Keep Your Sidewalks Clear

By: Samantha Midgett

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Mother Files a Complaint

A little girl was riding her bike along the sidewalk, she hit a rock in the sidewalk and fell off and broke her arm. The young girl's unhappy mother filed a complaint against the people who live in the house (the Ellinwoods) that the sidewalk is in front of. Her pleading was that these people should have kept their rocks in their own driveway and not on the sidewalks.

The Ellinwood House and Sidewalk

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Happenings In Court

They had a pretrial conference with the mother and the Ellinwoods. The conference went well and there were no fights or anything of that nature. The next day they went to court for trial. The plaintiff was the mother because she was bringing a case against the Ellinwoods in court. The judge summons the mother and the mother tells her story of what happened. Then the judge summons the Ellinwood family to tell their story. The two stories didn't match so they had to use mediation to solve the dispute between the two people because there was a big argument. The argument was solved for a little while but then they went at it again and arbitration was used to settle them this time.

The Final Decision

Civil law was not used. More than 50% of the evidence pointed to it not being the Ellinwoods fault that there was a rock on the sidewalk. The Ellinwoods would have been the defendant if this hadn't happened and the judge would have said that it was their fault this girl got hurt. The judges looked at the evidence and decided that the Ellinwoods couldn't help if there was a rock on the sidewalk because who knows, the wind could have blown. The girl could have fell any other time and broke her arm too and it wasn't necessarily because of the rock. The judges made a decision and the verdict was that it was not the Ellinwoods' fault that there was a rock on the sidewalk. The mother thought about appealing but she decided it probably wouldn't matter anyways since preponderance of evidence was used to prove this. The mother just decided it was the judges' decision so she got over it and she gave the Ellinwoods a handshake before she left.

A Friendly Handshake

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