Court News

Jan 4, 2012 1:27 PM by Dennis Bragg (KPAX/KAJ Media Center)

MT Supreme Court won't disqualify Missoula judge

HELENA- The Montana Supreme Court is refusing to grant a Missoula attorney's request to disqualify a local judge in what justices call a "mind numbing" legal battle.

The appeal is the latest legal dust-up involving Missoula attorney Kristine Davenport who has been fighting with the courts since first being accused of shoplifting in the 1990s. In the most recent case from 2008, Davenport had been charged with misdemeanors for speeding and "community decay", a charge usually tied to neighborhood complaints about property.

Davenport took on the case herself after a public defender withdrew, but accused Missoula Justice Court Judge John Odlin of "collaborating" with prosecutors to force her to sign a plea agreement. She also claimed Odlin was refusing her motions and depriving her of her constitutional rights.

She also said Odlin was "friends" with Missoula County Sheriff's deputies as a former state trooper, invades privacy by taking social security numbers from defendants and was guilty of various "criminal and ethical violations".

Missoula District Court found Davenport's claims were "unfounded allegations" which had "furiously delayed" her misdemeanor case. And on review the High Court agreed.

Justice Michael Wheat, writing the opinion, said Davenport had "done nothing on appeal but repeat her unfounded, outrageous and conclusory accusations against everyone involved in her case".

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