Official Montana State Website
Montana Attorney General
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 201401
Helena, MT 59620-1401
Phone: (406) 444-2026
Fax: (406) 444-3549
Montana Human Rights Commission
P.M.S. Box 1728
1625 11th Avenue
Helena, MT 59624-1728
Tel: (406) 444-2884
SDITs must be clearly marked (49-4-214)
interference a misdemeanor (9-4-215)
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:
(19) (a) "Physical or mental disability" means:
(i) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities;
(ii) a record of such an impairment; or
(iii) a condition regarded as such an impairment.
(b) Discrimination based on, because of, on the basis of, or on the grounds of physical or mental disability includes the failure to make reasonable accommodations that are required by an otherwise qualified person who has a physical or mental disability. An accommodation that would require an undue hardship or that would endanger the health or safety of any person is not a reasonable accommodation.
(20) (a) "Public accommodation" means a place that caters or offers its services, goods, or facilities to the general public subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable to all persons. It includes without limitation a public inn, restaurant, eating house, hotel, roadhouse, place where food or alcoholic beverages or malt liquors are sold for consumption, motel, soda fountain, soft drink parlor, tavern, nightclub, trailer park, resort, campground, barbering, cosmetology, electrology, esthetics, or manicuring salon or shop, bathroom, resthouse, theater, swimming pool, skating rink, golf course, cafe, ice cream parlor, transportation company, or hospital and all other public amusement and business establishments.
(b) Public accommodation does not include an institution, club, or place of accommodation that proves that it is by its nature distinctly private. An institution, club, or place of accommodation may not be considered by its nature distinctly private if it has more than 100 members, provides regular meal service, and regularly receives payment for dues, fees, use of space, facilities, services, meals, or beverages, directly or indirectly, from or on behalf of nonmembers, for the furtherance of trade or business. For the purposes of this subsection (20), any lodge of a recognized national fraternal organization is considered by its nature distinctly private.
TITLE 49. HUMAN RIGHTS
CHAPTER 4. RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Part 2. Rights of the Physically Disabled
49-4-202. Policy of the state.
It is the policy of the state to encourage and enable the blind, the visually impaired, the deaf, and the otherwise physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the state and to engage in remunerative employment. The blind, the visually impaired, the deaf, and the otherwise physically disabled must be employed in the state service, the service of the political subdivisions of the state, the public schools, and all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.
(1) "Housing accommodation" means any real property or portion of real property that is used or occupied or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied as the home, residence, or sleeping place of one or more human beings. The term does not include any single-family residence the occupants of which furnish for compensation not more than one room within the residence.
(2) "Service animal" means a dog or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.
49-4-211. Right to use public places and accommodations.
(1) The blind, the visually impaired, and the deaf have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, and other public places.
(2) The blind, the visually impaired, and the deaf are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all common carriers, as defined in 69-11-101, and all public accommodations, as defined in 49-2-101, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.
49-4-212. Access to housing accommodations.
Blind, visually impaired, and deaf persons are entitled to as full and equal access as other members of the general public to any housing accommodation offered for compensation in this state.
49-4-213. Use of white or metallic-colored canes restricted to the blind.
No person, except those wholly or partially blind, shall carry or use on any street or highway or in any other public place a cane or walking stick which is white or metallic in color or white or metallic tipped with red.
49-4-214. Right to be accompanied by service animal -- identification for service animals in training.
(1) A person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal or a service animal in training with identification complying with subsection (4) in any of the places mentioned in 49-4-211(2) without being charged extra for the service animal. The person with a disability is liable for any damage done to the property by the animal.
(2) A person with a disability who has a service animal or who obtains a service animal is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations as provided in 49-2-305 and 49-4-212. The person with a disability may not be required to pay extra compensation for the service animal but is liable for any damage done to the premises by the service animal.
(3) A person who is training a service animal is entitled to the same rights and assumes the same responsibilities granted to a person with a disability in this section.
(4) For the purposes of this section, a service animal in training that is a dog shall wear a leash, collar, cape, harness, or backpack that identifies in writing that the dog is a service animal in training. Other service animals in training must also be identifiable by written identification as a service animal in training. The written identification for service animals in training must be visible and legible from a distance of at least 20 feet.
49-4-215. Penalty for violating rights.
Any person, firm, or corporation or the agent of any person, firm, or corporation who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities enumerated in 49-4-211 or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind, deaf, or otherwise disabled person under 49-4-211 is guilty of a misdemeanor.
49-4-216. Duty and civil liability of pedestrian or driver approaching blind person.
(1) A pedestrian who is not totally or partially blind or a driver of a vehicle who approaches or comes in contact with a person who is totally or partially blind and is carrying a cane or walking stick predominately white or metallic in color or white tipped with red or is being led by a trained guide dog wearing a harness and walking on either side of or slightly in front of such blind person shall immediately come to a full stop and take such precautions before proceeding as may be necessary to avoid accident or injury to such blind person.
(2) A driver or pedestrian who fails to take such precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused the totally or partially blind person. A totally or partially blind pedestrian who is not carrying such a cane or using a guide dog in any of the places listed in 49-4-211 has all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons, and the failure of such a pedestrian to carry such a cane or to use a guide dog in any such place may not be held to constitute or be evidence of contributory negligence.
49-4-217. Penalty for violation of duty or unauthorized use of cane.
Any person other than a person wholly or partially blind who shall carry a cane or walking stick such as is described in this part, contrary to the provisions of this part, or who shall fail to heed the approach of a person carrying such a cane as is described by this part or who shall fail to come to a full stop when approaching or coming in contact with a person so carrying such a cane or walking stick or being led by a trained guide dog or who shall fail to take precaution against accidents or injury to such person after coming to a stop, as provided for herein, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $25.
61-8-516. Operator of vehicle to yield to blind pedestrian.
On a way of the state open to the public, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a blind pedestrian who is carrying a visible white cane or who is accompanied by a guide dog.
last updated 16JAN2008