Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

I had a smalls claims that I know I would have won hands down. I had everything documented. Well I was confused on the time and was few minutes late and just so happens they called my case first. I was told to file a paper asking for another time and I did that the very same day. I was given another date which I was not tardy for. The Judge seemed to be very grumpy that day and he did not like my answer and denied me another hearing. I told him the truth, I was confused on the time, and with good reason. I had been in his court twice the month before with the people whom I was sueing, they were trying to place a restraining against me. They were unscussesful at it and the same Judge was grumpy that day as well. What can I do to get my case heard and is there some one who monoters the Judges and making sure they are making the right and sound judgements? Clearly I can see why people sometimes take the law into their own hands.

Asked on 7/25/12, 4:39 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Just because you have a difference of opinion with a judge does not mean the judge is wrong. You may think your reason for being confused as to the date and time for your hearing is a good one. The judge disagreed. Court dates are very serious things. Missing them is a very serious mistake. Generally unless missing the hearing would have been unavoidable to any person exercising reasonable care to be there on time, you are not entitled to a new hearing. If you have a court date it is your job not to be confused, and quite frankly the papers the courts send out are pretty clear about the date and time for hearings. So it is kind of hard to imagine you had a really good reason for not knowing when to be there. As for the judge being grumpy, it sounds like you and the other parties involved in your disputes are becoming a burden on the courts, bringing meritless motions for restraining orders and missing hearings. Judges are human and badly overworked and underpaid humans at that. So you cannot expect them to be friendly to people who keep showing up in court without lawyers asking for restraining orders and new hearing dates that they are not entitled to have ordered.

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Answered on 7/25/12, 4:58 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I answered your question already. You chose small claims as the forum for your lawsuit. You don't have the right to appeal and you don't get to file a new lawsuit for the same case. If you keep pushing it, you're going to risk having the court declare you a vexatious litigant.

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Answered on 7/25/12, 5:04 pm

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