May 15, 2002
The Honorable Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
Speaker of the House
Annapolis MD 21401
Dear Mr. Speaker:
In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 48 - District Court - Civil Jurisdiction - Dishonored Checks and Other Instruments.
House Bill 48 provides that the District Court of Maryland has exclusive original civil jurisdiction in an action for damages for a dishonored check or other instrument regardless of the amount in controversy. For the last two years, I have vetoed similar bills. The reasons for my veto of House Bill 48 are restated below.
Currently, the District Court of Maryland has exclusive original civil jurisdiction in an action for damages that does not exceed $25,000. The established jurisdictional amounts for our court system are carefully designed to balance the cases considered by the District Court and circuit courts. Maintaining this balance is necessary to protect basic individual rights, effectively apply rules of discovery and reduce the possibility that a disproportionate number of litigants will not be satisfied with their day in court. Any disruption of this balance created by altering or tampering with the current law must be thoroughly supported by substantial evidence. House Bill 48 does not provide the persuasive reasoning necessary to compromise the established jurisdictional amount in controversy to unwarranted changes.
For the above reasons, I have vetoed House Bill 48.
Parris N. Glendening