DAVID vs Goliath - The Courts Hands David
A Badly Torn and Empty Slingshot.
By Jan LightfootLane 207/453-2353
Denial of "Meaningful Access to American Courts" means, Americans are less Free, than they thought. A meaningful Access to Court simply implies each person who has suffered a harnm, can have the matter heard by an objective decision on the mater.
In Civil actions, representing your self without a lawyer (Pro-Se) is repeatedly likened to a battle of David vs. Goliath proportions. After being brutally beaten by the Courts, seeing others so torn to shreds instead of receiving fairness at the hands of the courts, I not only call a Pro-Se vs lawyer, a David vs Goliath crusade. I call it a skirmish in which David the self-reporting party, is devoid any ammo.
As if that is not enough of a disadvantage the Davids are also not just devoid of stones, they are given a broken sling shot.
I talk about only Civil litigation, as in my case, a car accident. Or a land use issue, or contracts disputes, divorces, etc. Civil Cases, are legal cases brought against law biding individuals.
Low-Income people involved in car accidents are not entitled to a free
lawyer.” If a landlord wants you Out, the eviction is a civil matter. That’s one of the few matters which understaffed Legal Aide can handle. Civil matters can cost thousands of dollars. Being unable to pay rent because you are repaying 3 times the amount owed, or what you do not owe, can worst then being in jail.
In my car accident a young driver pulled out in to my travel lane, and WITHOUT TRIAL,I owe the better part of a years income.
Civil actions often amount to uncivilized acts against the underpaid (Formally poor) and the lower middle-classes. When Rules and Procedures of the courts, are used against people who have little choice then to represent themselves against fancy lawyers, meaningful access to the Courts, or having a third uninterested party listen to the facts, in other words Justice, is all but an illusion.
Let us talk about a Court system, which protects the “Livelihood of Lawyers” over the 6th amendment right to represent yourself, at trial. Self-representation is based back in colonial times, when one person could bring or defend against another in court, AND HAVE THE FACTS OF THE CASE HEARD. It called protecting the Status Quo.
The 6th amendment constitutional right to effective counsel, is the heart of “Freedom” as America advertises it in jr. high and high school civic classes. Yet since the 1980’s if not before, Courts have felt free to announce that Pro-Se’s or those representing themselves without lawyers will be held to the written standard which lawyers are held. Only in practice Lawyers are held to a typically more lenient to attorneys then courts are to the self representer’s.
Making a living at the law, the Court Grants lawyers all kinds of leniency not granted to a Pro-Se person. Judges are reluctant to finalize a case if the lawyer has a good reason for missing a court date. -I was ill. This is one excusable reason for someone who passed the bar..- In cases where, the self-representer was sick, say on the pre- trial hearing, the case is permanently closed in favor of the Plaintiffs insurance company. As with my car accident case.
With a lawyer who depends on Law for his source of income such a reason would be “an excusable reason.” And the case would be added back on the docket, as soon as the attorney made a motion for such.
Another reason people not willing to be on the streets to pay a lawyer are deprived of justice of trial is the Judges 1) do not want to take time to read the plain English complaints, and other filings. 2) they wish to clear their dockets.
This holding Pro-Se’s to a higher standard as any lawyer, is couched in seemly fair language. Saying the Pro-Se should not benefit by their absence of a lawyer.
And yes I wholely agree, if there is no legal basis for a case, the case should be dismissed before trial. But in the UNFAIR application of “Not benefiting by self-representing status,” Holding Pro-se’s to an impossible criterion, as to eject from 55% to 98% of the cases on Rules and Procedures alone, is to deny Americans their American Rights.
In fact the people most likely to be forced to utilize this method of defense, or what the courts call the indigent. By Law federal Courts are charged with PROTECTING minority rights of the indigent. When I asked the Department of Justice how many cases, are thrown out without trial, they said they do not keep court records on that account. So How does Federal Court Protect the Rights of the indigent
In order to judge how valid the premature dismissals are, the numbers of casing lacking the hearing of facts by a impartial person, should be calculated. This is the best means to tell if self representing parties are handed a torn & empty slingshot.
For Americans to enjoy a highest standard of freedom, Pro-Se's should be given fair trials. Instead, from 1977 until 2009 just the illusion of fairness, prevails.
It’s time each of us stands to Stand up for our rights. Call the Judge lounge of the federal Appeal Mass Court.
Tell President Obama to Fix this dirty secret.