Courthouse (office upstairs)
200 West 1st Avenue
Big Timber, MT 59011

Office Hours: Mon - Fri
8AM-12PM / 1PM - 5PM

Phone: 406-932-5154

Fax: 406-932-5433

Mailing: PO Box 698

Phone: 406-932-5154

Fax: 406-932-5433

Mailing: PO Box 698

Clerk of Court: Deanna Novotny

Deputy Clerk of Court: Barb Swanson


How can I find out about my child support payment history or inquire as to the most recent payment?

A child support payment history may be obtained by sending an inquiry to the Clerk of Court or by calling 406-932-5154.  Payments are processed the day they are received. If you have recently changed your residence or mailing address, be sure to advise the court in writing so your future checks will be mailed accordingly. If you failed to notify us of your new address and you are concerned that a check may have been mailed to an old address, please contact us by phone 406-932-5154 or e-mail the Clerk of Court immediately.

My child support is not being paid. What can I do?

The following two options should be considered:

Contact the Child Support Enforcement Division for the State of Montana (CSED) at 1-800-346-5437 to open a case. CSED will collect child support for you by means of a wage assignment, automatically deducting funds from each paycheck.

Seek advice from an attorney licensed to practice law in Montana.

Can I pay supervision and/or felony restitution fees here?

Supervision fees and felony restitution fees are paid through State offices in Helena. Their contact information is 800-801-3478. The mailing address is: Dept. of Corrections, Collection Unit, PO Box 201350 Helena, MT 59620. The payment must include your name, your Department of Corrections (DOC) ID No. (AO#12345), and the name of your current Probation/Parole/ISP Officer.

Only criminal fines, public defender fees, and misdemeanor restitution payments are payable through the Clerk of Court.

How much do I owe on my criminal fines and fees?

This office can provide that information by phone at 406-932-5154 or email to the Clerk of Court. Please be able to provide full names and the approximate date of sentencing.

How do I reach the local Public Defenders Office?

The Office of Public Defender office is in Bozeman and can be reached by calling (406) 582-2450 & Fax: (406) 582-2451

Can I change my name or the names of my children?

Yes. You may open a civil case for a name change. The fee is $120 (one-hundred twenty dollars) to file a petition for a name change and a $45 judgment fee payable upon the filing of the order granting a name change for adults.  A generic petition is available in our Forms Section. Adults must publish in a newspaper for the statutorily required time but there is no publication requirement for a minor name change if both parents file a signed consent.

If the names of multiple children in one family are being changed, a separate petition must be filed for each child.  However, there will be only one $120 fee charged per family. If both parents have not signed consent forms, please review the Montana Codes Annotated for rules on procedure or seek the advice of a licensed attorney.

How do I become emancipated?

Documentation is available on-line through the State Law Library at  A completed petition may be filed with the Clerk of District Court along with the required $120 fee.  A hearing must be conducted.  The Montana Statue is 41-1-501, MCA.

How do I file a lien on someone's property?

Construction and Mechanic’s liens are filed with the Clerk & Recorder – 406-932-5152. 

How do I obtain an order of protection against someone?

You may file a petition with a limited court or the District Court; you must file with only the District Court if you have a dissolution matter pending. There is no fee and a Victim’s Witness Advocate is available most hours of the day to assist you. Please contact this office for more information.

If I obtained an order of protection against someone, can it be removed or voided, and if so, how?

Submit a signed letter or pleading to this office requesting the judge to remove the Order and your reason. You will need to provide proof of identification at the Office of the Clerk of Court upon submission of your request.

Can you fax me copies of a document?

Yes, we can fax or email copies of any public record. A fee of $.25 per page must be paid in advance, however. 

I'm supposed to pay a fine today, but I can't come in. Will I be arrested?

You must contact your probation officer about this matter.

Where do I go to pay a traffic ticket or citation?

Traffic tickets and citations are all handled by the courts of limited jurisdiction – Justice Court, or Big Timber City Court. The ticket or citation will list the name of the court & Justice of the Peace/City Judge Connolly, Sweet Grass County.

Do I have to check-in for District Court?

Litigants and / or their legal representative must be present in court at or prior to the scheduled date and time. All jurors must check in at the Clerk of Court prior to Juror Orientation.

Can I talk to the District judge?

Any party to a case or one’s legal representative may only have audience with the court at a scheduled hearing or attorney’s conference.

How can I obtain copies of records - marriage license, divorce decree, name change order, etc., and what is the cost? Can I have copies of documents certified by the Court?

You may appear at our office personally at 200 West First, 2nd floor of the Sweet Grass County Courthouse or you can mail your written request to: Clerk of Court, PO Box 698, Big Timber, MT.

You must include a self-addressed stamped, return envelope, and a check or money order made payable to the Clerk of Court. Statutory fees vary depending upon the requested document; most photocopies are $1.00 per page for the first 10 pages and $.50 cents per page thereafter. A copy of a divorce decree is $10 (regardless of length), a copy of a marriage license is $5, and an additional $2 is required for certification of any document. 

You may send a blank (signed) check with a notation to not exceed a certain amount in the memo portion if you are unsure of the exact charges.  Your copy and a receipt for the exact charge will be returned. Note: Confidential records require court ordered approval to open and provide copies.  Please call to discuss procedure relative to requests for confidential documents (such as adoption matters).

Who qualifies as a prospective juror in Montana?

Any person 18 years of age or older that is registered to vote,  that is licensed to drive, or holds a Montana ID card is eligible to serve on jury duty. 

I got called for jury duty but have a conflict and cannot appear. What do I do?

You may be required to complete and submit a juror affidavit requesting an excuse as soon as possible prior to trial. The affidavit must be notarized so you must have current identification such as a driver’s license. The Court will consider your request to be excused and will notify you of the decision prior to trial.  Call Clerk of District Court with additional questions at – 406-932-5154.

I have lost my Jury Summons. How can I obtain a copy?

Copies of Summons can be obtained by calling the Clerk of Court at 406-932-5154. 

Who can marry us?

Please review the Montana Codes Annotated, Title 40 – Family Law 40-1-301, MCA. Solemnization and registration.   Only a judge of a court of record, a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, a mayor, city judge, or justice of the peace, or a tribal judge, in accordance with any mode of solemnization recognized by any religious denomination, Indian nation or tribe, or native group may solemnize a marriage. Either the person solemnizing the marriage or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, a party to the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the clerk of the district court.

This section also explains that the solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it if either party to the marriage believed that person to be qualified.

My fiancé is only 17. What steps do we have to take to get married?

Please review the Montana Codes Annotated, Title 40 – Family Law 40-1-213. Judicial approval. The underage party must seek Judicial approval prior to applying for a marriage license. Once approval has been obtained, the couple may appear before the Clerk of Court to obtain a marriage license. No persons under the age of 16 may be legally married in Montana.

If we did not get married within six months of applying for our license, is the license still valid?

No. Marriage Licenses in Montana expire 180 days from the issue date and are not valid beyond that date. The couple must begin the process again and reapply for another marriage license & pay the fee again.

We never returned our marriage license for recording, are we married? We never returned our marriage license for recording, are we married?

Until the license is filed, no record of your marriage exists, so you would only be considered married by common law – no paper trail.  Please file the original license immediately.  If it has been lost or destroyed, you must file a Declaration of Marriage; a new application process and fee will be required.

What are the hours for processing marriage applications?

We can issue marriage licenses from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The busiest time of day is from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. so we encourage couples to appear early in the day.

Do I need a blood test for rubella to get married in Montana?

No.  Brides and grooms can sign a waiver of the rubella blood test requirement in Montana when applying for a license.  Paperwork can be obtained from the Clerk of Court when you appear at that office to obtain a marriage license.

Where else can I get information about passports?

Most questions regarding passports and travel abroad are addressed by the US Passport website

What do I need to apply for a passport?

A passport application, instructions, and information as to documentation requirements can be obtained through the US Department of State

What are your hours for issuing passport applications?

We can accommodate passport applicants from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Each application process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour depending upon documentation available, proper fees, etc.

Do I have to open a Probate case if my parent passed away? How do I close his/her bank account?

If the estate is worth less than $50K we have an affidavit form you may use. The opening of a probate may not be required if the estate does not exceed $50,000.00, but all assets must be held in joint tenancy. Should probating the estate be necessary, the filing fee is $100, and you must either consult a licensed attorney or represent yourself.  The Montana State Law Library has a list of probate forms for use by self-represented litigants.  

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