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"A Series of Unfortunate Events": Civil Suits & Poverty; a Racket Exposed

Is there a palpable lack of justice in America for poor litigants in civil courts?

  • Yes, I've seen/heard of/experienced it myself

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • No, that's absurd, the civil courts are very lenient and patient with In Pro Per

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Gold Member
Jul 15, 2013
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Supreme Court Litigant Who Vanished Returns

A New York man who claims Baltimore illegally razed a home he owned there managed to get his case—which actually centers around a filing deadline, not the demolition itself...Bobby Chen filed his case without an attorney; Above the Law put his chances of getting a slot on the docket at 0.1%... document filed yesterday outlines the "unfortunate series of circumstances" that occurred.... was "surprised and dismayed" to learn his case had been accepted but dropped 13 days prior. Clement tells the Journal that the justices rarely grant rehearing petitions but does frame the particulars of this case as extraordinary. The AP reports the justices will consider Chen's request in a private Feb. 20 meeting.

If you are a member of the working classes or poor classes & you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to pursue or defend something in a civil court, any lawyer will tell you that if your case involves even a modicum of complexity (like the opposition you're up against having unlimited funds to beat you back with a team of attorneys), you're going to have to spend a fortune. A fortune you do not have. If you have a home, you could lose it. If you have a car, you could lose it. If you have a medical expense savings account, college tuition saved for your kids, be prepared to offer those things up as a bond to continue your case.

It's a dirty little secret that trial lawyers know. If you keep up litigation long enough, the poor guy will fold; no matter how good of a case he has. It's legal thievery. To appeal any case involving a ill-gained award to your rich opposition means you have to put up a very expensive bond. That may mean hawking everything you have to try to attain justice. But some people have this resolve when they feel they've already lost everything...

And so Bobby Chen took on his own case. A series of unfortunate events, and having to self-represent, meant that one of his "t"s wasn't properly crossed or one of his "i"s wasn't dotted just so. And on a techicality born from the struggle of poverty, he lost his case...but kudos to him, he kept appealing it, on his own... And won all the way to the US Supreme Court!

I've been on the receiving end of this perversion of American justice myself. A rich woman filed suit against me on a shared ownership deal with property. She and her attorney told me at the onset (paraphrased of course, the attorney couldn't officially say he was going to use the court to beat me up financially) "look, you're poor and you're not going to win so surrender the property now". She proceeded to make up a case out of thin air...I clung on by a thread intermittently hiring crappy attorneys I could afford and representing myself. She later dropped the entire essence of her "case" just before trial......and then she pled for partition just then instead, having failed to whittle me out completely by forced-poverty via litigation. She and her attorneys weren't even shy about using the court system as a club. The officers of the court and the judge even knew it too.

The kangaroo court that ensued is fodder for a whole other post and it would detract from this one so maybe later.. It is on appeal. The essence of this lesson is that even the courts know and expect the poor person will lose in "complex litigation" (refer to definition above). So they simply sniff out the rich litigant and to save the court's time and money, throw all the bones to "those that will win anyway"; hoping that demoralizing the poor litigant will force an early "settlement" (read: forfeiture) on their part.

Then it's off to the country club for hors devours and cocktails for the lawyers while the rich clients celebrate the American legal system..

Basically, if you live in the US and are harmed by someone or have to defend yourself from someone intent on harming you, remember this little rule of thumb: At the outset, weigh who has more money and if you are the lesser of the two, simply walk away. Surrender because whatever it is you have the richer guy wants or whatever was taken from you that a rich guy did, you're going to lost in the end. And if not, you're going to lose everything else you have fighting it. They will cause you to be befuddled, cash-strapped, ill and sometimes even dead from the stress of litigation. They precalculate this by the way. And via the attrition of crooked lawyers (of which there is a virtual ocean in the ranks in the US), their richer clients, and time...everything you had will be gone.

Unless you're extraordinarily tenacious as this rare example Bobby Chen is.

Will be interesting seeing how the SCOTUS handles this case...

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