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Site Guidelines

These are the official posting guidelines (“Site Guidelines”) for ratemyjudge.la website, application or other interactive service (“Site”). The Site is owned, operated and/or provided by La Defensa, a Project of Tides Advocacy (“La Defensa,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) and these Site Guidelines are a part of, and an Additional Terms under, our Terms of Use Agreement. Rate My Judge is a community resource website for individuals to rate and provide feedback on judges in Los Angeles County. Our mission is to provide a safe forum to share courtroom experiences to help fellow community members.

THE SITE/APP

The Rate My Judge website (www.ratemyjudge.la) provides user generated feedback on Judges’ behavior within the courtroom, as well as user generated feedback on individual judges’ practices. We hope community members will gain an understanding of a judge before appearing in their courtroom. Judge ratings should only be posted by users who have been in court with the judge the user is rating. Users include but are not limited to: defendant, attorney, public defender, observer, courtroom employees, clerical staff, or otherwise.

HOW WE WORK

Rate My Judge has a team of moderators who read every rating and comment submitted. We have defined site guidelines to help reinforce our mission to ensure our decisions around moderation are as consistent as possible. Our moderators are experts on our guidelines and will not approve any comment that does not conform to these guidelines.

If you feel an inappropriate comment should be removed from the site, we want to know. You can flag a comment for re-review and it will immediately be escalated to our moderators. Moderators will determine whether to remove the rating permanently or to leave it on the website. Our moderators will never edit a rating and any associated comments – the rating will either be removed entirely or left up as it was submitted. Additionally, we will never remove a rating solely because it is a low score or negative review.

GUIDELINES:

User Guidelines:

  • Be honest in your reviews.
  • Reviews should focus specifically on the Judge and your experience in the courtroom.
  • Do not comment on a Judge’s appearance, dress, age, disability, gender, or race.
  • Avoid hearsay — that is, things you may have heard about the judge from other people. We want you to share your direct experience and what you took away from that experience.
  • Don’t speak on behalf of another — encourage others to submit their own reviews.
  • This is not a forum for debate. Reviews that specifically reference another review will be removed.
  • If you do not agree with someone’s individual experience, we encourage you to share your own.
  • Posts that include profanity, defamation of character, transphobic, xenophobic, homophobic, and/or racist language will not be approved.
  • Spamming a profile with comments will lead to comment removal and the account being temporarily locked or permanently deleted.
  • Any posts including confidential information will be immediately deleted and the User will be subject to removal.
  • Commercial solicitation is strictly prohibited and any comments displaying commercial solicitations will be deleted.
  • La Defensa reserves the right to remove ratings that do not contain substantive comments or for other reasons.
  • When reading reviews from fellow Users, we encourage you to use your discretion and weigh every review amongst the others.
  • Online reviews should be one of the many resources used when making a decision that can affect your courtroom experiences/outcomes.

Prohibited Content:

Comments that contain the following will be removed:

  • Profanity, name-calling, and/or vulgarity, derogatory remarks about religion, ethnicity or race, gender, physical appearance, age, mental and/or physical disabilities;
  • Information about a Judge or User that would allow someone to contact the Judge or User outside of the courtroom;
  • References to a judge’s or User’s family, personal life and/or sex life, including sexual innuendos;
  • Direct references to other existing comments or comments that have been deleted by our moderators;
  • Accusations that a Judge is rating themselves or their colleagues;
  • Hyperlinks and / or URLs.

Judge Guidelines:

  • This is an anonymous website where community members can share their courtroom experiences. We are unable to provide any data or personal information about the submitter of a review.
  • We are unable to remove a comment simply because it is negative. It will only be removed if it doesn’t comply with our site guidelines.
  • Any community member who wishes to leave ratings/comments on the website must create a User account / Rate My Judge profile.
  • All information on the Website is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. In no event will La Defensa, A Project of Tides Advocacy, or its partners, employees or agents, be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information on the Website, or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.
  • If you believe that your profile is being spammed, please tell us. You can contact us here or at RMJinfo@ladefensx.org. We’re here to help and will happily review the comments in question.
  • Judge’s ratings are subject to the same limitations regarding Prohibited Content, as set forth above.

FLAGGING A RATING

If you see a rating that you believe violates these Site Guidelines, please click the “report this rating” at the bottom of the comment and state the problem. Such comments will be evaluated by the Site’s personnel. Please do not flag a rating just because you disagree with it.

SOME LEGAL STUFF

The law protects Rate My Judge from legal responsibility for the content submitted by our users, like the reviews that appear on our site. Specifically, the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. Sec. 230) created a federal immunity to any cause of action that would make service providers, like Rate My Judge, liable for information originating with a third-party user of the service.

The law is clear on this. Anyone who wishes to sue Rate My Judge for the reviews posted by our members risks penalties imposed by the court. These may include financial sanctions and reimbursement of our attorney’s fees for our having to defend against a lawsuit that ignores obvious legal protections for Rate My Judge.

These guidelines are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. While we stand by our guidelines, you are encouraged to seek advice from an attorney who is competent in the relevant field of law.

RESERVATION OF RIGHTS

The Site reserves the right to remove any comments deemed as inappropriate, libelous, defamatory, indecent, vulgar or obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive, racially, culturally, or ethnically offensive, harmful, harassing, intimidating, threatening, hateful, objectionable, discriminatory, or abusive, or which may or may not appear to impersonate anyone else or that otherwise violate the Terms of Use Agreement.

The Site reserves the right to remove, provide to authorities or otherwise take appropriate action regarding comments that threaten violence or bodily harm to another user or Judge including, but not limited to, notifying the authorities of your IP address, where available, and the time you rated and taking any action as described in the Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.