Judges from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals plan to hear oral arguments in three cases, including two arising in Montana, on Thursday at the Old Gallatin County Courthouse in Bozeman.
The San Francisco-based court has tried in recent years to visit each state in the circuit. A panel has arranged to sit in Bozeman at the conclusion of the circuits annual judicial conference, which will take place at Big Sky next week.
Argument begins at 1 p.m.
Montana cases on the agenda include Boxx v. Warrior, an appeal from U.S. District Court in Billings. Heather Long Warrior appeals the District Courts dismissal of her claim against Boxx in an automobile accident case. The Billings court ruled that it had no jurisdiction to hear her case and granted Boxx an injunction that prevented Long Warrior for proceeding with her lawsuit.
The accident occurred within the exterior boundaries of the Crow Reservation on a roadway right-of-way granted by the United States. U.S. Supreme Court rulings within the last few years have limited tribal jurisdiction on federally granted rights of way. Long Warrior initially filed the personal injury action in Crow Tribal Court, which determined that it had no jurisdiction.
The judges will also hear a Butte case, Ticknor v. Choice Hotels Intl. Choice operates the EconoLodge Hotel chain. Choice is appealing a District Court ruling in a franchise case.
Final case on the calendar is Edwards v. City of Coeur dAlene. Gary Edwards appealed the dismissal of his lawsuit challenging a municipal ordinance banning signs made of wood or affixed to wooden or plastic supports.
Edwards was arrested on July 18, 1998, when he carried a sign protesting against an Aryan Nations march in downtown Coeur dAlene and refused to give his sign to local police.
The three-judge panel hearing the case consists of Circuit Judges Harry Pregerson of Woodland, Calif.; Wallace Tashima of Pasadena, Calif.; and Sidney R. Thomas of Billings.
Appellate panels hold court one week a month in Seattle, San Francisco and Pasadena. Judges also hear cases in Portland, Ore., several times a year.