Statutes and Statutory Interpretation: Retroactive (defined)
Seger v. Magnum Oil, Incorporated [10/29/99] 1999 MTWCC 67 A statute does not operate "retroactively" merely because it is applied in a case arising from conduct antedating the statute's enactment. Porter v. Galarneau, 275 Mont. 174, 183, 911 P.2d 1143, 1148-1149 (1996); Landgraf v. USI Film Prods., 511 U.S. 244, 114 S.Ct. 1483, 128 L.Ed.2d 229. The Montana Supreme Court has defined a "retroactive law" to be "one which takes away or impairs vested rights acquired under existing laws or creates a new obligation, imposes a new duty, or attaches a new disability with respect to transactions already passed." Continential Oil. Co. v. Montana Concrete Co., 63 Mont. 223, 207 P.2d 116; Wallace v. Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 269 Mont. 364, 889 P.2d 817 (1995). In St. Vincent Hospital v. Blue Cross, 261 Mont. 56, 862 P.2d 6, 9 (1993), the Montana Supreme Court stated that a "retroactive law" is one which gives a "transaction a different legal effect from that which it had under the law when it occurred."
|Pittsley v. State Fund [7/31/98] 1998 MTWCC 61A A retroactive law is one which takes away or impairs vested rights acquired under existing laws or creates a new obligation, imposes a new duty, or attaches a new disability in respect to transactions already passed. Statutes effecting substantive rights and obligations must be applied prospectively unless the legislation expressly provides otherwise. See §1-2-109, MCA. A statute need not specifically state that it is retroactive to avoid the rule. If it is unmistakable that an act was intended to operate retrospectively, that intention is controlling as to the interpretation of the statute. Language showing unmistakable legislative intention of retroactivity must, however, appear on the face of the statute.|