League of Women Voters – Proposition 48
Legislative Constitutional Amendment
Should the California Constitution be amended to delete references to the municipal courts?
Proposition 220, which passed in 1998, permitted superior and municipal courts within a county to consolidate their operations if approved by a majority of the superior court judges and municipal court judges in the county. Since the passage of Proposition 220, all 58 California counties have voted to consolidate their court operations. At the request of the California Legislature, the California Law Revision Commission has made recommendations on repealing statutes that are obsolete including those resulting from court consolidation.
Now that municipal courts no longer exist in California, this measure amends the California Constitution to remove references to municipal courts. It also provides for automatic repeal on January 1, 2007 of the Constitutional provision governing the transition process to a unified superior court.
This measure would not result in additional costs to state or local government.
A YES VOTE means that references in the California Constitution to municipal courts will be deleted, along with some related changes.
A NO VOTE means that provisions in the California Constitution relating to municipal courts will remain.
— This change is a non-controversial update of the California Constitution. It passed each house of the Legislature unanimously.
— The provisions in the California Constitution that deal with municipal courts are obsolete and need to be removed.
— Opponents of this measure do not frame their arguments around the issue that is before the voters. They argue against Proposition 220, which was decided by the voters four years ago.
— Deleting provision for municipal courts from the California Constitution precludes re-establishment of municipal courts in any of California’s 58 counties.
— Superior court judges are paid more than municipal court judges. Counties might want to re-establish a municipal court to save money.
— The two-tier trial court system allowed for checks and balances. When civil and criminal decisions are appealed, they are appealed to judges who are almost always in the same superior court as the judge whose decision is being challenged.
For more information:
Supporters: California Law Revision Commission, (650) 494-1335, http://www.clrc.ca.gov
Opponents: Voter Information Alliance, (408) 882-5070, http://www.VoterInformationAlliance.org
League of women voters
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