Letters to the Editor

Saturday, Dec 07 2013 11:04 PM

Distance limits legal options

By The Bakersfield Californian

Parties from the Bakersfield area who file bankruptcies file their cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fresno. Two Fresno judges preside at the hearings, which have been held in Bakersfield as long as I have practiced bankruptcy law. The hearings were held in the federal building across from the Holiday Inn until the federal building was sold. They then were moved to the child support building. Court was held only one day a month for each judge.

Apparently coming to Bakersfield was an inconvenience, and recently hearings have been scheduled in Fresno. That avoided poor people and debtors from appearing, made it expensive and reduced the amount of litigation. I understand that the salary for the judges remains the same, I have been a lawyer since 1959, admitted in Alabama, Texas, California and the U.S. Supreme Court. I have never been able to convince any party to do something to make my job easier. Last week I had a witness subpoena to appear in Fresno at 9 a.m. It took over three hours to drive there, and most people drive at 100 miles per hour. I do not plan to go to Fresno again. Judges are trying to keep poor people and their lawyers out of court. It will develop into a place that creditors can have their way without any objection or a hearing. Since I am 81 years old, and no other lawyer cares, we will not need to worry about holding bankruptcy court on 19th Street much longer.

Frank P. Samples

Bakersfield

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