Procedure: Stay of Proceedings

Larson v. Montana State Fund [01/16/15] 2015 MTWCC 1 Although this Court may use its inherent authority to control its docket by continuing a case, it cannot place a case in abeyance indefinitely over an objection.  The substantial cost of bringing a case to trial does not outweigh an insurer’s right to obtain a timely determination of liability.

Loveridge v. Montana State Fund [7/23/04] 2004 MTWCC 57 Where the claimant seeks benefits in a case in which he is being prosecuted for criminal fraud, and the criminal charges involve issues which affect his entitlement to benefits in the Workers' Compensation Court case, a stay of the workers' compensation case pending resolution of the criminal case is appropriate. 39-71-2911, MCA (1995-2003).
Draper v. State Compensation Ins. Fund [10/17/95] 1995 MTWCC 80 While section 39-71-2911, MCA (1995) authorizes the Workers’ Compensation Court to stay claims for benefits while a criminal prosecution relating to workers’ compensation benefits is pending, the stay is not automatic. Where claimant’s criminal trial is set for November 1995, the Court will entertain a request to specially set this matter in December 1995 or January 1996.
Schilling v. State Compensation Ins. Fund [07/26/95] 1995 MTWCC 57 Although the 1995 legislature enacted a specific provision authorizing this Court to stay workers’ compensation proceedings while a criminal action alleging fraud is pending (section 39-71-2911, MCA (1995)), whether or not that provision has yet taken effect is immaterial, as the Workers’ Compensation Court has inherent authority to set the time for trial. Where criminal case against claimant was commenced many months prior to claimant’s petition for hearing, and the criminal trial is set to commence shortly after the trial date on this petition, and resolution of the criminal case is likely to impact the workers’ compensation proceeding, stay of the WCC trial is appropriate.