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County Attorney

153 Main Street • P.O. Box 730 • Shelby, MT 59474 • 406-434-5417
Toll-free: 1-888-434-5417 • Fax: 406-434-5522 • E-mail:
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Weekends by Appointment


Toole County Attorney Merle Raph

County Attorney, Merle Raph

Merle Raph was elected in 2018 to an eighth four year term. He is Past-President of the Montana County Attorneys Association. He has served as a special prosecutor for other counties and as a Special Assistant Attorney General.

The Toole County Attorney is responsible for the legal representation of the Toole County Board of Commissioners and the legal interests and concerns of all other departments in the county. The office also represents or advises many sub-jurisdictions such as school districts, fire districts, weed districts, cemetery districts and television districts, and water and sewer districts.

This office also prosecutes all criminal offenses committed in the county with the exception of municipal ordinance violations. These include offenses investigated by the Toole County Sheriff's Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Motor Carrier Services, and violations of state law at the United State Port of Entry at Sweet Grass, Montana. Additionally, this office handles all prosecution of Juveniles.

The office also represents the State of Montana in all proceedings in Toole County involving the enforcement of state laws covering child abuse or neglect and involuntary commitments due to mental illness.

Finally, in the civil arena, the office performs duties as the attorney for the Toole County Public Administrator of estates of person who died without any heirs.


The Toole County Attorney may only represent the legal interests of the State or County and cannot help or advise people with private matters. If someone is looking for assistance or advice on a private matter and cannot afford a private attorney they should contact the State Bar of Montana or Montana Legal Services.



Resources & Links

Montana Department of Justice

State Bar of Montana

Montana Legal Services Association

Montana County Attorney Association

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana Department of Corrections


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