Missoula County Attorney - Home
Fred Van Valkenburg, the Missoula County Attorney, is an elected official who serves as both the public prosecutor for the State of Montana and as the legal advisor for all county officials within Missoula County.
Fred has been the Missoula County Attorney since December, 1998. He began working in the office as a Deputy County Attorney in June, 1985. He graduated from Gonzaga University in 1970 and the University of Montana School of Law in 1973. He is a past President of the Montana County Attorneys Association and a member of the National District Attorneys Association.
The County Attorney's office has 19 Deputy County Attorneys and is divided into two divisions: Criminal and Civil.
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.
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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.