The most important opinion of 2021: Yours. Provide your feedback through MSBA's membership survey. TAKE THE SURVEY TODAY
 

As we approach the 45th day of the General Assembly’s 90-day session, the pace of MSBA’s legislative activity has quickened. As March draws closer, the standing committees of the General Assembly will conduct voting sessions more frequently, and the fate of many key pieces of legislation will come into focus.

Please be sure to visit the Advocacy page of the MSBA website for up-to-date information on bills being tracked by the MSBA on our Legislative Action Center here.

This week the MSBA supported each of the bills listed below:

MD – SB527 Criminal Procedure – Probation Before Judgment – Facts Justifying a Finding of Guilt and Suspension of Sentence

Primary Sponsor: Senator Susan C. Lee (D)

Committee: Judicial Proceedings (Senate)
Summary:
Authorizing a court to stay the entering of judgment, defer further proceedings, and place a certain defendant on probation subject to reasonable conditions if the court finds facts justifying a finding of guilt; repealing a requirement that the certain written consent of the defendant to the probation before judgment occur after a determination of guilt or acceptance of a nolo contendere plea; and authorizing a court to suspend a portion or all of a certain sentence as a condition of a probation before judgment.
Cross-filed Bill: HB354

MD – SB669 Constitutional Amendment – Civil Jury Trials

Primary Sponsor: Senator Jeff Waldstreicher (D)

Committee: Judicial Proceedings (Senate)
Summary:
Increasing the amount in controversy in civil proceedings in which the right to a jury trial may be limited by legislation from more than $15,000 to more than $30,000; and submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection.
Cross-filed Bill: HB902

MD – SB670 Courts – Civil Jury Trials – Amount in Controversy

Primary Sponsor: Senator Jeff Waldstreicher (D)

Committee: Judicial Proceedings (Senate)
Summary:
Increasing from $15,000 to $30,000 the maximum amount in controversy in a civil action in which a party may not demand a jury trial; providing for the construction and application of the Act; and making the Act contingent on the passage and ratification of a certain constitutional amendment.
Cross-filed Bill: HB899

MD – HB35 Judges – Selection and Retention

Primary Sponsor: Delegate Jon S. Cardin (D)

Committees:
Judiciary (House)
Ways and Means (House)
Summary:
Proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to provide for retention elections for judges of the circuit courts; proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution decreasing the term of office from 15 years to 12 years for the judges of the circuit courts; proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to increase the number of years between successive retention elections for judges of the Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals; submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State; etc.

MD – HB447 Judges – Selection, Election, Tenure, and Continuance in Office

Primary Sponsor: Delegate Kathleen M. Dumais (D)

Committees:
Judiciary (House)  and Ways and Means (House)

Summary:
Proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution relating to the selection, election, tenure, and continuance in office of a judge of an appellate court or a circuit court; altering the methods for filling vacancies in the offices of such judges; altering provisions relating to the term of office of such judges; altering provisions for the continuance in office of such judges on the expiration of their terms under certain circumstances; submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection; etc.