Statutes and Statutory Interpretation: Inserting or Removing Items

MONTANA SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
Loss v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., 282 Mont. 80, 936 P.2d 313 (1997) Statutes and Statutory Interpretation: Inserting or Removing. Where Occupational Disease Act did not provide for rehabilitation benefits to occupational disease claimants, the Court would not “read” that provision into the Act. (Note: the Supreme Court subsequently held that failure to grant rehabilitation benefits to occupational disease claimants is unconstitutional. See, Henry v. State Compensation Insurance Fund, 1999 MT 126, 294 Mont. 449, 982 P.2d 456.)
In the Matter of Clarke v. Scott Massey, d/b/a All Seasons Constr., 271 Mont. 412 (1995) (No. 95-106) In construing a statute, the office of the judge is simply to ascertain and declare what is in terms or in substance contained therein, not to insert what has been omitted or to omit what has been inserted. See section 1-2-101, MCA.
 
WORKERS' COMPENSATION COURT DECISIONS

Gerber v. Montana State Fund [03/28/13] 2013 MTWCC 9 Petitioner’s argument that § 39-71-744(1), MCA, should be read so that the “time limit” referred to therein is for the presentment of a claim must fail, as it is not this Court’s duty to insert that which the legislature has omitted.

Goble v. Montana State Fund [03/28/13] 2013 MTWCC 8 Petitioner’s argument that § 39-71-744(1), MCA, should be read so that the “time limit” referred to therein is for the presentment of a claim must fail, as it is not this Court’s duty to insert that which the legislature has omitted.

Dostal v. Uninsured Employers' Fund [12/04/12] 2012 MTWCC 45 Where the 1991 WCA controls the claim, the UEF cannot read additional requirements into the statute which the legislature added in later years.

Thompson v. State of Montana and Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. and Montana State Fund [04/28/06] 2006 MTWCC 19 While Respondent urges this Court to interpret § 2-4-501, MCA, to mean that the WCC’s only authority to issue declaratory rulings is via MAPA, ARM 24.5.351 – the rule provided for under § 2-4-501, MCA – does not specifically limit the WCC to MAPA. Section 2-4-501, MCA, does not state that the WCC may not issue declaratory judgments under the auspices of the UDJA; it merely commands the WCC to promulgate a rule setting forth a procedure to dispose of those actions for declaratory judgment concerning the applicability of statutory provisions, rules, or orders of the WCC. Respondent asks the Court to read limiting language into a statute that is not there.
Thompson v. State of Montana and Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. and Montana State Fund [04/28/06] 2006 MTWCC 19 Although Respondent bases its claim that the WCC is not a court of record upon the WCC’s lack of mention in § 3-1-102, MCA, the clear weight of authority, including other statutes and case law, tend toward a contrary conclusion. In the construction of a statute, the office of the judge is simply to ascertain and declare what is in terms or in substance contained therein, not to insert what has been omitted or to omit what has been inserted. § 1-2-101, MCA. In this situation, Respondent asks this Court to insert language into § 3-1-105, MCA, so that it reads “. . . and the municipal courts and no others are courts of record.” Although § 3-1-102, MCA enumerates several courts as courts of record, it contains no limiting language to indicate that only those courts mentioned qualify as courts of record in this State.
Applegate v. Liberty Northwest Ins. [10/9/02] 2002 MTWCC 45 Where a statute ( 39-71-1025, MCA (1999)) broadly provides for reimbursement for travel which is necessary to "implement a rehabilitation plan," a court cannot insert an exclusion which would bar reimbursement for commuting 84 miles to and from school.
MCCF v. Liberty NW/Rusco [5/23/03] 2002 MTWCC 28 Montana workers' compensation statutes provide for attorney fees awards to claimants only. There is no provision for an award to an insurer under any circumstances and the Court is prohibited from inserting such a provision under the guise of statutory interpretation. 1-2-101, MCA.
Hiett v. MSGIA [12/19/01] 2001 MTWCC 66 Rules of statutory construction prohibit a court from inserting entitlements, restrictions, or other matters which are not in the statute. §1- 2-101, MCA.
Chapel v. MACO [12/14/01] 2001 MTWCC 63 Court cannot insert requirement or entitlements not set forth in a statute. 1-2-101, MCA.
Hiett v. MSGIA [9/6/01] 2001 MTWCC 52 Even though plain construction of statute may lead to an absurd result, the Court cannot rewrite the statute or insert additional provisions in the statute. See Hiett v. Missoula County Public Schools, 2003 MT 213.
Hodges v. State Fund [01/17/01] 2001 MTWCC 1 The Court cannot write into a statute providing a stay of proceedings while criminal charges are pending a prohibition against an insurer raising a fraud defense in the event the claimant is acquitted. Sec. 1-2-101, MCA
Baxter v. UEF [9/20/00] 2000 MTWCC 65 WCC refuses to read into section 39-71-601, MCA (1995) any requirement that employee of uninsured employer present claim to department rather than employer to satisfy one-year claim filing requirement of statute.