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Sunday's Letters to the Editor

<b>No reversal</b>

EDITOR: The judge did not "reverse himself" in the Sebastopol crosswalk case ("Judge reverses self on crosswalk suit," Sept. 20). The judge issued a single order, and neither he nor anyone else has reversed it. The order represented his final decision on a pre-trial motion.

Pre-trial motions are made before the beginning of trial to allow the court and the parties to resolve certain important issues. The pre-trial motion process involves at least five distinct steps. First, the parties submit written briefs to the judge. Second, the parties appear in court and present oral arguments to the judge. Third, the judge makes his decision in the form of a formal order. Fourth, in relatively rare cases, the parties can make a motion to the court to reconsider its order. Fifth, a party may appeal the judge's order to the appellate court.

In the Sebastopol crosswalk case, the judge made a single order, which has not been reversed. The judge read the written briefs and let the parties know his preliminary thoughts in the form of a notice of intended decision. He listened to oral arguments, conducted further study and then issued an order. The order hasn't been reversed by the judge or anyone else.

W. BARTON WEITZENBERG

Santa Rosa

<b>Loss of integrity</b>

EDITOR: After hiking on the Kortum Trail and returning to our parking spot at Blind Beach, I expressed to my husband the same sentiments that were recently published about "the threat of the loner" (Op-ed, Monday). My comment to him was that since we no longer feel like a part of our communities, we also no longer feel responsible to do the right thing when confronted with individual culpability.

This thought didn't come out of the blue as I was staring out at the Pacific; it originated from the deep dent in the rear bumper of my Toyota Prius.

In my experience, a note should have been left expressing regret along with a phone number to rectify the mistake. I have a feeling the person didn't want to be inconvenienced, especially if no one was there to witness the transgression.


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