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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32369
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I was held in default in a lawsuit and lost a large sum. The

Customer Question

I was held in default in a lawsuit and lost a large sum. The reason I was held in default was for two reasons, 1) I could not provide information that I did not have -- the opponent had possession (which the judge would not listen or look at my proof) and 2) I made no effort to appear at a hearing. I have serious health conditions and was at he court house plenty early but the officers told me to park my handicapped in the handicapped zone. They told me it would fit. However, it was about 5 inches to tall and it took over an 1 1/2 hours to extradite my vehicle and get the police to block off the main road for me to get out, Their were no parking around the area so I illigally parked 3 blocks away. I had texted the lawyer for my company at 15 minutes before court time of my prdictiment. As I was headed for the courthouse in a hurry, I hit a curb and the wheel on my wheel chair broke off. A employee of a close by motel rescued me and I retrieved a cane from my vehicle and he drove me in his cart to the courthouse. I had very difficult time getting up to the courtroom as the information told me the 19th floor and I had to fight the crowds at the time to get up there. It took several trips but I finally made it to the courtroom where my company lawyer was just leaving and he said the opponents had just left and I was been held in default. I was very sick but talked to the baliff and he asked the judge if I could see her. She at first said as soon as she had a break she would see me but after 45 minutes I was told to go down in the filing room and just send up a note explaining why I was late. After an hour of waiting my turn to file, they refused to take it with a statement that the judge was not their boss and I had to file a regular motion. I immediatly went home and filed a motion for a rehearing of which the judge granted to be held 4 months later. I appeared and my attorney for my company appeared but no one was there and 2 days later we received a notice that the rehearing would take place 7 months later. I appeared with all the proof of my medical problems and the proof from the courthouse that I was there and proof that the info requested was held by the opponents and not me but she listened to the attorney for the opponent and then made an assumption that was baseless of which I had proof but she would not listen and held me in default. I had a lawyer write an request for rehearing but she and the company lawyer along with an appeal lawyer recommend we appeal to the 5th district court and it would not affect the rehearing. The rehearing was denied, the lawyers then resigned and I was left out in the cold. With one day remaining on the time to write up the detail for the appeal, I found an appeal lawyer to do it. Six months later the trial was held and I had a judgement for 1 million against me. Right after the trial the appeals court came back with the ruling that it was out of their jurisdiction and at the time my lawyer for the company and myself withdrew from the case. I know it is difficult to sue a judge except for discrimination against a handicapped person. Does this qualify as the main reason I was defaulted was because of health and my handicapped situation. I know that my opponent lawyer who I will most likely be sueing reads this and will most likely respond in some way but I would like an unbiased opinion
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
What specific question can I assist with?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The question was can I sue the Judge for discrimination against a handicapped person in Florida because at least half her default order was based on my handicap and not been able to make it to the hearing in time I know there is very limited options to sue a judge but discrimination is one of them. She made it clear in her order of default that I made no reasonable effort that I attempted to attend the hearing. Being very ill and not being able to park in addition to wheel chair breaking and mass confusion at the court house made me late just after opponent lawyers left. Judge also knew that I had serious health issues in the morning that I have to stay up all night to be at court at 8:30 in the morning as the medicine I take does not allow me to function for several hours after taking it. Can I sue and does this fit in discrimination and what are the chances of it being thrown out?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That was original question and the above was just more detail asked for
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Judges have judicial immunity for any actions performed in their capacity as judges and acting from the bench so the initial answer is no, the judge can't be sued for that. You could file a complaint with the board of judicial ethics but not a lawsuit against the judge.
Suing the judge and having the decision in your original case reversed are two entirely different and unrelated things.
It is certainly possible to have a judgment against you reversed if the judge failed to make reasonable accommodations to allow for your issues. However, the record would have to be clear as to your condition, the need for accommodations, the accommodations requested, the failure of the judge to allow for those accommodations, and how the refusal caused you to suffer a negative effect in the case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Judges can be sued if there action is prejudicial. It was not that she did not make accommodations, it was the fact that I was defaulted because I was late because of my health condition and no handicapped parking was available. In addition, I had all the statements from my doctors verifying my handicap and health and in addition I had documentation from the Courthouse garage that I was early, plus a statement from the officer who told me to use the particular handicap which caused an hour tie-up. In court, she refused to even to look at all the documentation and said she did not care about that and held me in default. Is this discrimination and why or why not.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am completely broke (spent over $500,000 legal fees and because I was held in default judgement against me was 1 million and 1 million against my company when I was in truth owed 2 million dollars
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
It's not discrimination if you were defaulted for not being there on time so long as everyone who is not on time is defaulted. It is only discrimination if you were treated differently due to your condition, not if you were treated the same or if the judge entirely disregarded your condition since you state "It was not that she did not make accommodations".
The information I provided above is how you approach a case so that in the event something like being unable to have hearings the first thing in the morning due to a medication issue is not addressed then the court of appeals can look at the record and tell whether it was an issue.
The law is written so that if there is an issue with a trial court then the judge of the trial court has a chance to correct the issue before a complaint is made on appeal. By failing to get evidence on the record in a proper format any error is waived or at least can't be considered by the Court of Appeals as a reason for a reversal.