Friday, May 20, 2016

Guest Post: Court Access Lacking for Oakland Tenants Facing Eviction

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.


david vartanoff said...

Thank you for pointing this out. Another example of arbitrary change of venue to favor the powerful.

Nathanael said...

This isn't judicial economy, this is a deliberate act of malice. Judicial economy would have put all the cases in Oakland.