Department of Revenue of Mont. v. Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. 767, 5 (1994)

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Cite as: 511 U. S. 767 (1994)

Opinion of the Court

adopt rules to administer and enforce the tax. Under those rules, taxpayers must file a return within 72 hours of their arrest. Mont. Admin. Rule 42.34.102(1) (1988). The Rule also provides that "[a]t the time of arrest law enforcement personnel shall complete the dangerous drug information report as required by the department and afford the taxpayer an opportunity to sign it." Rule 42.34.102(3). If the taxpayer refuses to do so, the law enforcement officer is required to file the form within 72 hours of the arrest. Ibid. The "associated criminal nature of assessments under this act" justifies the expedited collection procedures. See Rule 42.34.103(3). The taxpayer has no obligation to file a return or to pay any tax unless and until he is arrested.


The six respondents, all members of the extended Kurth family, have for years operated a mixed grain and livestock farm in central Montana.6 In 1986 they began to cultivate and sell marijuana. About two weeks after the new Dangerous Drug Tax Act went into effect, Montana law enforcement officers raided the farm, arrested the Kurths, and confiscated all the marijuana plants, materials, and paraphernalia they found. In re Kurth Ranch, 145 B. R. 61, 66 (Bkrtcy. Ct. Mont. 1990).7 The raid put an end to the

ment may require, in a manner and on a form prescribed by the department." Mont. Code Ann. 15-25-113(1) (1987).

6 The respondents are Richard Kurth; his wife, Judith Kurth; their son, Douglas Kurth; their daughter, Cindy Halley; Douglas' wife, Rhonda Kurth; and Cindy's husband, Clayton Halley.

7 The Drug Tax Report listed the following seized items: "Item #1: 2155 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, "Item #2: 7 gallons of hash oil, (lined out), "Item #3: 4 bags of marijuana at two pounds each, "Item #4: 65/one gram vials of hash tar, "Item #5: 14 baby food size jars of hash tar, "Item #6: 7 pint jars of hash tar,


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