This is a guest post by David Hall, a private practice lawyer who focuses on tenants rights in Oakland, California.
So, the new presiding judge for Alameda county, decided, in his
infinite wisdom, that Unlawful Detainer actions (evictions) should be
centralized to the Hayward courthouse, despite the fact that Oakland is
the largest city in the county with the highest population of renters
(and thus defendants in eviction actions).
The Oakland courthouses are
also within easy walking distance from BART. Instead, the eviction trials are being held in Hayward, one of the farthest south cities in the county.
I decided to take BART and then walk to the courthouse today to see
what my clients might experience. It is a 1.5 mile walk from the BART
station. The route is confusing. It also involves a steep overpass
over railroad tracks. I arrived at the courthouse drenched in sweat
after a brisk half hour walk.
An elderly or mobility-impaired client
probably wouldn't have made it. I am sickened by the sacrifice of the rights of tenants (particularly those in poverty) on the altar of judicial economy.