Judge Don Pierson Tarrant County Court at Law #1 Violated my rights as a Pro Se Litigant, Showed Clear Bias for Attorney, threatened me before court. Strangest Experience EVER
I had the weirdest experience of my life representing myself as a pro se litigant in an appeal against my Landlord. These Fort Worth courts are absolutely terrible. They show clear biases for landowners and landlords and the wealthy and privileged. They are outright hostile to racial minorities and the poor. You can buy justice in many parts of Texas, especially in Fort Worth. Recently a case involving a young, wealthy white teenager named Ethan Couch made Headline news all over this country and actually all over the world too because he was able to walk away from court after killing four people and critically injuring others because he was "rich". He suffered from "affluenza". This shocked people but I want to say these types of rulings are made in court rooms across Texas and across Fort Worth every single day. These courts are stocked with "Ultra" republican judges who simply believe that those without money and without attorneys should not be afforded "Equal Consideration" under the law. Now Back to Judge Don Pierson. I have never seen a judge behave as he behaved. First off, he acted like he had a familiarity with the Attorney who was representing the Landlord. That is not surprising as others around the court knew the attorney personally as it is a very small court. But the judge should have at least tried to remain impartial. I had been approved for a Jury Trial which the attorney argued against and which the Judge immediately agreed with the attorney. Even before the judge had ruled on the Jury Trial, while the Court reporter was out the room and before trial he quizzed the attorney and I about our case. I was not allowed to really speak and it seemed he already had his mind made up. How is that fair? When I had to remind the judge about the jury he immediately denied the request even though I had paid the jury fee and been approved and been given the jury names and information. All because the attorney asked him not to approve it. I heard the attorney ask him to waive it while the attorney was at his desk. Then as I mentioned before the court reporter was called into the court room the judge had already essentially ruled on both the validity of the notice and refused to hear my concerns about other issues I had with the landlord that were crucial to my case in disputing the validity of the notice. The judge looked at me several times "before" the court reporter was called in and "before" the trial was in session and said "well, yeah, I agree with the attorney". On every single issue the judge would ask me very pointed questions and say the answer is "yes or no" yet the other sides's attorney was allowed to expound on his issues. Again, how is "that" fair? Both sides should have been given "Equal Consideration" and that did not happen. This is the SECOND time this has occurred out here in Fort Worth. In the Justice of the Peace court who preceded the trial court because I was not represented I was not afforded the opportunity to speak. The judge asked three questions of everyone and refused to get into the legalities of the notice. Judges have to address arguments and afford the respondents a "fair hearing" and a "right to be HEARD". For some reason if you are poor and black in Fort Worth and especially if you are unrepresented the judges do not do this. I understand that in a court proceeding there will be a winner and a loser. That is understandable and that is how our court systems work. However, what I can not understand is a judge clearly being so partisan and so partial. I can not understand how a judge can do the job of a defense attorney or a plaintiff attorney FOR THEM. That is SHAMEFUL. That is not justice. It hasn't only been my experience with the courts out here in Fort Worth but I've spoken to several other poor minorities who have stated they had the same exact experience. With judges violating their due process rights and working outside of established court procedure. One woman I spoke to stated she had a jury trial scheduled in court against a police officer on a traffic violation and the judge circumvented court room procedure and PICKED HER JURORS!!! and he picked ALL POLICE OFFICERS!! Of course she lost the case as anyone would guess because she was up against another police officer. Not only that, the judge at one point during the trial referred all of his questions and answers to the attorney and let the attorney basically have the floor for the majority of the trial and I had to remind the judge that I was sitting there. Right before the trial the other sides attorney called me into the Exhibit room to discuss the exhibits and he quizzed me on what I was going to say. It was my first time in a court setting and I answered his questions and he immediately walked out and called his client and together they formulated rebuttals to all of my arguments. How is this ethical? Last, the judge, who had already decided the case from his behavior and how he spoke to me, looked over at me and smirked. yes the judge SMIRKED!!! It was a clear smirk which is a sideways "grin" and said "now what do you have to say?". He sat back in his seat and kept grinning at me and this made my skin crawl. This guy in my opinion is SADISTIC. A sociopath and I'm not sure why Texans like electing these kinds of folks to the bench. By that time I was so disgusted I simply walked out of his court. I told him I would appeal. The judge did not make any effort to be impartial. He was clearly partial and was clearly biased in favor of the attorney who had stood before him many times. It was laughable. It was a joke. I was so shocked by the entire proceedings from being threatened before trial to how the judge acted during trial I literally could not speak and it was no use of me staying in there. Sadly, I believe that what occurred in Judge Don Pierson's court may be a "common occurrence" where people, those who are unrepresented, or poor and who are going before his courts as pro se litigants, are prodded before the trial even starts to simply "go away". Why else would the Judge take the unusual step of notifying me "before the trial started" and "before the court reporter" was even called that "well, I believe the attorney on almost everything the attorney stated. Just off of his word.?" I have read through cases where lawyers and others were able to expound on their points to great lengths. The judge looked at me and would say "It's a yes or no question". The trial was over really before it even began. This can't be standard practice. It just can't be.
Fort Worth, Texas
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