In an earlier post, our Maryland car accident lawyers explained why we believed Marylanders should vote to pass Question 2 which increased Maryland District Court’s jurisdiction to $15,000.00. On November 2, 2010, 1,542,546 Marylanders cast a vote on the issue presented in Question 2. Of that number, 1,010,640, or 66% voted in favor of the increase. With the ballot initiative passed, we wondered when Maryland law would change to reflect the favorable vote on the ballot question.
It became clear to us the answer to “when does it take effect” was not clear. We called the office of Senator Mike Miller, President of the Maryland Senate. We spoke to an assistant of Senator Miller who patiently explained what she knew. We were informed that a number of steps need to take place before the change in law will become effective.
Based upon the telephone call, our understanding is that both the Maryland House and the Senate still need to develop and pass the final language of the law before it takes effect.
The Maryland General Assembly meets each year for 90 days beginning in January and ending in April. Therefore, Maryland legislators will not begin work on the language of the new law until January, 2011, at the earliest. At this point, the Maryland injury attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC believe that the increased jurisdiction limits will not go into effect until October, 2011.
It remains to be seen, however, whether the new law will apply to cases filed after the legislation’s effective date, or only to Maryland auto accidents that occurr after the legislation has passed. This is an important distinction because if the General Assembly makes the increase applicable to cases filed after the legislation is passed, it will increase the number of Maryland residents who will be able to take advantage of the new law.
Stay tuned. The Maryland injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC will keep you informed.