Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you with your legal matter today, but I do need to understand why you believe you cannot appeal your decision as opposed to asking for a correction in law (generally in a case such as the one you describe, the proper remedy is to appeal the small claims judgment).
In California Small Claims rules state the only time a plaintiff cannot appeal a case unless the defendant files a counter suit to the plaintiffs original suit. In my case the defendant won so my only recourse is to request for a judgment cancel the judgment because the court applied the wrong law in the case.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX under the assumption you had a judgment for damages entered against you. Your recourse is described in a good summary by the Department of Consumer Affairs below:
A plaintiff or defendant also has the right to invite but not require the small claims court to re-examine its decision. This is accomplished by filing with the small claims court a Request to Correct or Cancel Judgment and Answer (Form SC-108). While the defendant is the only party with a right to file an appeal, either party, whether plaintiff or defendant, may request the small claims court to correct "a clerical error in the judgment" or vacate a judgment and re-hear the dispute "on the grounds of an incorrect or erroneous legal basis for the decision." The request should describe the asserted error both clearly and persuasively.
The option to register such a request gives both parties to a small claims court action a limited opportunity to have the small claims court reconsider an allegedly erroneous decision, although not the right to another hearing unless the small claims court considers it necessary to re-hear the case. Such a request must be filed no later than 30 days after the small claims clerk mails or delivers the Notice of Entry of Judgment (Form SC-130) to the parties (but the court retains its inherent power to correct an error).
Yes I understand that. I don't want to file the request if they are just going to throw it out. I no longer have a whole bunch of confidence in the whole process anymore. That's why I provided my list of (5) things that happened to see from a legal stand point if all or any of them would justify or help to get this judgment thrown out so a new trial can start with obviously a more competent judge.
Okay, let me run through them briefly (I believe you understand that I cannot give you a specific legal opinion, but I will give you my best evaluation as a general matter).
Yes I understand....
(1) There is no obligation for the court to allow the alternative dispute resolution process to continue. This is not a basis to reverse a trial court judgment.
(2) I do not know the full circumstances as to why certain evidence was not examined. The legal standard is whether or not evidence was properly admitted or rejected as evidence. If you submit evidence that is proper and the court rejects it, that would be a basis for the court to reverse its judgment (it may still find that the evidence was not enough to change the judgment, but it is a basis for reversal), merely not examining evidence is usually not enough to create a reversal from a legal standpoint.
(3) Testimony by parties acts as evidence so long as the testimony is not hearsay. If the testimony is firsthand, the testimony does not necessarily require documentary evidence. This is not always the case, and perhaps allowing unsupported testimony will form the basis for a reversed judgment.
(4) The issue of a corporate entity being involved in the case does not necessarily require that the corporate bylaws be examined. HOWEVER, if the form of the corporation is at issue, meaning who is responsible for making decisions or allowed to do certain things, the corporate structure and governance may become an issue and may form a basis for reversal. But remember, it must be a legal basis not just an issue of fact.
(5) Additional non-related issues are likely not grounds to affect the case. Outside evidence or issues that are brought before the court can be grounds for a reversal in judgment only when the evidence is inadmissible and has a material affect on the judgment. If this applies to your case, that would be the basis for a reversal.
These motions are tough to win, but not impossible. The focus must be on an error in law, meaning the court admitted evidence it should not have, the law the court applied was wrong (the judge used the wrong standard in applying it to your case - this may happen if the other party is arguing the wrong case or wrong statute and the court mistakenly uses that law in its decision).
Thank you for your answers but I'm a little confused as to what your answers 4 & 5 mean...
4) explain legal basis not just an issue of fact?
5)What would make evidence inadmissible?
(4) In this type of motion, the Court is not examining facts, it is examining the application of the law. This means that if the question is whether or not the CEO entered into the contract on behalf of the company, the Court will not question whether or not the facts show that he actually did, but rather, the Court will be interested in whether or not the CEO is entitled to do this legally (under corporate law and the operative corporate documents). This is a question of law as opposed to a question of fact, no evidence will be examined.
(5) Only some evidence is admissible in court, to be admissible, the evidence must have what is called "authentication" meaning credible evidence that the statements, facts, documents, or physical evidence is truthful. Without this authentication, the evidence is inadmissible. An admissible letter has testimony by the recipient, the writer, or someone who can recognize the handwriting (for example). An inadmissible document is one that is offered as evidence without any testimony or foundation for its admission. The court can only consider admissible evidence.
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Ok regarding ...... I am the CEO of the corporation and was in the process of getting a vehicle that was personally owned by both the defendant and myself. The title was personally in both of our names but the corporation had made 44 of the 60 payments until it was struggling to stay current to due a drop off in business. I as the CEO was using the vehicle for personal use as well as for business. The corporation has depreciated the vehicle every year since 2008. The defendant did not step in to help with making any of the payments until after the vehicle was repposed. I was in negotiations with the lender to get the loan reinstated when the defendant beat to the punch by 1 hour and doing it herself and reclaiming the vehicle and reinstating the loan for the both of us personally. As it turned out the defendant had her father step in and personally pay to get the loan current without my knowledge and 5 days later again the father stepped in and directly paid the loan off completely all without my knowledge. The bank released the title to the defendants address which read as follows "my name" OR "defendants name" as the vehicles registered owners OR not AND. The defendant then sold the vehicle to her father for way under Kelly Bluebook value in which the father then posted the vehicle for sale at full Kelly Bluebook value which was about $10K more then what he paid directly to the bank on our loan. I provided all of the documentation including photos and Carfax vehicle history report to substantiate what happened. The defense and her father argued that there were major problems with the vehicle devaluing it by $10K and her father sold it for far less the market value. I asked the judge for them to then prove all of this such as written letters form automotive professionals and an actual bill of sale stating how much her father sold the vehicle for and he never asked for the verified poof, just took them on their word and decided with judgment for the defendant.
The judge did say that he felt neither party was attempting to do anything wrong but he still found in judgment for the defendant. However not that it means much the defendant was totally trying to rip me off and anyone who knows the defendant and her family would completely agree this was a total scam to rip me off.
REVISED POST.....I understand nor was I implying I have a leg to stand on with reference to the moral character of the defendant.
I understand this is all about whether or not the correct usage of the law was applied here.
If I am to understand you correctly my only shot is to prove that "shifting the standard of proof" is what the happened incorrectly in the case.
The judge should have made a judgment based on the "Clear and Convincing Evidence" (ie; banking statements, DMV vehicle title, bill of sale to father, letters between finance company, Kelly Bluebook and Carfax report, etc.) that was submitted by both parties and should not have allowed any inadmissible evidence (ie: defendant/witness erroneous verbal statements that could not be verified as accurate or true but rather personal opinion) thus incorrectly making a judgment based on the "Preponderance of Evidence" which is a lessor level of information for which to make a ruling by.
I think that's what you are suggesting I go for with my request to the court.
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