Case challenging city’s cell phone ordinance is dismissed in Municipal Court

The constitutional challenge to the city’s cell phone ordinance is dead for now since city prosecutors moved to dismiss the underlying charges in the case.

In mid-February, Neil Anthon, the city’s chief prosecutor, wrote that “by dismissing this matter the City of Great Falls is not conceding the issues raised in Azure’s motion to dismiss. In this matter the City of Great Falls does not believe it can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The Great Falls Municipal Court dismissed the case.

Great Falls cell phone rule challenged in municipal court as unconstitutional

Stacie Azure was stopped on July 29, 2018 by a Great Falls Police Department officer because she had a cell phone in her right hand, according to court documents.

She was cited for violating the city’s cell phone ordinance, driving while license suspended and for failing to carry proof of insurance.

In January, her public defender Cayle Halberg filed a motion asking the case be dismissed and also that the court declare the city’s cell phone ordinance unconstitutional.

It’s likely that the ordinance will be challenged constitutionally again on a future cell phone violation in Municipal Court.

Last month, the Montana House rejected a bill that would have prohibited texting and driving for minors.