Glendive judge to hear case against Cascade County over zoning board appointment

Judge Olivia Rieger has agreed to hear the civil case filed against Cascade County and the County Commission over zoning board appointments.

Her acceptance was official with the Great Falls court on March 22.

The lawsuit against the county was filed earlier this month by Ryan Villines, an applicant for the county’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Lawsuit filed over ZBOA criteria, appointments

Villines attempted to get a court ordered injunction for the board appointment that commissioners intended to make on March 13. The appointment has been pushed to the April 10 meeting at the request of Carey Ann Haight, chief of the civil division in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office.

All of the judges in the 8th Judicial District of Great Falls declined the case since they work in a county building and often work with commissioners. It’s not unusual for the local judges to decline cases against the county, according to courthouse staffers.

County considers applicants for lone ZBOA vacancy next week

No hearing has been scheduled yet, according to court records.

Rieger is a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Glendive. She was appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock in August to fill the remainder of the term of retired Judge Richard Simonton.

Rieger had been serving as the Dawson County Attorney, a position she was elected to in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. She also previously worked as a public defender in Glendive.

Since she’s filling the remainder of a term, the seat is up for election in November for a new six-year term, according to the Glendive Ranger Review.