Week ahead: Hearings on sharia/international law bans in KS, VA; showdown in CA on budget issues; WI may change chief justice selection

Legislatures Coming Into Session

NONE

Committee Activity of Note

January 30

Alaska Senate Judiciary

SB 168 Alters geographic cost-of-living salary adjustments for justices of the supreme court and judges of the superior and district courts.

Arizona Senate Committee on Judiciary

SB 1152 Authorizes but does not require creation of homeless courts as divisions of existing courts.

SB 1310 Increases small claims jurisdiction from $2,500 to $10,000.

SB 1311 Increases justice of the peace civil jurisdiction from $10,000 to $25,000.

SCR 1032 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases justice of the peace civil jurisdiction from $10,000 to $25,000.

Kansas Senate Judiciary

HB 2087 Defines “foreign law,” “legal code” or “system” means any law, legal code or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals and applied by that jurisdiction”€™s courts, administrative bodies or other formal or informal tribunals. Provides “Any court, arbitration, tribunal or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any law, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the United States and Kansas constitutions.” Provides “Nothing in this act shall be construed to disapprove of or abrogate any appellate decision previously rendered by the supreme court of Kansas.”

Virginia House Courts of Justice, Civil Sub-Committee

HB 631 Provides that court decisions and contracts and other agreements will be void as violative of the public policy of the Commonwealth where such decisions or contracts are based on foreign law, i.e., law applied in a jurisdiction outside of the United States, where the application of such foreign law would violate a person’s rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Virginia.

HB 825 Prohibits any Virginia court or administrative agency from applying the law of any jurisdiction outside of the United States and its territories unless the application is required by the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any federal or state law.

January 31

California Assembly

Last for Assembly to pass AB 1208, regarding Judicial Council’s power over state judiciary’s budget (details here)

Florida Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 410 Requiring that a litigant pay a specified surcharge in addition to any other cost incurred for filing court and other legal documents by means of paper documents instead of electronically filing the documents. Provides an exception for a person who is indigent.

Tennessee House Judiciary Committee

HB 173 Ends merit selection. Requires contested elections for all  judges, including appellate and supreme court judges.

February 1

Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics (public hearing)

AB 424 Makes battery or threat to a court employee a Class I felony. Makes it a Class I felony to threaten to cause damage to a courthouse and if the threatened action could result in bodily harm to a judge or court employee.

Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics (votes)

AJR 49 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends practice where chief justice is most senior justice of the supreme court. Directs the supreme court to elect a chief justice as the first order of business each time a justice is elected or reelected.

AB 101 Requires a municipal judge to be a licensed Wisconsin attorney.

AB 285 Increases maximum court fees assessed for ordinance violations in municipal courts from $28 to $38.

Wisconsin Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations (public hearing)

SJR 36 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends practice where chief justice is most senior justice of the supreme court. Directs the supreme court to elect a chief justice as the first order of business each time a justice is elected or reelected.

February 2

February 3