Judge Linda Thompson

Rating: Pretty good.

Judge Thompson heard my Small Claims case Y4-5316 against a Florida spamming outfit called "Your Info, Inc." on June 3, 2004. She ruled that I could not sue an out-of-state spammer in Small Claims court. I filed a motion to reconsider by mail, arguing that the court did not cite a specific law to use as the grounds for disallowing Small Claims suits against out-of-state spammers. Judge Thompson issued a written ruling denying my motion, which was added to the case file and mailed to me:

What is notable about this is that most of the time, when a motion to reconsider is denied, you just get a letter in the mail with one line saying "motion denied". (And it almost always is denied, since you're asking the judge to change their own mind and that usually doesn't work -- I only know one exception.) If a judge writes a more detailed explanation, that suggests it's important to them to give the court's decision more authority. (Judge Yeatts and Judge Lasalata had both ruled that I could not sue out-of-state spammers in Small Claims court, but would not answer when I asked if there was any written law that stated that.)

Judge Thompson also made her argument in a way that is unfortunately rare in the court system: not only citing the support for her argument, but analyzing my own counter-argument and explaining why she thought it was wrong. (Come to think of it, of all the other judges who ruled against me, I can't think of any other judges who analyzed my arguments and pointed out specifically what they thought was wrong with them, although some judges do at least give arguments supporting their own rulings.)

Now this is not an unqualified rah-rah for Judge Thompson because I didn't see enough of her hearings to see how she treated other defendants, and I have been caught off guard before by judges (such as Judge Garrow and Judge Jorgensen) who appeared polite at first but later acted in an extremely biased manner. However, on the basis of this trial and Judge Thompson's response to the motion for reconsideration, she did everything professionally.