Editorial: Judges’ words shake faith in local justice

Local judges have made some disturbing comments recently regarding foreclosure cases and people fighting in court to save their homes.

The comments appeared Sunday and Tuesday in stories in The News-Press about the case of Linda Bassett, who claims the bank trying to foreclose on her house has used fraudulent documents, and that her case has not been given due consideration by the courts.

The bank and court officials reject both charges, and indeed Bassett will get her day in court. Her case was deferred for a month Monday at her request after a local clergyman, the Rev. Wayne Robinson, secured some legal help for her from Howard Freidin of Fort Myers, who will assess her case. Bassett says she can’t afford to pay an attorney, and was representing herself.

Bassett’s case went first to Senior Judge Hugh Starnes’ courtroom Monday.

Starnes said he would take all uncontested cases first. Those who wanted a jury trial would follow, and Starnes urged attorneys and clients to think hard before pressing for a trial: “When you get to the end of the day, I’ll be frank with you, I tend to be more brusque.”

Continue reading this disturbing editorial here…