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Oral Arguments Scheduled For Piocos’ Case This Week

An oral argument will take place regarding a motion to dismiss in the Frank Piocos v. Roosevelt County case. The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Piocos is looking for a judgment to acknowledge he was not lawfully removed as county attorney, having his salary reinstated, having his salary paid from Feb. 4 to the present, having attorney’s fees paid and other supplemental relief.

The Great Falls’ law firm of Smith, Oblander, Meade and Mitcham, representing the county, notes that Piocos’ belief is relying on two recent court decisions: Downs v. Piocos in the Montana Supreme Court and Christoffersen v. Roosevelt County. The respondents note that in the Supreme Court case, Piocos did not raise the issue of ongoing entitlement to salary for a position he was not working. The reply also noted that Piocos’ appeal in the Downs’ matter took longer than 85 days to resolve the conclusion. In addition, the Christoffersen matter occurred just weeks after the Montana Supreme Court determined that Piocos wasn’t qualified to hold the office of county attorney and therefore affirmed Bidegaray’s voiding the election.

“These decisions render this action now moot,” the county’s attorneys argued.

Piocos and his attorney, Phillip J. DeFelice, filed a petition of objection to the county’s motion to dismiss Piocos’ lawsuit which seeks declaratory relief and claims the county didn’t have authority to remove Piocos from office.

The petition claims that the county’s motion to dismiss fails to addresses the legal mechanism or even address whether Piocos’ salary should have been withheld. “Respondents simply throw legal mud and hope something sticks.”

DeFelice argued, “In this case, there was no legal mechanism for the respondents to remove petitioner from office on Feb. 3, 2023. In addition, neither the district court nor the Montana Supreme Court gave the Respondents’ authority to remove petitioner. As such, the issues raised by petitioner are not moot.”

Judge Michael G. Moses is presiding over the case.

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