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Scott Rapalee

Tularosa, NM
November 7th, 2023|

We had lived in a location we rented from a man I worked for 30 years ago. We remodeled the place as it was uninhabitable. We had zero issues for 5 years. Then he sold it to his family and his nephew came to evict us. 18 months later, after being put through the worst treatment you can imagine, my family is now homeless. Not because we didn’t pay our rent or violated anything, but because no one would represent us and the court is biased against pro se litigants.

We were put through all of the self help eviction programs and more. Not one group would help. No one would take our case. We fought it best we could with a biased judge, who in the end set our emergency hearing eviction 2 days after the execution of the eviction by the sheriff’s office. As we have been told, this was a violation of the judge’s ethics code.

And that’s not the worst we have dealt with. We are a family of 4 with 2 disabled people. Our 12yo daughter is legally blind, and I have a brain tumor and severe seizures and cancer. We have not bothered anyone or failed to do what we were supposed to. Not one of the 300+ attorneys and law firms we contacted, the Bar Association, and other groups like Legal Aid and Modest Means did anything to help.

None of the evidence on our side of the case ever made it in front of the judge, as he either refused to allow us to present it or it was mysteriously erased from the Google drive. Not one witness statement or police report was ever viewed by the judge. WHY? Because we were pro se litigants. The judge gave legal advice to the plaintiff on two occasions that we are aware of. Once even indicating that the plaintiff should get representation after he bipassed the judge and got a writ served by a SWAT team on our family.

We are now homeless and not in good condition. The stress and anxiety and turmoil has taken a toll, not only on health conditions but on our families’ overall stability. My children fear a total collapse and have nightmares. My wife of 30 years and I have arguments often now. This is all based on the fact that our case was never presented or addressed by the court. We have contacted every possible entity in both the state of New Mexico and federally in DC. Not one of the organizations put in place to help with such matters has done anything but have us jump through hoops that don’t actually exist.

Through all of this, we have stayed the course of following all of the laws and statutes and tried to learn to be the best pro se litigants we could. All while trying to find somewhere to go, get assistance, handle medical conditions, and pack. As we tried to fight off the campaign against us brought by the entire state of New Mexico for filing complaints against each of the organizations that refused to help.

We now know that an entire state can blackball a family to the point of destruction. We also know there is no one that will do anything about it as they just don’t give a damn about a small family in a rural town.

The Rapalee Family