Your towns small claims court- I WON!- Hmmm, they appealed last minute- Appeals judge recused herself! Defendant No Show Their 2nd Appeal Hearing

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    Jun 01, 2016 4:42 AM GMT
    Interesting process this has been, so much to learn. For a first timer, I was a bit nervous presenting my case, I tried to be as organized as possible. In court, it kind of reminded me of college or even high school having to stand up in front of an audience during English or humanities classes, try to speak clearly without tripping over my thoughts or words, talk about over coming stage fright. This process is not for the weak at heart, that is for sure, I stumbled a few times as to what I wanted to say and how.

    In suing someone, I believe I did everything correctly, process wise anyway cause I am getting a judgment by mail. This will tell me if I won or not, then got to wait 30 days for the defendant to file appeal or not before I can collect any $judgment$. I did better than some people cause they either didn't have evidence, they didn't ask for monetary damages, they didnt file their case against the correct company name and a host of other issues that the judge turned these people away or made them go see the small claims counselor for help before entering the court room again. http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htm

    BTW, the small claims judge did not like these dividers with pockets I presented, he would rather have 3 hole punch on the side just in a binder and he reminded me of that, even though that strict paperwork rules do not apply to small claims court as they do in civil court, he didn't have to chide me for that but ok, lesson learned, Well I tried and prepared the best I could

    Have you gone to small claims court as either the plaintiff or defendant?

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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 01, 2016 5:11 PM GMT
    These days in the UK, the small claims process is mostly done online via the Ministry of Justice website and cases rarely end up in a real courtroom. It's a very straightforward procedure.

    Long story short, I sued a major car rental company for keeping my deposit and was awarded full restitution plus costs. After they had paid up, the rental company sent me a begging letter, asking me to sign a letter certifying that the matter had been settled, as the bailiffs kept turning up at their HQ to demand payment.
  • Svnw688

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    Jun 01, 2016 6:38 PM GMT
    Small claims court is as good as it can be, servicing claims barely worth servicing. This is precisely why there are virtually no procedural rules. Though these rules often exist on paper, rules are trammeled over by judges and litigants alike, and don't even think about receiving success on an appeal from an adverse ruling by a rogue judge. Honestly, you have more rights in traffic court than in small claims court.

    Having said that, it serves its purpose reasonably well. And, from a theoretical perspective, it's very similar to more-decent State courts and the gold standard Federal courts. You make a claim against an adversary recognized in the law, offer proof, and win if you prove liability by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Good job prosecuting your case. And don't take the judges chiding personally regarding the small issue of folders vs. three-hole-punch. Judges just like to be cantankerous, and also given how effective it seems you were the judge likely wanted to bust your chops a bit too just to make other observers feel equal.
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    Jun 02, 2016 2:42 AM GMT
    I WON! icon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gif

    But looks like the defendant might contest judgment, christ, its only $2,800 + court cost/serve fee $100, its a business franchise, am sure they can afford this without going bankrupt icon_confused.gif They brought nothing to court to prove their side of the argument I presented, I had all the facts, receipts and photos, what good will an appeal do in small claims, for this small amount? They will be spending more money in filing fees just to try to get a reversal or reduction. Under "status", it just says judgment-contested. That just might mean the defendant "showed up in court" in order to contest the original claim, so, this might not be an appeal process, yet anyway. They are allowed 30 days to file appeal, which I have to wait out before I get any money

    The amount awarded is the amount of the professional estimate damages, would be difficult to reduce or reverse this amount in appeal icon_confused.gif

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    Jun 02, 2016 2:50 AM GMT
    Svnw688 saidSmall claims court is as good as it can be, servicing claims barely worth servicing. This is precisely why there are virtually no procedural rules. Though these rules often exist on paper, rules are trammeled over by judges and litigants alike, and don't even think about receiving success on an appeal from an adverse ruling by a rogue judge. Honestly, you have more rights in traffic court than in small claims court.

    Having said that, it serves its purpose reasonably well. And, from a theoretical perspective, it's very similar to more-decent State courts and the gold standard Federal courts. You make a claim against an adversary recognized in the law, offer proof, and win if you prove liability by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Good job prosecuting your case. And don't take the judges chiding personally regarding the small issue of folders vs. three-hole-punch. Judges just like to be cantankerous, and also given how effective it seems you were the judge likely wanted to bust your chops a bit too just to make other observers feel equal.


    Yes, I think that was it exactly, the judge is in his 70's icon_lol.gif, he was still a bit intimidating for a first timer
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    Jun 02, 2016 1:52 PM GMT
    Congratulations! Small claims courts are generally a zoo, so I commend you for having the stamina and patience to pursue a case there. I do complex litigation and I've never appeared before a small claims court judge--and I hope I never have to because small claims court judges are notorious for being incompetent.
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    Jun 03, 2016 12:16 AM GMT
    DOMINUS saidCongratulations! Small claims courts are generally a zoo, so I commend you for having the stamina and patience to pursue a case there. I do complex litigation and I've never appeared before a small claims court judge--and I hope I never have to because small claims court judges are notorious for being incompetent.


    Being my first time, you have to ask why are their so many cases. Just like any regular civil court, minus a few sticky court rules or regulations, the process is still very slow, its disorganized and its inefficient. For someone like me, in my profession, my work includes process improvement and reducing the time it takes to do something. The court system is so old, I wonder if anyone has ever done what's called a 'flow chart' to identify the process and or make the process common among the entire system, county to county, state to state.

    In any court case, especially for the plaintiff, it is imperative that the person find out "the exact name" of the corporation, partnership, association or individual to be sued as the defendant in the original complaint, otherwise, and ive seen this on my own court date, the defendant can have the case dismissed. This also applies for court jurisdiction and process serving, the case can be dismissed if who ever you are suing, the court does not have jurisdiction over them in order to render a judgment or wasn't properly served. Its more complex than what most people think it is. I had to amend my original complaint because I didn't have the correct name of the business

    At first, it would appear the business is a partnership because that is the way the business advertised on their website. But to get the "official" type of business, you need to find that info out at the city hall the business is located in, via their business license. Once I found that, then I had to amend the original complaint form and change the business type to a corporation or Inc. You have to do your own research which is part of the reason the process sucks. A small claims suit was my last alternative, not my first choice. I tried to get money from the business that damaged my property but I was ignored. There was at least 4 cases that got dismissed that day because of this, out of 22 cases on the roster.

    If the occasion arose again, I would attempt it again with the lessons learned from the first. But even the court system limits the number of times you can file small claims within a certain period or over a certain amount of money. I had the preponderance of evidence, over 50% in my favor
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    Jul 02, 2016 10:20 PM GMT
    UPDATE: (remember, this is small claims, appeals in small claims?, come on) icon_confused.gif

    The defendant appealed on the last day before the 30 day expiration date. There is a new court date with a different judge icon_confused.gif

    What is the point for such a small amount?, just to be dicks and a-holes of course. icon_evil.gif

    Like wow, you presented nothing in your defense in destroying my property, now you want to "prove" yourself in appeal?

    I am shocked but not surprised, certain people in my life, ex employer included, have been throwing daggers at me for quite some time icon_rolleyes.gif




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    Jul 02, 2016 10:28 PM GMT
    They're appealing. Means nothing as regards to whether they are going to win the case.
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    Jul 02, 2016 10:41 PM GMT
    bon_pan saidThey're appealing. Means nothing as regards to whether they are going to win the case.



    At least here in the state of CA, max monetary amount of small claims one can collect is $10,000.

    I believe in the appeals process, under a trial do novo, its up to the defendant to provide burden of proof, their own "preponderance of evidence", which they didn't have to begin with in the original trial. Any new evidence that they may now present to try and circumvent my evidence is highly suspect as inadmissible unless this doesn't apply in small claims, this sounds like harassment from the defendant icon_idea.gif

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    Aug 05, 2016 11:22 PM GMT
    UPDATE: Unbelievable! for small claims....icon_eek.gif

    The second judge assigned to the appeals case, trial de novo, has been MIA the last month. A 'pro tem' lawyer-judge was assigned to the court room to all appeals and in everyone's case (today). All cases heard today had to agree (or not agree) to the pro tem deciding their cases, out of 15 cases on the docket today, about 5 of them did not agree to the pro tem. I didn't care, my case is strong enough to win again so I agreed to the pro tem, ive already been waiting for answer a year

    The defendant (dealership) and I met in the hallway again, prior to presenting case. There was a optional mediator there willing to work with both parties. I agreed but the defendant did not. The person represented by the dealership told me something strange while in the hall. She said, "they have been through this before", and I said, been through what before, she said the 'pro tem', I said, where is the regular judge? She said absent for at least a month. I assume he is having health or family problems. I looked at her strangely like how would she know about the normal judge being absent that day?

    Well, we came back in, our names were called, I started to present the case this morning (all over again) and I got as far as the name of the business (DBA....name of dealership) when the pro tem judge immediately stopped me and said to the on site court clerk, "I cant hear this case", "there is a conflict". I was like, 'wha'?. The court clerk asked the pro tem judge if she would like to 'recuse' herself?
    I didn't see that one coming........

    I was told that the next available court date is 2 months from now icon_eek.gif , another judge will be assigned. I was given back my exhibits and before I left the bench area I asked the pro tem judge what was the nature of the conflict of interest? She said that she is already presiding a case involving the same dealership business!. Now I know what the defendant meant when she mentioned the absent regular small claims judge in the hallway! The dealership was suing somebody else and this pro tem judge is assigned to that case!!

    LA County Superior Court system is horrible! They have consolidated cases into a small number of court rooms, they don't have enough judges anymore to hear the amount of case loads presented!

    Im like WTF? so my case gets pushed back? I got out near the elevator where the defendant was waiting and I scornfully looked at her and said, "you knew about this"?, she just smiled. I thought you fucking bitch as I walked into the mens room. I am sure the dealership is hoping that I drop the case entirely. My ordeal here with this business is now at the one year mark, you can add 2 months to that!

    I went home and started throwing shit in my apartment, which isn't like me at all, I NEED the money now icon_mad.gif



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 03, 2016 7:25 PM GMT
    UPDATE:

    Who does that?, files appeal in small claims, for such a small amount then DOES NOT SHOW in court for their own appeal? icon_mad.gificon_redface.gif

    ASSholes.............wasting my time and the court systems time

    Now they have to pay the original judgment (from May 31), now 5 months into delay, will I ever get my money? icon_confused.gif
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    Oct 03, 2016 9:12 PM GMT