An Act To Increase the Jurisdictional Limit for Small Claims
Sec. 1. 14 MRSA §7482, first ¶, as amended by PL 1997, c. 23, §1, is further amended to read:
A Notwithstanding the total amount of a debt or contract, a "small claim" means a right of action cognizable by a court if the debt or damage does not exceed $4,500 $6,000 exclusive of interest and costs. It does not include an action involving the title to real estate.
Sec. 2. 14 MRSA §7484-A, sub-§3 is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. 14 MRSA §7485, as enacted by PL 1981, c. 667, §2, is amended to read:
§ 7485. Effect of judgment
Any fact found or issue adjudicated in a proceeding under this chapter , may not be deemed found or adjudicated for the purpose of any other cause of action. The judgment obtained shall be is res judicata as to the amount in controversy. If a plaintiff has reduced the amount of a claim or contract to meet the jurisdictional limits of this chapter, the judgment obtained is res judicata as to the full amount of the debt or contract in controversy. The only recourse from an adverse decision shall be is by appeal.
Sec. 4. Legislative intent concerning filing fees for small claims actions. It is the Legislature's intent that the increase in the jurisdictional limit for small claims actions increase access to justice but not result in a decrease in General Fund revenue. The Legislature recommends that the Supreme Judicial Court review filing fees for small claims and revise the filing fees appropriately.
Sec. 5. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.
Courts - Supreme, Superior and District 0063
Initiative: Provides funds for one Assistant Clerk position and related costs to handle the projected increase in small claims cases.
POSITIONS - LEGISLATIVE COUNT
|GENERAL FUND TOTAL||$47,010||$57,782|