Tuesday, November 17, 2015

One More Chance to Lose . . .

Jameson v. Desta, No. D066793 (D4d1 Oct. 20, 2015)

Pro se Plaintiff in this thirteen-year-old case is on his fourth appeal. The first three times he won; over a ten-year span, he managed to get two of trial court’s dismissal orders and a summary judgment reversed. This time, the trial court nonsuited him during his opening statement. Whether right or wrong, he forfeits his appeal on that issue because he couldn’t afford a court reporter to make a record. That seems pretty arbitrary and unfair, particularly since the Legislature recently modified the reporter fee statute—Government Code § 68086(b)—to say that for an indigent litigant with a filing fee waiver, the official reporters fee is waived. The court here thinks differently, because the trial court in question does not generally provide official reporters for trials. It makes parties hire their own. So it’s not a question of a fee waiver, but of plaintiff’s inability to afford the private reporter pro tem he needed to hire to make his record. Still seems unfair.

Affirmed.

Full disclosure: I am representing the appellant in this case pro bono in filing a petition for review with the California Supreme Court. Well see . . . .

**Update: Review Granted!


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