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Newspaper Page Text
FORMER IMMIGRANT BOY IS TEACHING US A
1 WAY OUT OF OUR JUNGLE OF JUSTICE
judge Manuel Levine Has Originated a Court of
Conciliation Where Proceedings Are "Human."
Here is an instructive story of an
tactual happening in Cleveland.
John Smith keeps a little grocery
store. Among his customers is Mary
.Brown. -These' are illustrative names,
Jyitthefacts-are from theiecords.
s Mary is a widqfv with three chil-
Judge Manuel Levine.
dren. She works in a department
store. Her pay is $7 a week.
Usually Maijy paid cash for her
groceries; bua while ago she start
ed a charge account Her bill ran
up to $10. John Smith pressed for
payment. Mary asked for time.
J' John is an average man, kindly,
but prudent. He had to pay his bills,
fie thought that Mary should be
jnade to pay her's. He-"decided to
go to law.
If he had. reached this decision in
almost any other city, substantially
this would have happened: ,
There would have been an initial
court fee usually of $4 or $5. A con?
stable onbailiff would have gone to
Mary's home with a writ command- .
ing her to appear and make answer
to John's complaint. And although
the writ is a printed form with only'
a name or two filled in, the constable
or bailiff would receive a fee for writ
ing the writ, one for handing it to
Mary or putting it under Mary's door,
and a mileage allowance five to twen
ty times the actual cost of his journey
to and fro.
This is because, when our English
forefathers fixed up the court system
which we have inherited without re
vision, there were no public schools,
no printing presses, no three-cent-fare
trolley cars, no frequent free
mail deliveries from door to' door and
no telephones it was worth some
thing, in those days, to know howto
writ a writand to adventure, amidst
cutthroats and highwaymen, to serve
Finally, at the appointed' time,
Mary would appear in court, judg
ment would be entered against her,
her wages ould be attached and,
under the rule prevailing in most s
places of employment, she would .lose
Now, this is what happened in
Cleveland: v i
John told .his story to "the clerk
of the "court of conciliation," a new
branch of the municipal court, paid
50 cents for fees and was advised to
"come in next Friday." The clerk
turned to his typewriter, thumped
out a brief note -to Mary, telling her
of . John's claim and advising her, too,