Insert Logo Here United States District Court
District of Montana
Hon. Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge
Tyler P. Gilman, Clerk of Court











Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Are there any special requirements or restrictions in visiting a federal courthouse in Montana?

The federal courthouses of the District of Montana are open to the public and visitors are welcome. However, some requirements and restrictions do exist as follows:

  • Electronic devices, such as cameras, cellular phones, wireless devices, laptops, iPods, iPads, MP3 players, e-readers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) are not permitted in any Montana federal courthouse. For more information, please see Local Rules 1.3(d).

  • Government issued photo identification (i.e., drivers license, military identification, etc.) is required upon entering any of the Montana federal courthouses.

  • Please do not bring/wear excessive metal objects, such as pocket knives, key chains, belts, jewelry, etc., as you will be passing through metal detectors as the security check-in.

Can I access court dockets from my computer?

The Administrative Office of U. S. Courts provides a system called PACER - Public Access to Court Electronic Records. This system requires a computer equipped with a modem. Users dial in toll-free, and are charged a nominal fee - currently .08 cents per page - for access to this system. These fees can be waived for indigent users and other government agencies. The PACER system is available via the Internet.

User setup and accounting is handled via the national PACER Service Center in San Antonio, TX. Contact the Service Center at 1-800-676-6856 for further information or access the Other Links page on this site for further details.

What is Electronic Case Filing?

Electronic Case Filing (ECF) is the case management system used in the Federal Judiciary for all United States District Courts throughout the country. ECF provides a new, easy-to-use, on-line electronic case filing feature, which will allow you to file and view court documents over the Internet. ECF was developed to enhance the accuracy, management and security of records, reduce delays in the flow of information and achieve costs savings for the judiciary, the bar and litigants.

Please click HERE for more information on the features and benefits of ECF.

What are the costs of filing with U.S. District Court? Where do I file?

Please see our Fee Schedule.

The Court has multiple divisional offices located throughout Montana. They are located in Billings, Butte, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula. The specific location for filing is generally determined by the plaintiff's place of residence. However, cases can be filed in any of the five (5) locations. Please also see Counties Served by Division for more information.


Where do I get a copy of the Local Rules? How do I request copies of court documents?

Local Rules can be obtained from the Clerk's Office. You can also read, download or print them from this site.

Please see our Copy Request Policy.

What are the federal holidays?

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day


How can I be admitted as an attorney to practice in U.S. District Court?

To be admitted without appearing, please see our Attorney Information page. Further details on the requirements for admission to practice in this Court can be found in the Local Rules Rule 83.1.


More FAQs and Glossary of Terms

More FAQs from U.S. Courts Administrative Office

Glossary of Legal Terms


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