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Senate Bill 274- Civil Jurisdiction of Magistrate Courts

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Senate Bill 274, which was introduced on January 14, 2016, seeks to drastically change the jurisdictional limits and authority of the Magistrate Court system. As proposed, the amount in controversy jurisdictional limit would increase from $5,000 to $30,000. As a result, many more cases would be subject to litigation in the Magistrate Courts. The bill also includes a provision which would allow a Circuit Court judge to order that a case be litigated and/or tried in Magistrate Court if its amount in controversy is $30,000 or less. No other jurisdictional requirements and/or limitations are affected by this bill. Senate Bill 274 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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