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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    9

    Question Can A California Small Claims Judge Forbid The Defendant To Tell His Side

    Can a California Small claims judge forbid the defendant to tell his side of the case?
    Van Nuys court 10 months ago; plaintiff made a fabulously professional (but very dishonest) lengthy presentation after which the Judge seemed angry at me (defendant) asked me some yes/no questions (a-la have you stopped beating your wife yet)..........when I begged to tell my side, she said "I'm not interested" & found for the plaintiff.
    I always thought that in the adversarial court system we use, one of the most basic tenets is that both sides get to state their case in court! Answering questions with Yes/no is not, nor should substitute for stating your case.
    Curious what you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Can A California Small Claims Judge Forbid The Defendant To Tell His Side?

    A judge can control the testimony entered in court. A judge does not have to permit an unlimited narrative, and can cut off testimony deemed irrelevant or duplicative.
    Quote Quoting How do I file an appeal?
    If you were at the hearing, you must file a form called "Notice of Appeal." You have 30 days to do this after the date the clerk mails the Notice of Entry of Judgment. The current cost to file a Notice of Appeal is $75. Click here for more information.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    9

    Question Re: Can A California Small Claims Judge Forbid The Defendant To Tell His Side?

    Thanks Aaron, I understand that, but the judge (commissioner) didn't cut me off for taking too long to explain my side; she did not permit me to say one single word except yes or no to her questions. Exactly like Dr. Evil telling his son to zip it in Austin Powers, but she was serious & in doing so, allowed my ex-roommate to get away without paying any of the 3 months shared household expenses he'd agreed to pay. [...but that's another future thread how california lawmakers have never discussed what would be fair laws for "roommates", but subject them to the same laws that govern the very different situation of renting apartments].
    As previously posted, the judge denied me any opportunity to tell my side at all. I was gob-smacked, cannot believe that wasn't breaking the law, but would love to know what more experienced, knowledgeable legal minds such as yours think Aaron?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Can A California Small Claims Judge Forbid The Defendant To Tell His Side?

    did you notice the "how to file an appeal" section Aaron included?

    We allow appeals for improperly conducted trials and if you believe yours was improper, then you have that avenue if desired.

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