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March 13, 2017
Sam Mahood or Jesse Melgar
(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Child Custody Determinations. Jury Trial. Initiative Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponents of a new initiative were cleared to begin collecting petition signatures this past Friday, March 10, 2017. 

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 in child custody matters 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. (17-0001.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1797 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 17-0001. 

The proponents of the measure, Wylmina Hettinga, Jaime Lewis, and Jaslynn Ball, 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 proponents have 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials no later than September 6, 2017. The proponents can be reached at (805) 439-4197. 


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