MATTHEW ST. GEORGE - commissioner/judge

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1725 Main Street, Santa Monica

City: Santa Monica

State: California

Zip: 90401




Commissioner - Superior Court, Santa Monica


Santa Monica Branch/Dept.


A disgrace to his profession.
For a lot of people with limited income, Small Claims Court is the only option for seeking justice. He apparently sees it as a buck to be passed.
My neighbor and I appeared before him because our new owner/landlord, who is upgrading the building, started renting the old, wooden garages beneath our apartments to a succession of homeless people who were camping overnight. One of them was arrested for meth possession and violent priors and rather than evicting her, our landlord championed her right to live in the garage and make our lives hell. Our landlord put up surveillance cameras that pointed into our front doors (the City Attorney thought this was worth investigating, though His Honor couldn’t be bothered to hear about it.) The landlord began removing features of our apartments, citing estoppels that he had clearly falsified. And just two days after I filed my small claims complaint, he served me with a notice of eviction.
My one hope was that my small claims case would be heard before his eviction trial. Then I got this sad excuse for a judge.
He started by pointing out that I was suing a limited liability corporation. I asserted that limited liability doesn’t mean you can break the law. He then asked me if I was citing a particular legal chapter or verse. He actually described it by a multi-digit number—like I was supposed to know what he was talking about. Then we all stood there in silence for three minutes while he flipped through a book. My impression was that this was a little game, a test of our ability to remain ‘respectfully’ silent; he never found what he was looking for.
Then he shared his impression of the case, though I wasn’t sure who he was talking to; I was more struck by the fact that he was doing so without having heard a word of testimony.
He said something like “Here we have a new owner who’s doing some things that the old tenants aren’t happy about…”
He looked at the first page or two of a notebook full of evidence and then announced that all this… (waving his hand over the notebook like it was a salad he was done with) …all this would be better handled in eviction court.
So thanks to this guy, I was facing eviction for complaining about the homeless meth-head camping under my apartment. Way to hand out justice.
Fortunately, I got help from the Legal Aid people. They saved the day by determining that my landlord’s lawyers hadn’t filed the eviction paperwork properly and would have to start from scratch.
They also said that, had we gone to trial, only matters pertaining to my landlord’s complaint against me (specifically that I had two dogs instead of one) would have been heard. So when Judge St. George delayed my case, saying it would all be better handled in eviction court, he was either very wrong or full of it.
It saddens me to think of the hundreds of people who come to Small Claims Court every week, seeking justice and end up in front of this guy. He clearly doesn’t want to do his job, but why should so many suffer for it? He should stop punishing people who come to him for help. He should do an honorable thing and retire.



This judge is not an idiot. He is just a lazy person who looks to any possible way of not actually hearing a case. He is now demoted to small claims court because of the awful work he did in family court. He runs his court with forcing mediation (not a bad thing as 50%-75% of the cases get settled. But anyone who doesnt get their cases sattled with the mediator and forces him to hear them, he will reprimand them and then find a reason to dismiss the case, even if there is no logic behind the reason.
I saw a dentist who was suing his client who he did work on patient. The patient said that she never signed an agreement to pay and the judge dismissed the case. What a joke.. Does he not know quantum meuit....of course he does. He just didnt want to hear the case.
I would always do a premptory challenge on him. I think it is time he is forced to retire. He takes enough breaks during the day and tries every which way not to hear cases in the afternoon



Commissioner St. George was removed from his post and replaced by Judge Hank M. Goldberg, who is, by all all accounts, an excellent and fair judge.



Response by Bent Chrestensen

on 01-20-2018 at 12:53:36


Response by Bent Chrestensen

on 01-20-2018 at 12:56:13

I have been waiting for this to happen for years. This man, Matthew, has prevented me from parenting my child and ruined me through a number of totally unreasonable rulings. I like to hear from others who had the same experience with this man.

Response by jonathan Nissanoff

on 04-13-2018 at 08:58:53

Thank god. St. George is a complete lazy bum. He takes breaks in the middle of court and makes up his own law to create reasons to dismiss cases so he doesnt have to hear them. He should be retired forcefully

St. George is well known for being cautious and biased against fathers. Most of the local lawyers and staff know this, some exploit it. He also dislikes self-represented individuals (the self-help department in Santa Monica is significantly lacking and he's overbooked).

To quote one lawyer, "He'll never take a kid away unless it's deserved but fathers are satellite's to him; they are insignificant. So unless a psych eval shows the mother is crazy, she will always get primary custody and the lion's share of time."



Response by Laura Walker

on 09-29-2017 at 23:28:36

This is the best judge I've ever had, and I've been put through it all. I was told today he is leaving. Wish I knew where. I'd send him a thank you letter. To many judges let men get away with not paying and committing fraud on the court. I'm so sad to see him go! May God help us if we don't get more honest judges like St. George!
To: Frank: You must have been one of "those" dads. He can see right through you!

Response by Frank Cephas

on 11-27-2017 at 18:50:19

St. George was removed from his post and replaced by Downtown's best Judge. Here's hoping for less pain and more equality in Santa Monica.

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