No perjury in small-claims court? |

No perjury in small-claims court?

I recently used our small-claims court system to settle some legal matters with regards to the purchase of our new home. Disclosure situations involved two parties, therefore two small claims court appearances. Two small-claims court complaints were heard, and I received a negative decision in one and a partially favorable decision in the other.

Though I did not agree with what was decided, I am appalled at what our legal system lets people get away with.

In both cases, everyone stood before the judge and swore before God to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Yet, in both cases, it was proven orally and through written documentation from disinterested third parties the defendants were not telling the truth. I thought that was called perjury, in which some form of punishment should be rendered. Surprisingly, it was not even acknowledged.

In one case the lie was so blatant, that the judge seemed to come right out and say the defendants should reconsider their statements. It is also my understanding that when perjury is committed it is then determined the possibility of the whole statement given by those perjuring themselves is perjurious. Considering that, how can the judge rule on behalf of someone who perjures himself or herself intentionally?

I went to small claims court because I couldn’t afford an attorney but I still wanted some form of justice. I also wanted the experience of using our system and learning from it. I did not like the judgment, but I could live with that. What I have a hard time dealing with is how the judgements were rendered – perjurious statements given by the defendants.

Why is an oath even taken, when it does not matter if you tell the truth?

Pat Scudero

Grass Valley

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