It’s election day, you’re new in the neighborhood, and you’ve lost the little card that comes in the mail to tell you where to vote, but you know there’s a polling place at the public school around the corner, so you figure that must be your spot.
When you get there and reach the table where the poll judges look your name up in a big book, you find out you’re in the wrong place and need to go to the basement of the church up the street.
The same thing could happen with a court appearance. Maybe you’re challenging one of those tickets generated by a speed camera and you accidentally walk into the wrong courtroom, so the bailiff has to direct you to the right one.
You say “thank you” and move on, right? You don’t say, “I don’t care if this is the wrong court, I don’t care where the right court is, I want to present my case in this court.”
If you did say something like that, people would look at you like you were sanity-challenged and the judge would ask the bailiff to have you forcibly removed.
The weird thing is, this kind of nonsense happens too often in class-action suits, especially in places like Madison and St. Clair Counties.
You wouldn’t believe how often plaintiffs who have no connection to this area file suits in our courts against defendants who also have no connection to this area.
The wonder is that judges let them get away with it.
St. Clair Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson is one of those judges, but this past Monday he got his comeuppance when the Fifth District Appellate Court overruled him and reversed three of his rulings on forum non conveniens. A good number of out of town and out of state plaintiffs were told to take their complaints elsewhere.
There were several dozen plaintiffs in cases before Gleeson who clearly did not belong in his court, but that didn’t seem to bother him.
Maybe he doesn’t belong there either.