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June 17, 2016

CONTACT: Sam Mahood

(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Child Custody Determinations. Jury Trial. Initiative Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponent of a new initiative was cleared to begin collecting petition signatures yesterday.  

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

CHILD CUSTODY DETERMINATIONS. JURY TRIAL. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Gives parties to matters involving child custody the right to demand that a jury, rather than judge, determine who receives the physical and legal custody of the child. Prohibits the judge from rejecting a jury’s child custody decision. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown ongoing net fiscal impact on state courts that would depend significantly on (1) how the measure is interpreted and implemented by the courts and (2) how individuals respond to the ability to demand a jury trial in child custody cases. (16-0003.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1787 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 16-0003. 

The proponent of the measure, Wylmina Hettinga, must collect the signatures of 365,880 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by December 13, 2016. The proponent can be reached at (805) 235-1699 or