“Uh oh, 15 minutes till Judge Wapner “


Constitution for Idiots # 8

 
By Gary McCoy
Writer for The Global Exclaimer
 

Up until this point we have been talking about the really bad people and their rights in court. Now it is time to discuss the civil or not so civil courts. Ratified in 1791 the 7thAmendment reads:

“In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of common law.”

“In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved…” I know you have all seen an episode of Judge Judy, or the Peoples Court, or even JUDGE JOE BROWN (yes I know I am yelling but JUDGE JOE BROWN is just that awesome). Now of course during these shows there is no jury but clearly these fine citizens have waived their right to have a trial by jury. I imagine that during the time the framers were discussing this amendment, twenty dollars was a good sum of money and may have been considered claims on land or livestock. Today of course this would apply to just about anything and anyone.  Currently it seems that most courts consider Small Claims anything under $7,500 and would be for people with no need of an attorney. HOWEVER, if you do have a claim against another that does not involve a criminal act for say a car that was borrowed and wrecked, or back rents if you are landlord, or even a tree that fell on your car from your neighbor’s house, you would be allowed to have a jury hear the case and decide monitory rewards.

“…and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of common law.” So let’s say that you were watching a friends dog. And the dog ate the trash and had to go to the emergency room. you were being a good friend and paid for the surgery but your friend decided not to pay you back. You go to court, have your trial by jury, the jury says that you deserve the money back and awards you the funds. If your friend was able to take you back continually to other courts in the hopes that they find some sympathetic jury that will not make them pay; that would be BAD! So I say to the Framers, good job… GOOD JOB.

P.S. if you do watch any of those court shows, Shame on you and get back to work!

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