This third 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.
Massachusetts to New Jersey below the fold.
Massachusetts’ District and Boston Municipal Court have jurisdiction in civil cases up to $25,000 (GL ch. 218, § 19) and Superior Court has jurisdiction in cases over $25,000 (GL ch. 212, § 3). In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provisions.
The state’s District Court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil actions when the amount in controversy does not exceed $25,000 (MCLS § 600.8301(1)). In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provisions.
Minnesota has a single tier trial court (District) and therefore no civil jurisdiction threshold with a lower court.
Mississippi has one of if not the highest limited jurisdiction court civil thresholds at $200,000 (Miss. Code Ann. § 9-9-21(1)) thanks to a 2003 law that raised it from $75,000 (HB 973). Since that 2003 increase there have been no efforts to change the provision.
Missouri has only a single limited jurisdiction court (Municipal) with no civil jurisdiction.
Since 2011 (SB 238) the state’s justice courts have had a civil threshold of $12,000, up from $7,000 which had been in place since 1999. The 2011 bill was the only effort in the last decade to increase the threshold.
Since 2001 (LB 269) the state’s County Courts have had concurrent jurisdiction with the District Courts in cases up to at least $45,000 (R.R.S. Neb. § 24-517(5)). However, the same 2001 law also provided that the state’s supreme court was to adjust the threshold every fifth year commencing July 1, 2005 “equal to the then current jurisdictional amount adjusted by the average percentage change in the unadjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics for the five-year period preceding the adjustment date. The jurisdictional amount shall be rounded to the nearest one-thousand-dollar amount.” As a result, Neb. Ct. R. § 6-1462 provides the threshold is currently $52,000.
Nevada’s Justice Courts have jurisdiction in civil cases up to $10,000 since a 2003 law (AB 100) increased the threshold from $7,500 (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 4.370(1)(a)). Since then there have been no efforts to change the provisions.
New Hampshire’s District Courts have had since 1992 (HB 1494) original and exclusive jurisdiction of civil cases in which the damages claimed do not exceed $1,500 and concurrent jurisdiction with the Superior Court in cases up to $25,000, however the Supreme Court could raise this to $50,000 (RSA 502-A:14). Only one effort was made to change this in the last decade, SB 301 of 2012 would have increased the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the District Court to $10,000 but only for landlord/tenant cases. It went nowhere.
New Jersey has two limited jurisdiction courts (Tax and Municipal) neither with civil jurisdiction.