Changing civil jurisdiction thresholds – Part 4

This fourth 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.

New Mexico to South Carolina below the fold.

New Mexico

New Mexico has two limited jurisdiction courts with civil jurisdiction: Magistrate (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 35-3-3(A)) and Metropolitan (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 34-8A-3) both of which have a $10,000 civil threshold. In 2005 an effort was made to raise the threshold to $25,000 (SB 813) which was approved by the full Senate and the House Business and Industry Committee but died in the House Judiciary Committee . In 2009 (SB 590) and 2011 (SB 525) efforts were made to increase it to $15,000. The 2009 version was approved by the full Senate but died in the House. The 2011 version was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee but proceeded no further.

New York

New York has five types of limited jurisdiction courts with civil jurisdiction and each with its own threshold.

  • New York City Civil Court has a threshold of $25,000 (NY CLS NYC Civil Ct Act § 201). In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provisions.
  • County Courts have a threshold of $25,000 (NY CLS Jud § 190(1)). In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provisions.
  • City Courts have a threshold of $15,000 (NY CLS UCCA § 202). In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provisions.
  • District Courts have a threshold of $15,000 (NY CLS UDCA § 201). In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provisions.
  • Town and Village Courts have a threshold of $3,000 (NY CLSUJCA § 201(a)). In the last decade there have been over a dozen efforts to raise the jurisdiction threshold, none of whichappear to have advanced out of committee.
    • From $3,000 to $5,000: AB 2448 of 2005; AB 2594 and AB 10731 of 2007; AB 3876 and AB 4070 of 2009; AB 2091 and AB 8054 of 2011; AB 1746 and AB 7466 of 2013
    • From $3,000 to $6,000: AB 4659 and AB 10318 of 2005; AB 4428 of 2007; AB 7701 of 2009
    • From $3,000 to $15,000: AB 9826 of 2011

North Carolina

North Carolina’s District Courts have jurisdiction in civil cases up to $25,000 (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-243). Prior to 2013 (SB 452) that threshold was $10,000. HB 199 was the House companion to SB 452. In addition an effort was made in 2011 (SB 741) to raise the limit to $20,000.

North Dakota

North Dakota has only a single limited jurisdiction court (Municipal) with no civil jurisdiction.

Ohio

Ohio has two limited jurisdiction courts with civil jurisdiction: Municipal (ORC Ann. 1901.17) and County (ORC Ann. 1907.03(A)). Both have a civil threshold of $15,000. In the last decade there have been no efforts to change the provisions.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma has three limited jurisdiction courts (Court of Tax Review, Municipal Court of Record, Municipal Court Not of Record) none of which have civil jurisdiction.

Oregon

Oregon’s Justice Courts have civil jurisdiction in cases up to $10,000 (ORS § 51.080(1)(a)). This has been modified several times in the last decade. In 2007 the threshold was increased from $5,000 to $7,500 (HB 2316). It was increased in 2011 from $7,500 to the current $10,000 (HB 2710). No other attempts were made to alter the provision in the last decade.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has two limited jurisdiction courts to hear civil cases each with its own threshold.

  • Philadelphia Municipal Court may hear civil cases up to $12,000 generally and $15,000 in certain tax cases (42 Pa.C.S. § 1123(a)(4) & (6)). In 2010 the threshold was raised from the previous $10,000 to $12,000 (HB 2172). No other attempts were made to alter the provision in the last decade.
  • Magisterial District Court may hear civil cases up to $12,000 (42 Pa.C.S. § 1515(3)). In 2010 the threshold was raised from the previous $8,000 (HB 2172). An attempt was made in 2007 (HB 2541) and in 2013 (HB 2042) to increase this to $15,000.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over civil cases up to $5,000 and concurrent in cases from $5,000 to $10,000 (R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-8-3(a)(1) & (c); Superior Court may only hear cases above $5,000 (R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-2-14(a)). No efforts to increase the threshold were made in the past decade.

South Carolina

South Carolina Magistrate Court is effectively the state’s small claims court, with a concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Court up to only $7,500 (S.C. Code Ann. § 22-3-10). Several unsuccessful efforts have been made recently to increase this limit.

  • From $7,500 to $10,000: SB 764 of 2007; SB 200 of 2009; SB 125 of 2011; SB 47 and SB 153 of 2013
  • From $7,500 to $15,000: HB 4841 and SB 627 of 2005; HB 3934 of 2007; SB 285 of 2009
  • From $7,500 to $25,000: SB 1236 of 2009; HB 3077 of 2013