Court changes Constitutional amendments: Two proposals would streamline work of courts in jury trials, estate cases.

October 25, 1998

MARYLAND voters will be asked Nov. 3 to amend the state constitution to speed the work of local courts. The proposed amendments deserve voter support.

Question No. 1 would double the threshold damage level, to $10,000, before an individual can ask for a circuit court jury trial in a civil case instead of going before a district court judge. It now takes a year before a civil jury case comes to trial. This amendment would shorten that time to three months or less.

Question No. 2 would permit retired judges in Harford and Montgomery counties to handle estate cases in those counties' Orphans' Courts. This could help end delays in settling wills.

These are common-sense changes that would make for more efficient courts, less expense for citizens and faster judicial decisions. We urge a vote FOR both statewide questions.

Pub Date: 10/25/98

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