Maryland Civil Jury Trials, Question 2 (2010)

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Declaration of RightsIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXI-AXI-BXI-CXI-DXI-EXI-FXI-GXI-HXI-IXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIX

The Maryland Civil Jury Trials Amendment, also known as Question 2, was on the November 2, 2010 general election ballot in the state of Maryland as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.Approveda The measure dealt with civil proceedings and the amount of money in question in a specific case.[1][2]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results

Official results follow:

Question 2 (Civil Jury Trials)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,079,585 66%
No566,39534%

Results via Maryland State Board of Elections

Text of measure

Ballot language

The ballot language that voters saw on their ballot read:[3]

Authorizing the enactment of legislation to limit the right to a jury trial in a civil proceeding to those proceedings in which the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000.

(Amending Maryland Declaration of Rights – Articles 5(a) and 23)

Under Articles 5 and 23 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights, a party in a civil proceeding has a right to a jury trial where the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000. In cases where the amount in controversy does not exceed this threshold amount, a judge, rather than a jury, determines the verdict. The constitutional amendment would increase the amount-in-controversy limitation by providing that a party may not demand a jury trial in a civil proceeding unless the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000, excluding attorney’s fees if attorney’s fees are recoverable in the proceeding.

For the Constitutional Amendment

Against the Constitutional Amendment

Summary

The summary of the amendment read:[1]

Increasing from more than $10,000 to more than $15,000, the amount in controversy in civil proceedings in which the right to a trial by jury may be limited by legislation; and submitting the constitutional amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection.

Constitutional changes

Maryland Civil Jury Trials Amendment (2010), constitutional changes

Articles 5(a) and 23 of the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution were amended to read:[1]

Fiscal note

The following was the fiscal summary of the measure, as stated by the Maryland General Assembly:[1]

If approved by the General Assembly, this constitutional amendment will be submitted to the voters at the 2010 general election. It is not expected to result in additional costs for local election boards.

Support

Supporters

There was no known supporting campaign for Question 2.

Arguments

  • According to Lynda Lambert, a college English instructor, in a column published by the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel, looked at both sides of the issue. She stated, "As someone who hates being called for jury duty in any case, I can see where raising this limit could help take some of the pressure off the need for so many jurors."[4]

Opposition

Opponents

There was no known opposing campaign for Question 2.

Arguments

  • According to Lynda Lambert, a college English instructor, in a column published by the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel, looked at both sides of the issue. She stated, "...as someone who would not have $10,000 if someone sued me for that amount, I’m pretty certain I’d like the option to bring in a jury if I didn’t like the cut of the judge’s jib."[4]

Path to the ballot

The measure was first introduced to the Maryland State Senate on January 15, 2010, and was eventually passed with a vote of 32-13 on February 25, 2010. The measure was then sent to the Maryland House of Representatives and read for the first time on February 26, 2010 and was passed with a vote of 108-30 on April 1, 2010. Placing a proposed amendment on the ballot must be approved by a 60% vote of each chamber of the Maryland State Legislature. Maryland is one of nine states that allow a referred amendment to go on the ballot after this process.[5]

See also

External links

References