws and/or court mandates; monitors compliance; issues probationary licenses as authorized; and issues and maintains records for parking permits for people with disabilities.
(ii) Operations Services Bureau (OSB) supports the missions of the other MVD bureaus and provides assistance to business partners and customers. The OSB functional areas include human resources, financials (accounting, audit and end user support), operations and business process improvement, organizational change management, application training/testing support, business communications and website content, online services, customer call center, as well as administrative services ranging from assisting customers to program/project support and staff augmentation.
(iii) Vehicle Services Bureau (VSB) issues titles and registers all motor vehicles, including snowmobiles, boats, trailers, and off-highway vehicles, and files and maintains security interests for vehicle owners and security interest holders. VSB also maintains vehicle records; provides information to law enforcement and other authorized entities; exchanges information with other jurisdictions nationwide; meets state and federal mandates regarding odometer fraud and vehicle theft; and licenses and regulates motor vehicle dealers and manufacturers.
(iv) Production Support Team supports the mission of all MVD bureaus for testing, training and business analysis, including new employee onboarding, testing coordination, and business partner training.
(i) The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) is responsible for:
(i) preparing natural resource damage assessments, claims and lawsuits pursuant to federal and state environmental laws in order to recover monetary damages for injuries to natural resources caused by hazardous substances and other contaminants; and
(ii) developing and implementing natural resource restoration plans that guide the expenditures of recovered damages in accordance with these laws. The NRDP is administratively attached to the department and represents the Governor, as the state's NRD trustee, on NRD matters. The program has two components. The litigation component is responsible for assuring that the requirements of the consent decrees for the completed settlements with the Atlantic Richfield Company, involving the Upper Clark Fork River Basin, and in the ASARCO bankruptcy proceeding, involving the Mike Horse Dam and East Helena Smelter, and other NRD settlements, are met. The restoration component of the NRDP is responsible for preparing restoration plans to expend the state's recovered NRD proceeds on restoration projects and for the subsequent implementation of such projects through private contractors or governmental or non-profit entities.
(j) Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council determines and sets employment and training standards for all public safety officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA. Additionally, the council certifies public safety officers and takes action against officer certificates when appropriate.
(3) Information or Submissions. General inquiries regarding the department may be addressed to the Attorney General. Specific inquiries regarding the functions of a division or bureau may be addressed to the division administrator or bureau chief. All requests for hearings, declaratory rulings, and participation in rulemaking may be addressed to the Attorney General, unless a notice in the Montana Administrative Register provides otherwise.
(4) Personnel Roster: Addresses of the Attorney General, division administrators, and bureau chiefs are as follows:
Attorney General: 215 North Sanders, P.O. Box 201401, Helena, Montana 59620-1401.
Central Services Division Administrator: 840 Helena Avenue, P.O. Box 201404, Helena, Montana 59620-1404.
Consumer Protection and Victim Services: 555 Fuller Avenue, P.O. Box 200151, Helena, Montana 59620-0151.
Division of Criminal Investigation Administrator, Criminal Investigation Bureau Chief, Narcotics Investigation Bureau Chief, and Fire Prevention and Investigation Bureau Chief: P.O. Box 201417, Helena, Montana 59620-1417; Law Enforcement Academy Bureau, 2260 Sierra Road East, Helena, Montana 59602.
Forensic Science Division Administrator, State Crime Lab, and State Medical Examiner: 2679 Palmer, Missoula, Montana 59808.
Gambling Control Division Administrator, Gambling Investigations Bureau Chief, Operations Bureau Chief, and Technical Services Section Supervisor: 2550 Prospect Avenue, P.O. Box 201424, Helena, Montana 59620-1424.
Justice Information Technology Services Administrator, Identification Bureau Chief, and Criminal Justice Information Network Bureau Chief: 302 North Roberts, P.O. Box 201405, Helena, Montana 59620-1405.
Legal Services Division Administrator, Prosecution Services Bureau Chief, Appellate Services Bureau Chief, and Civil Services Bureau Chief: 215 North Sanders, P.O. Box 201401, Helena, Montana 59620-1401; Agency Legal Services Bureau Chief: 1712 Ninth Avenue, P.O. Box 201440, Helena, Montana 59620-1440.
Montana Highway Patrol Administrator, Field Forces Bureau Chief, Records Bureau Chief, Fleet and Supply Bureau Chief, and Training and Research Bureau Chief: 2550 Prospect Avenue, P.O. Box 201419, Helena, Montana 59620-1419.
Motor Vehicle Division Administrator, Driver Services Bureau Chief, Operations Support Bureau, and Vehicle Services Bureau Chief: 302 North Roberts, P.O. Box 201430, Helena, Montana 59620-1430; (P.O. Box 21431, Helena, Montana 59620-1431 for VSB).
Natural Resource Damage Program: 1720 Ninth Avenue, P.O. Box 201425, Helena, Montana 59620-1425.
Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council: 2260 Sierra Road East, Helena, Montana 59620-8839.
(5) Chart of Agency Organization: The organizational and functional chart of the department follows.
History: 2-4-201, MCA; IMP, 2-15-2001, 2-15-2002, 2-15-2003, 2-15-2004, 2-15-2005, 2-15-2006, 2-15-2007, 2-15-2008, 2-15-2009, 2-15-2010, 2-15-2011, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, Eff. 9/4/75; AMD, Eff. 10/11/79; AMD, Eff. 12/31/81; AMD, Eff. 3/31/82; AMD, Eff. 3/31/91; AMD, Eff. 12/31/92; AMD, Eff. 3/31/94; AMD, Eff. 6/30/98; AMD, Eff. 12/31/08; AMD, Eff. 12/31/11; AMD, Eff. 12/31/12; AMD, Eff. 6/30/14; AMD, Eff. 6/30/18.