Letter claims lesbian bias in Nashville Small Claims Court

May 18,2008 
Administrative Office of the Court 
511 Union St. Nashville, TN 37219
I am writing at the suggestion of the offices of the governor of the state of Tennessee. Since January 2008, I have been dealing with your Small Claims Court(General Sessions office).

I filed two cases with this court. One was Dr.Luzma Umpierre vs. Vanderbilt University, and the other Dr. Luz-Maria Umpierre vs. William Luis.

Your court is one of the very few small claims courts in the country that does not offer any guidelines to individuals filing Pro Se.

Because of the fact that no time has been spent on developing guidelines for the court as it deals with Pro Se, my dealings with the Offices of Mr. Rooker were truly deplorable.

When I submitted my first case, I was never notified of the date of the hearing. I only found out because the defendant, Vanderbilt University, wanted to change the date and they contacted me. Is the court only advocating the rights of institutions that exist in Nashville and forgetting the rights of the Plaintiffs to be informed in a prompt manner about hearings?

When I submitted my second case, I was never contacted either about a date. I received a curt call from a Sheriff telling me that he had served Mr. Luis and the Sheriff was the person who told me the date of the hearing. Although I was traveling from Maine, so little interest was taken in my charges by Mr. Rooker’s offices that I was not informed in advance that these two cases needed to be compounded as one.

Therefore, I was made to travel to Nashville on three occasions. At the final hearing of May 16, 2008, not only was I abused by the judge but that due to a lack of guidelines for Pro Se Plaintiffs, I did not know that affidavits are not admitted in your court and that you do not record sessions for posterity.

It was not until I called to ask for a transcript of the hearing to present my claims before you that I was told over the phone that they do not record any hearings unless asked in advance. How was I supposed to know this fact? In every small claims court I have been in, proceedings are memorialized.

The judge in the matter was obviously homophobic and mistreated me as a Lesbian. Are judges in your jurisdiction allowed to abuse Pro Se defendants who are Gay?

He insulted me by suggesting publicly that I had asked him to see me naked, nothing further from my words as I wanted to prove via a transcript of the sessions;a transcript that now does not exist.

So now, if I want to appeal this decision and contest the judge’s homophobia and negative attitude toward Latina women, I have no official document to proceed.

Your small claims court proved to me that their one interest is to obtain large amounts of money for filing and to uphold discriminatory practices against Gay and Lesbian defendants as well as Latina women.

Via a copy of this letter, I am asking the offices of the Attorney General of the State of Tennessee to intervene and conduct an investigation into these grave matters.

I expect to hear from your offices soon. Sincerely, Dr.Luz-Maria Umpierre(Luzma) Human Rights Advocate 211 Randall Rd. Suite 116 Lewiston,ME.04240 Lumpierre@aol.com

Dr.Luzma Umpierre

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