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Missoula County Attorney
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Photograph of County Attorney, Kirsten Pabst.

Kirsten H. Pabst, the Missoula County Attorney, is the chief elected prosecutor, representing the State of Montana in criminal prosecutions and serving as the legal advisor for all county officials within Missoula County. 

Kirsten started as a prosecutor in 1994, as a legal intern under Dusty Deschamps, now a district court judge. She successfully prosecuted many difficult child physical and sexual abuse cases and obtained convictions in several homicide and vehicular homicide cases. Kirsten taught trial practice at the law school for many years and was a frequent faculty instructor for the National District Attorney’s Association and the Montana County Attorneys Association. Kirsten grew up in Havre, Montana, and graduated from the University of Great Falls and the University of Montana School of Law. She enjoys climbing mountains, riding horses, making art and spending time with her family.

As the Missoula County Attorney, Kirsten oversees 20 attorneys who are responsible for criminal prosecutions, youth court proceedings, Special Victims Unit cases, child protection cases, involuntary commitments, guardianships, junk vehicles, community decay and others. Additionally, the County Attorney’s Office serves as legal advisor to the Board of County Commissioners, the Health Department, Community and Planning Services and all other county departments.

Criminal Division

The Criminal Division is responsible for the prosecution of all felony offenses which occur anywhere within Missoula County and all misdemeanor offenses which occur outside the city limits of the City of Missoula. These primarily include referrals from the Missoula County Sheriff, the Missoula City Police Department and the Montana Highway Patrol but also include numerous other law enforcement agencies. In addition, the division handles the prosecution of all persons under the age of 18 in Youth Court.

Included within the Criminal Division is the Bad Checks Department. This program handles the collection of non-sufficient funds (NSF) and closed account checks which have been returned by a financial institution to the payee. Please see our office policy regarding bad checks. If you have received a bad check and would like our office to prosecute, you must first send a letter to the bad check writer requesting that the check be made good. We also require that you provide us with some information regarding the incident. Note: checks which have been forged must be referred to an appropriate law enforcement agency for an investigation before any action can be taken by this office.

Civil Division

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The Civil Division is responsible for providing legal advice to the County Commissioners, all county departments and to many sub-jurisdictions (such as school, fire, conservation, and weed districts) within Missoula County. In that regard, the division does a substantial amount of work on public health and land use issues for both the county Health Department and the Office of Planning and Grants (OPG).

In addition, the division represents the State of Montana in all proceedings in Missoula County involving enforcement of state laws covering Child Abuse or Neglect and Involuntary Commitments due to mental illness. Finally, the division performs the County Attorney's duties as Public Administrator of the estates of persons who die without any heirs.

NOTE: The County Attorney's Office no longer handles Child Support Collection. For child support matters, contact the Missoula area Child Support Enforcement Office at 329-7910 or the State of Montana Child Support Enforcement Division.

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More Information

Image of a badge for Sexual or Violent Offender Registry
Visit the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry on Montana's Official State website.

    Image show the text for Correctional Offender Network Search
Visit the Correctional Offender Network on Montana's Official State website.