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The State

March 15, 1985

People who lose small claims actions have the right to a jury trial when they appeal their cases to Superior Court, the California Supreme Court ruled. The court let stand a lower court ruling in the case of a San Francisco landlord trying to evict a tenant and collect back rent. The Small Claims Court had awarded the landlord $945 in back rent but the tenant, Sue Ann Maldonado, appealed the case to Superior Court and asked for a jury trial. The Superior Court refused her request but an appeals court overruled the action and determined juries can be called in small claims appeals. The high court's ruling upheld the action. Opponents of the decision argued that it will further clog already congested Superior Courts. Only Justice Allen Broussard voted to hear the appeal.

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