Opinion: Pima County Consolidated Justice Court – Injustice Served Daily?


Pima County consolidated Justice Court

Located in the center of Tucson, Arizona is a court named Pima County Consolidated Justice Court. But, in my opinion, the only justice served in that court is injustice.  In what other court does the person who is in charge of the flow of paperwork and cases, not know the rules of court, and when advised, ignores them and does whatever he or she pleases? That person is Lisa Royal and her civil supervisor Xavier Verdugo.

I wonder just how many people other than myself have their Constitutional rights ignored and/or violated? Crucial and important exhibits simply vanish, even though there is a video and audio tape showing that the document was in the hands of the play-judge, Thomas Benavidez, as he mocked me during the trial? And, oddly enough, the document in which the landlord admitted in writing that he was retaliating against the tenants for complaining about lack of air conditioning in September, 2017? One of the hottest months on record?  In what judicial universe does a judge leave a courtroom without adjourning the court and the attorney gets up and exits as well?  Seemingly, the case was decided in the hallway and not in the courtroom.

In what judicial universe does a a judge, Susan Bacal, hear arguments on a motion that did not exist, and then declare it to be moot? And does not even allow the person (myself), who supposedly filed the non-existent motion to not speak on her own behalf? I filed an answer to the ‘reply’ to the non-existent motion. Clearly Judge Bacal ignored it. Once again, Blythe Edmondson was allowed to violate the rules and file false documents with the court and suffered no consequences from her ‘friends’.

And Blythe Edmondson, who is “well-connected” in the community is allowed to flagrantly ignore the rules of court, to file whatever she wants without adhering to any of the rules.  Her defense of her client is to fabricate and lie on the self-represented litigant, and call that person names, while advocating on behalf of  a slumlord, a perjurer and a liar.

And the highly respected Landlord/Tenant Act is so blatantly ignored? Yet the attorney’s friend did not ‘see’ retaliation, even after holding in his hand a certified document in which the landlord admitted, under oath, that he had indeed retaliated. And Benavidez even refused to put his rulings in writing, when asked to do so by the court. And, Edmondson lied and stated that he had ruled on items when he had not done so. This same play-judge, (Pro Tem) is married to a woman who authored a response to an appeal filed by me,  and lied stating that in the lower court, I had not presented any medical documentation, when the transcripts show that I did. No way I can actually prove a connection, but the appearance of impropriety is there.

Pima County Justice Court, when it comes to landlord/tenant actions are solely for the benefit of landlords, where attorneys have established friendships with the judges and the clerks, and just give them whatever it is that they are asking for.

And lastly, my opportunity to defend myself against the lies of Blythe Edmondson, was stolen by Lisa Royal, Xavier Verdugo, and Judge Metcalf (superior court) because the rules regarding procedural motions filed after a notice of appeal were ignored. And ignored after promising that they would adhere to them.  Blythe Edmondson called me a ‘vexatious litigant’ in her reply memorandum, even though she did not raise that as an issue during the trial, and even though it was not I who filed this action in the court. So, tenants are supposed to be defamed for making every legitimate attempt to fight back against an illegal eviction attempt and a retaliatory one at that? What has them ‘vexed’ is the fact that I did stand up and fight back. If I were indeed “vexacious”, I would have filed something against the court for doing that to me. But I did nothing about it. I took no action.

Quite an incompetent lot, one might say. But the truth is that the lack of respect towards me as a Black woman, overrode their obligation to adhere to the law. The cronyism is so open and flagrant that a tenant telling the truth does not stand a chance, especially if the tenant is Black.  So no, Benavidez has an impressive resume, but he clearly took one look at me, and another look at his White colleague, and decided to throw the law and the rule-book away. The truth is that he saw me as stupid, because that is how they see me. They look only at the color of my skin and decided that I was not important enough to treat fairly.

And Blythe Edmondson had the audacity to threaten me with an additional judgment if they execute the writ of restitution! They don’t charge people to execute those writs, but since Blythe will ask them to do so, then why not break another rule? Just like Archibald Cox did when he served me with a writ that was NOT signed by a judge, and when my rent was paid. My opinion? Matthew Koglemeir made it worth his while.

This is Pima County Consolidated Justice Court. Where the statutes and rules do not matter when it comes to Black people. And yes, I am playing the race card, because it is the hand that these people dealt me. They should be ashamed, but when my appeal was erroneously and rapidly denied, they probably met later on that night and celebrated with champagne. I do not know that, but that is my opinion.

That a senior citizen, who is disabled, would be cheated out of remaining in her home, even with a doctor’s statement, is unconscionable.  But then, racism, in and of itself is indeed unconscionable, but they have no shame. And they do this to people, every, single, day. They should all resign, because in my opinion, they are all unfit.  Landlord/Tenant cases should go straight to Superior Court, especially when the action is contested!


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Opinion: When Justice Takes A Holiday


Every American citizen believes, (or wants to believe), that when it is time for their day in court, they will receive fair and equitable treatment. After all, even Jeffery Dahmer received a fair trial. However, if you are a person of color, your hopes are dashed, because some within the system see it as an opportunity to take ‘ a day off’ from the rules of justice, even the laws.  You walk in hopeful … you walk out disappointed, and, in some cases, hurt.  It seems as if  people of color are not considered equal and entitled to equal protection under the law. That’s when one loses their center of gravity, because all you ever believed in turns out to be a fantasy. Even though the reality was not ever addressed to you, you still bought it, because no one ever told you that it was not intended for you.

This does not just happen in criminal court, but it happens in civil court as well. Every person in the room, comes equipped with their own personal biases and stereotypes. And, in most cases, (not all), that includes the opposing attorney and the judge. You can be right, but no one hears your words, no one reads what you have written. Your skin tone speaks for you, and you are immediately dismissed.

If you quote a statute, you are ignored, because, after all, you are not even supposed to be able to read. If you represent yourself on something as small as a landlord/tenant dispute, if the opposing party is represented by an attorney, then a possible friendship or ‘professional loyalty‘ comes into play, and your standing is immediately diminished.  Indeed, there are fair judges within a county, but they are few and far between. And, one does breathe a sigh of relief when one encounters that rare, fair and unbiased judge. And that old saying about the person who represents themselves has a fool for a client is one which may have been created to keep attorneys with their jobs.

Many may not remember the Eddie Murphy skit about how things are different between the majority and minorities. Sure it was over-the-top comedy, but in some ways, in the American judicial system, it seems to ring very true.

But you stand there anyway, presenting your case, hoping that your words are at least heard and understood. You don’t give up, you present your evidence, only to soon learn that ‘your’ evidence does not matter. You may as well have presented a ‘kite’, because essentially, at the end, you feel that what was figuratively said to you was to “go fly a kite” . Once away from the court, you can not help but feel violated, cheated and hurt.  It is as if someone picked you up and shook you like a rag doll.

But what can be done?  One thing that can be done is to vote. Read up on the reviews of a judge and vote judges with poor reviews out of that position.  So many people just vote ‘yes’ on all of the judges, and that is a mistake. Take the time to research. Your vote counts and it is important that you exercise your personal responsibility to be a well-informed voter.

On paper, the American justice system is the best in the world.  And every single American is entitled to access to the fair and unbiased system which is not only on paper, but in the hearts and minds of all Americans.  It is instilled in our minds practically as soon as we can read and understand. It’s literally a promise. So, it is we, the American people, who have to hold that system to its word.

It should be the goal of everyone in this country to make certain that justice never, ever takes a holiday. It is not just people of color who suffer as a result, it’s America.





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