Courts

Courts

OP-ED

         The Valentine Constitution overhauls our Judiciary and its role in both our civil and criminal justice system. Our courts will be fast, educating, user friendly, and free. Citizens cannot afford the games, the paperwork and the costs in time and money that our current court system requires. People are too busy to go to a courthouse, too poor to lawyer up, and not interested in wallowing through a maze of laws themselves. Our current court system alienates the Citizens it should be serving. The courts of The Valentine Constitution instead aid, educate and instruct Citizens.

         We’ve all witnessed rich people or powerful companies escaping justice, or good people suffering injustice, based on the quality of the attorneys or the expense of going to court. That will not be the case under The Valentine Constitution. Instead each caseĀ  in each court will be heard by 3 randomly selected Justices expert in the applicable area of law. These 3 advocate Judges will be required to consider all arguments and applicable law and to try to win the case for both sides whether they have no attorney or a court appointed attorney or an expensive private attorney. This is a far cry from forbidding today’s judges to provide pertinent citations or arguments, or requiring them to bury the truth under some technicality.

         All cases will proceed through our Courts in the order that follows. The Review Court will review all evidence, expertise, briefs and the sworn testimony of any person then issue 3 nonbinding opinions on the merits of the case within 1 month at no charge to the parties. Each justice will inform all parties of their likely legal positions and advise them how to settle the matter. Any party may appeal the matter to the Judgment Court for a binding decision, though most will not since they just got the opinions of 3 expert judges and options for settling the problem, rendering the Judgement Court’s binding decision likely be the same. They may further appeal the Judgement Court’s decision to the Appeals Court whose binding decision will be final unless the case is accepted by The Supreme Court at that court’s discretion. Any lower court may remand a case directly to the Supreme Court who may or may not take the case but who’s Justices must consider the opinions of the lower court judges.

         99% of our Citizen’s legal problems and conflicts will be dealt with by the Review Court. All parties will receive advice and any opinions and proposed settlements online in their single account. The prevailing party can then confront the loser to work out a solution. Bad actors will then be stopped before they prey upon more and more victims. Good Citizens will no longer let cheaters slide because the amount of money involved is not worth hiring a lawyer, or because the attorneys will end up with most of the awards or damages, or because it takes forever to wind through our current court system. The Valentine Constitution’s new Citizen friendly court service will timely expose and inhibit unfair practices, fraud and crime.

         In all cases in all courts, the parties to any case may be virtually anyone: A soldier, diplomat, immigrant, elected official, child, adult, nun all will be considered and found to have standing based simply on merit. The Valentine Constitution likewise removes the artificial, unnecessary, confusing, wasteful and time consuming obstacles created by having different types of courts hear different types of cases. The Valentine Constitution appoints justices rather than courts to more efficiently hear all legal matters together and online.

         All of our traditional due process rights will apply along with a few new ones. All parties in all courts will be entitled to a free attorney, or be able to hire outside counsel, but most will find it unnecessary since the 3 expert justices will be taking all sides and considering all applicable law. The parties to a case will pay no court fees in any of the courts, but those convicted or found guilty of a crime or negligence will pay for all other costs, fines, jail and prison expenses, and victims’ costs and damages. The courts of The Valentine Constitution inform Citizens of their positions in the eyes of the law and let them get on with their lives.