Legal Resources

Why are resources like these important?

Unfortunately, the legal system is often the first point of contact for many persons with a mental illness. There may be a co-occurring problem with drugs and/or alcohol or other behavior problems that cause the criminal justice system to intervene. It helps for families and friends to get involved and become advocates for their loved ones.

At NAMI, we appreciate how difficult it can be to navigate the legal system for those living with a mental health condition. Please know that NAMI volunteers are neither legal professionals, nor can we offer legal advice or individual advocacy.

See below for legal resources.

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NAMI fights for policies to get people help, not handcuffs. In a mental health crisis, people with mental illnesses frequently encounter police rather than get medical attention. As a result, people with mental illness are over-represented in the criminal justice system. Every community should have robust crisis services for people experiencing a psychiatric emergency to receive help and avoid justice system involvement.

Missoula Self-Help Law Center:

Missoula County Courthouse 200 West Broadway, Room 271 / (406) 258-3428 Provides assistance to those who cannot afford an attorney or who choose to represent themselves in civil legal matters such as family law. The Missoula Self Help Law Center does not provide legal advice but rather, directs individuals to legal information and proper forms which are available to the general public.

Montana Legal Services:

211 N. Higgins, 406-543-8343. Hotline 406-543-8344. Helpline 1-800-666-6899. for common questions about courts and resources.

Missoula City Municipal Court:

435 Ryman, 406-552-6180. Primarily handles misdemeanor charges within city limits. Everyone has right to speak with the judge and to bring a support person.

Missoula County Detention Facility (Jail):

2340 Mullan Road, 406-258-4000. If your loved one is on prescribed medication you may take it to the jail in its labeled container. Inmates must request their medications while in jail. The following website includes the jail roster and visitation information.

Jail Diversion Program:

Provides support and treatment for individuals experiencing mental illnesses during pre-arrest, incarceration, and after release from county detention centers. Services provided while incarcerated can include mental health assessments, case management, therapy, peer-support services, group therapies, crisis intervention, and chemical dependency evaluations. Contact Amy Chesebro at 406-258-4039 or .

Missoula “Quality of Life Liaison”:

406-552-6338. This officer helps mediate and resolve non-criminal disputes, neighborhood disturbances, and claims of discriminatory treatment and bias.

Disability Rights Montana: 

Protects and advocates for the human, legal, and civil rights of Montanans with disabilities while advancing dignity, equality, and self-determination. Located in Helena: 1-406-449-2344 or 1-800-245-4743 /

Montana Legal Justice

415 N. Higgins, 356-6546; A public interest law office and legal advice clinic that focuses on client-centered representation and negotiation of collaborative legal solutions.

Missoula County Justice Court:

200 W. Broadway, 406-258-4871. Justice Court does use the Mental Health Court staff when appropriate.

Missoula County Treatment Court:

406-258-4641. Diverts from jail to treatment people with serious mental disorders (and/or substance abuse issues) charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Also Veterans Treatment Court for Vets with similar disorders.

Missoula Public Defenders Office:

610 Woody, 406-523-5140. Lawyers for indigent persons, mental health commitments, guardianships, dependent neglect cases.

Community Dispute Resolution Center:

Provides mediation; CDRC volunteers mediate Justice Court cases at the Missoula Courthouse. 1535 Liberty Lane, Suite 117A; 406-543-1157;

Bail Bondsman: 

If a family member is in custody and you want to post bail, you can post it yourself, or go to a bondsman (look in the yellow pages under bail bonds). A private person is normally required to post the entire amount, but should get it all back if the person makes his or her court appearances. Hiring a professional bondsman requires paying a fee, which may be around 10% or more, and is not returned.

Mental Health Ombudsman: Represents the interests of Montanans seeking access to public mental health services. Located in Helena: 

1-888-444-9669 or

Involuntary Hospital Admissions:

Involuntary Mental Health Commitments are initiated by the Missoula County Attorney’s Office if a mental health professional recommends involuntary treatment because a person with a mental illness has become dangerous to himself or to other persons. Individuals may be detained and evaluated at the Montana State Hospital or other recommended facility. Daytime phone: 406-258-4737; in emergencies contact 911.

Still have a specific legal question you think we can help with? Let us know:

NAMI Missoula

(406) 880-1013

202 Brooks St, Missoula, MT, 59801

Office Hours: Currently Unavailable Due to COVID-19

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