On Thursday, February 15, 2024, The Sun Times reported that a Montana man filed a lawsuit alleging judicial misconduct against 6th District Court Judge Brenda Gilbert.

Chad Stone, a 47-year-old resident of Livingston, Montana, claims that Judge Gilbert violated his constitutional rights in her handling of a series of legal matters dating back to 2017. According to the report, Stone believes Gilbert improperly issued a protection order against him without sufficient evidence and denied him his right to confront his accuser. He asserts the order prevented him from legally owning firearms for three years.

In 2020, Gilbert indefinitely extended the protection order without first holding a required hearing that would have allowed Stone to participate, argue his case, and question witnesses. This led to Stone being federally charged with illegally possessing a firearm in 2021. However, the federal case was dismissed by Judge Susan Watters after she ruled that Gilbert’s extension of the order was invalid as it did not follow proper legal procedures.

Stone is accusing Gilbert of further misconduct, including obtaining a search warrant for his home based on what he says were false allegations. This resulted in the seizure of his firearms and other items. Stone also spent three weeks in jail related to the dismissed federal gun charge. He alleges that during this time, Gilbert and others attempted to have him indefinitely detained based on another fabricated accusation.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, seeks $5 million in damages from Gilbert and others involved in the legal matters. It aims to clear Stone’s record and restore his lost property. He argues Gilbert violated his constitutional rights to due process and improperly deprived him of his freedom and ability to legally own firearms for multiple years based on unproven allegations.

 

 

Source: The Sun Times