My Xmas Miracle: the plaintiff's counsel is admonished! Twice!

The Saga of Stoid and the Law continues, of course. Will it ever end?

Anyway, I got a little Christmas miracle.

Judge Thing (as in Miss Thing) got a transfer downtown. (Which is normally a good thing, a boost, but the rumor mill says otherwise in this case…) Two days before a critically important hearing.


I’ll skip the details, they’re boring for non-law freaks. My ex’s Lawyer From Hell did his Lawyer From Hell boogie on the new judge… even a little worse than usual: he filed a motion that was brimming with falsehoods about the facts of the case and the facts of the judgements that were made by Judge Thing. He was essentially trying to manipulate the new judge into giving his client the few things that they didn’t get already, by lying.

Because I’m self-represented, I don’t have the same room to say “He’s a goddamn liar” as blatantly as I would if I had a bar number. So I patiently, calmly, and without making a fuss, opposed the motion and included the documents proving that the truth was generally the polar opposite of what the Lawyer From Hell claimed it was.

And low and behold, there came a miracle the day before Christmas. A ruling. Four pages long. And for the first time in three years of lies on lies on lies on lies on lies on lies…about facts, evidence, the law itself… repeatedly and relentlessly disproved by me with uncontroverted, irrefutable documentary evidence…finally, a judge paid enough attention to actually “admonish Plaintiff’s counsel” for his bad behavior.

I was really beginning to wonder if I’d stepped through the looking glass - Judge Thing had a very Red Queen quality, not to mention the rest of the madness.

A girlfriend momentarily accused me of foolishly believing that justice will always prevail… but I have never counted on that. What I was counting on, what I’ve been so completely flummoxed by, is that at least the law itself would prevail.

My faith is renewed.

Plaintiff just filed a substitution of attorney for the appeal and got a second extension on filing his brief. His Lawyer From Hell has been fighting this to the mat for more than three years…and when he’s already late with the respondent’s brief he bows out? Nope. Hiding behind his client.

My prediction: no brief will be forthcoming.

I’ll keep ya posted…

Congrats! A judge who reads the papers that have been submitted and findings made by the Court. I wonder how Judge Attentive managed to slip through the system.

Well, that’s part of why this is a miracle…he was going off the rails before this. On the first day of the new judge, back in November, I asked for a stay of the hearing we were there for, which was the discharge of the receiver, who was asking to be paid the last of the money remaining in the account, about $8000.

Judge Now Attentive mumbled about the receiver wanting the last $8,000, appeals take a long time, interest…and ordered an undertaking to stay the discharge in the amount of $10,000. To protect the receiver. Who has the money in an account to which only he has access. The order was made under Cal Civil Procedure 917.5, which reads, in it’s entirety: (my emphasis)

,appointing a receiver. And there’s case law nailing down my understanding of that law: the undertaking is required if you are asking for a stay of the appointment of the receiver (not the discharge- very different things) To protect** the respondent**. (Not the receiver himself…again, very different things) In case there is some kind of waste or loss while the appeal is pending. Because the purpose of a receiver is to preserve and protect the (money, property) at issue. There’s another part of the the set of laws regaring undertakings and stay that talks about how undertakings aren’t really all that necessary when the (money, property) at issue is in the constructive custody of the court… which means, there’s a receiver.

Through multiple routes, starting with my mouth right there in court that very day, I sought clarification from the court on how 917.5 could possibly be the authority for an undertaking to protect the receiver himself if I the court stayed his discharge. The judge was not helpful. I learned that I could provide personal sureties from friends, who were ready and willing and able, but, understandably, really needed to understand exactly what circumstance would trigger liability…given that his undertaking order did not and could not fall under the authority he named. So that left things very dicey. So Judge Attentive blew me off by saying that “the law doesn’t always have to explain itself to you.”

And that is why this ruling is even more miraculous.


The law never has to explain itself, but its nice for future litigants to have guidance into how the law will be applied so that it can be explained to potential litigants.

It sounds to me like the Judge finally woke up to the fact that the lawyer and/or receiver were abusing the unwritten presumption that a pro per is a lying idiot.

Thank you!