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February 21, 2018
SOS Press Office
(916) 653-6575

Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Allows For Jury Trials In Child-Custody And Dependent-Child Determinations. Initiative Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponents of a new initiative were 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:

ALLOWS FOR JURY TRIALS IN CHILD-CUSTODY AND DEPENDENT-CHILD DETERMINATIONS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Gives parties in child-custody matters the right to demand that a jury, rather than a judge, determine who receives the physical and legal custody of the child. Prohibits the judge from rejecting a jury’s joint-child-custody decision. Provides that findings in dependent-child proceedings, in which a juvenile may be declared a dependent of the court, can be made by a judge or jury. 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 and juvenile dependency jurisdictional hearings. Potential ongoing increase in county costs that could reach the low millions of dollars annually related to juvenile dependency jurisdictional cases—some or all of which could be shifted to the state. (17-0054.)

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1850 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 17-0054.

The proponents of the measure Stephen Konnoff, Jaime Lewis, Wylmina Hettinga, Pete Villasenor, Joseph Thomas, Fernando Cook-Morales, Sabrina Hall, Richard Preciado, Martha Ayon, Briana Ramos, Leah Ahn, Omar Martinez, Cheri Elendon, Daniel Martinez Ramirez, Trevor Thomas, John Betts, Diana Costo-Dragges, Rebekah Jaggars, and Christine Coggins 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 August 20, 2018. The proponent can be reached c/o Stephen Konnoff at (916) 508-8047.


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