Small claims plaintiffs desrve protection

03/18/2014 10:03 AM

03/18/2014 2:38 PM

Re "Judge: State court cuts causing 'crisis'" (Page A4, March 18): Funding the state courts adequately might be expensive, but talk is certainly cheap. The state courts have to deal with civil rights issues that have little to do with a lack of funding.

For example, small claims plaintiffs in Sacramento have no protection in the state courts for their constitutional right to a fair trial. If a small claims judge fails to examine the evidence, the courts with the duty to supervise have decided to improperly deny any possibility of review.

It is shameful that, as an attorney, I had to bring a still pending civil rights case in federal court to defend the right of small claims plaintiffs to trials meeting minimal constitutional standards. It is more shameful that the California Supreme Court had the first chance to address the issue and chose not to.

-- Donald D. deRosier, Carmichael

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