(By Delegate Louisos)

[Introduced January 16, 2003; referred to the

Committee on Constitutional Revision then the Judiciary.]

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, amending section thirteen, article three thereof, relating to providing that the right to a jury trial in suits at common law as well as any state-sanctioned administrative proceeding is preserved if the amount in controversy exceeds one thousand dollars; numbering and designating such proposed amendment; and providing a summarized statement of the purpose of such proposed amendment.

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be submitted to the voters of the State at the next general election to be held in the year two thousand four, which proposed amendment is that section thirteen, article three thereof, be amended to read as follows:

§13. Right of jury trial.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy exceeds twenty one thousand dollars exclusive of interest and costs, the right of trial by jury, if required by either party, shall be preserved; and in such suit in a court of limited jurisdiction a jury shall consist of six persons. No fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any case than according to rule of court or law. It is understood that this provision applies to administrative proceedings.
Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of article eleven, chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, such proposed amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment No. 1" and designated as the "Right to Jury Trial in Controversies Involving in Excess of One Thousand Dollars Amendment" and the purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized as follows: "To raise the threshold amount in controversy from in excess of twenty dollars to in excess of one thousand dollars in order to entitle one to the right of a jury trial in a civil matter, including any state-sanctioned administrative proceeding."

NOTE: The purpose of this amendment is to raise the threshold amount in controversy from in excess of $20 to in excess of $1,000 to entitle a person to a jury trial in a civil matter. The need for the amendment is reflected in the current value of United States currency relative to the currency's value when the current constitutional provision was adopted. The amendment further seeks to expand the right enjoyed by private citizens to administrative proceedings in which more than $1,000 is at stake.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present constitution, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.