This second in a series of posts looks at legislative efforts to change the civil jurisdiction thresholds in state limited and general jurisdiction courts in the last decade. For a listing of all current civil jurisdiction thresholds, click here.
Hawaii to Maryland below the fold.
The state’s District Courts have civil jurisdiction up to $40,000 (HRS § 604-5(a)). From 1994 to 2008 the threshold was $10,000, however SB 2785 of 2008 increased it to $25,000. In 2014 this was increased again to the present $40,000 (HB 1846).
Idaho has effectively two thresholds with respect to Magistrate’s Division. A statute provides for a general limit of $5,000 but makes that “subject to rules promulgated by the supreme court” (Idaho Code § 1-2208(1)(a)). Under such rules attorney magistrates may hear cases up to $10,000. The statutory threshold has been changed once in the last decade. In 2006 it was increased from $4,000 to the present $5,000 (SB 1400). No other statutory increases have been attempted.
Illinois has a single tier trial court (Circuit) and therefore no civil jurisdiction threshold with a lower court.
Indiana has two limited jurisdiction courts with civil jurisdiction.
- City Courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court in civil cases in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $500 (Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 33-35-2-4). In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provision.
- Small Claims Court of Marion County has original and concurrent civil jurisdiction with the circuit and superior courts up to $6,000 (Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 33-34-3-2 & § 33-34-3-3). In 2005 an effort was made to increase this to $12,000 (SB 174); in 2006 it was reintroduced to raise it to $10,000 (SB 1) but a House/Senate conference committee was unable to agree on final language before the session adjourned.
Iowa has a single tier trial court (District) and therefore no civil jurisdiction threshold with a lower court.
Kansas has only a single limited jurisdiction court (Municipal) with no civil jurisdiction.
Kentucky’s District Court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil cases in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $5,000 (KRS § 24A.120(1)). The $5,000 threshold was set in 2011 (SB 108, but see also the similar HB 201 of the same year); previously it had been $4,000. Efforts have also been made to increase it to $10,000 (SB 121 of 2011; HB 103 of 2010) or $7,500 (SB 87 of 2011).
Louisiana has two limited jurisdiction courts with civil jurisdiction.
Parish courts have a concurrent jurisdiction with the District Court of up to $20,000 (CCP 4842(A)). In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provision.
Since 2006 (HB 422) City Courts have a general concurrent jurisdiction with District Court of up to $15,000 (CCP 4843(A)). However, over two dozen cities have exemptions up to $50,000 (CCP 4843 (C-H). Of the 25 bills introduced to increase jurisdiction for select City Courts in the last decade, 20 have been enacted.
- HB 7 City Court of Eunice
- HB 8 City Court of Bogalusa
- HB 135 City Court of Slidell
- SB 75 City Court of Springhill
- 2006 Bill Text LA H.B. 27 City Courts of Alexandria and Pineville
- HB 228 City Courts of Bunkie, Alexandria, and Pineville
- HB 229 City Courts of Marksville, Alexandria, and Pineville
- HB 422 Increase from $10,000 to $15,000 generally; change jurisdictions thresholds for over a dozen cities to $25,000 or more.
- SB 156 City Court of Winnsboro
- HB 13 (not enacted) City Court of Zachary
- HB 15 (not enacted) City Court of Baker
- HB 16 City Court of Baton Rouge
- SB 55 City Court of Jennings
- HB 108 City Courts of New Iberia and Jeanerette
- HB 445 (not enacted) City Court of Monroe
- SB 118 City Courts of Winnfield and Monroe
- SB 241 (not enacted) New Orleans
- HB 237 City Court of Ruston
- HB 402 City Court of Breaux Bridge
- HB 66 City Court of Slidell
- SB 457 City Courts of Abbeville and Kaplan
- HB 9 City Courts of Shreveport and Plaquemine
- HB 1181 City Courts of Alexandria, Pineville, Slidell, and Ruston
- SB 37 City Court of Lafayette
Maine has only a single limited jurisdiction court (Probate) with no civil jurisdiction.
Maryland’s District Courts have exclusive original civil jurisdiction in specified civil cases up to $30,000 (Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 4-401). The threshold was $25,000 but was increased in 2007 (HB 1109). No other efforts to increase the threshold were made in the past decade.