Fri10312014

Letters to the Editor

Emergency responders deserve thanks

I want to publicly thank members of the Los Altos Fire Department for responding so quickly to my 911 call in December.

Due to their quick reaction and professionalism, I was able to be treated successfully at Kaiser Santa Clara. A word of advice: When in doubt, dial 911.

George K. Hill

Los Altos

Make small-claims court records open to public

When there is a record of court proceedings, you can show exactly where things went wrong and what the truth is. So why did the people who represent us pass a law that made the electronic recordings in small-claims court “unofficial and unavailable to the public”?

A law that denies us the right to use the crucial evidence in these recordings and correct a false judgment is a black mark on democracy.

Recordings are used and available in other courts, so why is the small-claims court excluded? In 1955, the Supreme Court of the United States started using recordings. Nobody has the integrity to amend the small-claims Court exception.

The last straw is a letter I received from a presiding judge who acknowledged that justice is being obstructed but then gave three excuses to justify it: small-claims court is supposed to be speedy, informal and inexpensive. Reality will show that this courtroom is a speedy way to lose $5,000 because of a law that prohibits us from using the recordings and holding the other parties accountable for what they say or do.

The small-claims court is a step backward in time. Not only is there no record for us to hold people accountable for what they say, when there is a record, we can’t use it! It’s time to stop this insanity, amend this law and give us the opportunity to defend ourselves.

Ted Ralles

Los Altos

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