A new federal courthouse was dedicated this month in downtown Billings, Montana, in a ceremony led by Chief Judge Richard Cebull. The District of Montana's court family, guests, and invited speaker, Administrative Office Director Judge Thomas Hogan gathered to officially open the courthouse, which replaces an aging facility with significant security and asbestos problems. The new courthouse will house the district court, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Probation Office.
Construction of the Billings courthouse was completed four months ahead of the original construction schedule. According to GSA, the new federal courthouse contributed more than $40 million to the local economy and will help save taxpayer dollars through its energy efficient features. The building is designed to use at least 30 percent less than energy than that used by a typical building of the same size.
The fourth floor of the courthouse is named in honor of Elouise Cobell, an American-Indian elder and leader who challenged the federal government's management of trust funds belonging to more than 500,000 Native Americans in a 16-year court battle. The court decision led to a $3.4 billion settlement in 2011.