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California Prisoner's Small Claims Judgment not Appealable

Michael Lane, a California state prisoner, sued the state Department of Corrections (DOC) in small claims court to recover $797.60 he had been charged for vacated restitution orders. The small claims court ruled in his favor for that amount but dismissed a post-judgment motion for several thousand dollars in punitive and compensatory damages. Lane appealed.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal of California, 4th District, Division 1, found that Cal. Code of Civil Procedure § 116.710(a) barred Lane's appeal seeking to overturn the small claims court's judgment, as it disallowed any such appeal without leave from the small claims court. Since Lane had not obtained such leave, his appeal was dismissed. See: Lane v. Department of Corrections, (Feb. 13, 2007); 2007 WL 458169 (not reported).

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Related legal case

Lane v. Department of Corrections