Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
In general, the legal system is evolving towards a more totalitarian system, with stricter laws and less deference for individual rights.
The legal system in the U.S. is contolled by a combination of constitutional law, legislation and case law rule. Constitutional due process requires that a person is entitled to notice of a legal action and the right to appear and defend before a neutral decision maker.
Legislatures have tended to try to remove judicial discretion, provide victim's with greater rights, and eliminate the need for the "hearing," as far as is constitutionally permissible. Courts have generally resisted this process to the extent that it impairs traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
A novelty of modern criminal law is that, while historically, felonies only existed where there was a violent crime -- today, all manner of non-violent crime is enacted as a felony, in order to provide law enforcement with the ability to arrest without first obtaining a warrant, and without personally observing the commisson of the crime.
A novelty of modern civil law is that temporary restraining orders are routinely granted on the slimest of grounds, without a hearing with both parties present, even though the petitioner cannot show that he/she will suffer irreparable harm if the temporary order is not granted.
A novelty of the modern judicial process is that courts, more and more, tend to observe the idea that they should prefer governmental authority to individual rights. This tendency is observed by the recent appointments of Justice Roberts and Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court -- both of whom lean heavily towards permitting the government strong deference in interpreting its own laws -- rather than having the courts interpret those laws.
The classic march of civilization is from chaos towards order, followed by a breakdown of order into chaos again. At the moment, the legal system continues its march towards more order -- with the final result inevitably one of totalitarian control. The only question is when chaos will intervene again.
Note: the above comments are purely personal opinion. I make no pretense to objectivity.
Terms and Conditions: By your continuing in this conversation with me, or by your clicking "Accept", you are expressly agreeing to all of the following: (1) our communication is for entertainment purposes only; (2) you are not consulting me in my professional capacity as an attorney; (3) you do not seek to establish an attorney-client relationship with me, nor do I with you; (4) you will not rely on anything I say and you will obtain appropriate legal counsel via a traditional/office consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your legal issue arises (and you may not use our communication to avoid taxpayer penalties imposed by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury); (5) by communicating with me in this public forum you are irrevocably waiving any right to privacy, confidentiality and attorney-client privilege concerning the matters discussed. You further separately declare that any payment made by you is not consideration for this contract, nor offered for any services rendered by me on your behalf, but rather is made in genuine admiration and respect for my desire to help others. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, then you must advise me immediately.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).