It's only a game, but what's up with the neighbors getting into each other's business?
Judge denies Eastlake appeal to rejoin girls basketball playoffs
By Brent Schrotenboer
San Diego Union-Trib
March 6, 2009
A San Diego Superior Court judge Friday officially ended the season for the Eastlake High girls basketball team.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Jeffrey Barton told the team he was sorry but that there was enough evidence to support a determination that the team had used an ineligible player. By rule, that means the team must forfeit the 13 games in which the player participated and be kicked out of the playoffs.
...Barton's ruling was especially frustrating for Eastlake players and parents because they thought they were on the verge of winning a restraining order Thursday from a different judge, Judith Hayes, who said she wasn't convinced the player had falsified her residency. But just as Hayes was about to rule, she learned that her bailiff had a daughter on the Eastlake junior varsity team. To avoid the appearance of bias, Hayes recused herself from the case without ruling. This led both sides to re-argue their case Friday in front of a different judge.
To bolster its case, the section on Friday filed the neighbor's declaration, which helped sway the new judge. Brian Burchett, an attorney for Eastlake, said the neighbor wouldn't know where the family really lived because the neighbor didn't live close enough to verify the family's comings and goings.
In the end, Barton made his ruling based on whether the decision by the CIF's San Diego Section was supported by substantial evidence.
“It's the court's decision that in applying that standard, I can't grant the relief that's requested by the petitioner,” Barton said. “In looking at the evidence that's been provided, there is substantial evidence to support the CIF's actions in this case.”