Cost of an Eviction in Montana

Cost of an Eviction in Montana

Last Updated: April 5, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

The total cost of an eviction in Montana for all filing, court, and service fees varies heavily on which court the eviction is filed in. For cases filed in Justice Court, the average cost is $315. For cases filed in District Court, the average cost is $385.

Fee Justice  District
Initial Court Filing ~$50+ $90
Summons Service ~$5+ ~$5+
Answer Filing ~$30+ $60
Writ of Possession Service ~$5+ ~$5+
Writ of Possession Execution ~$225 ~$225
Notice of Appeal Filing (Optional) ~$20 ~$30

These filing, court, and service fees do not include outside costs such as legal fees or post-eviction fees (i.e., locksmith fees, storage costs for a tenant’s abandoned property, cleaning service fees, repair costs, or advertising costs for a vacant dwelling unit).

1. Initial Court Filing Fee

In Montana, if the eviction notice expires and the tenant remains on the property without correcting the issue, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit (“Action for Possession“) with the court the following business day.

It’s important to note that a landlord may file in County Court, City Court, Municipal Court, Judicial Court or District Court; however, City and Municipal Courts are not accessible in all counties.

Initial filing fees vary by county and by court. For example, in Missoula County Justice Court, the filing fee is $50 and in Montana’s District Court, the filing fee is $90. [ttip number=’1′ icon=’popover-balance’]

2. Summons Service Fee

In Montana, once a Complaint is filed, the court will issue a Summons. The Summons is the tenant’s official notice of an eviction lawsuit and contains important information (i.e., when and where to appear in court). The landlord must arrange for a process server to deliver the Summons to the tenant.

The Summons service fee varies by process server and by county. For example, a sheriff in Fallon County can charge $50 for a Summons service. If a county has not set a service fee, a sheriff shall collect $5[ttip number=’2′ icon=’popover-balance’]for the Summons service.

3. Answer Filing Fee

In Montana, the tenant has the opportunity to answer the landlord’s allegations, as long as the response is within 10 business days of being served.

The filing fee for submitting an Answer can vary by county and court, for example in Missoula County Justice Court, the filing fee is $30, and the filing fee is $60 in District Court. [ttip number=’3′ icon=’popover-balance’]

4. Writ of Possession Service Fee

In Montana, if the court rules in favor of the landlord, the court shall issue a Writ of Possession. A sheriff must serve the Writ of Possession to the tenant. The writ is the tenant’s final notice to vacate the premises.

The service fee depends on the county, for example, in Fallon County the sheriff can charge $50 per tenant and in Butte County the fee is $100. If a county has not set a Summons service fee, a sheriff shall collect $5.[ttip number=’4′ icon=’popover-balance’]

5. Writ of Possession Execution Fee

In Montana, if a tenant remains at the premises after the writ expires, a sheriff may execute the writ by removing the tenant from the premises.

The execution fee varies by county, for example, in Gallatin County, a sheriff can charge $225 for enforcing a Writ of Possession.

6. Notice of Appeal Filing Fee

Either party can choose to file an Appeal in Montana; however, the filing fee can vary by county and court.  For example, the Appeal fee in Missoula County Justice Court is $20 and the Appeal fee in Cascade County District Court is $30.