What to doif the magistrate hearing a small claims case discussed the case with the defendant the day before the hearing?

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What to doif the magistrate hearing a small claims case discussed the case with the defendant the day before the hearing?

Small claims for non-payment of services. We have appealed the case but do not have money for an attorney. Can we ask for a summary judgement based on the communication between the magistrate and defendant? How/when do we bring this up?

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

At your upcoming appeal over the presumed adverse small claims decision, you need to state in your paper work for the appeal as well as argue that the magistrate that heard the small claims matter discussed your case with the defendant the day before the hearing without you being present.

Be prepared to submit declarations of yourself and all witnesses that you have to support this serious accusation. The reason that it is so serious is that if true, the trial that you had was not fair and the magistrate hearing it was biased before the trial even started against you.

At the small claims appeal, you ask that the decision be overturned and that a new trial be set before a whole new magistrate that does not know any of the parties.


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