Monday, January 21, 2013

Court Date

I debated about whether or not I was going to blog about The Incident that occurred last week. I decided, "what the hey, might as well because as least it's a funny story", and I'm sure there are a few others out there who might have experience something similar in dealing with our wonderful judicial system.

I had to go to court last week.

Yikes! Back in October I got a speeding ticket for going 42 mph in a 30 mph zone. (In my defense, I thought it was a 35 mph zone and we all know there is a 10 mph window. I was in the window!) I also got a ticket for not having my insurance card. Please note I HAVE insurance, I just didn't have my updated card. And apparently showing the emailed receipt on your Smartphone does not a validation make.

Anywhoo...the cop told me I could just go down to Municipal Plaza and show my valid insurance card before the end of that month and they would toss the ticket. Wrong! Apparently they don't do that these days. Only a judge is qualified enough to look at a date on a card and verify that I was, in fact, insured at the time of my ticket.

I went to the Municipal Court on my said date of Tuesday, Jan. 15. I went to the 8 am show because I was told it was the least crowded. I get there and my name isn't on the docket. WTH? I find a clerk and ask why my name isn't listed because obviously, I'm trying to get this crap taken care of. Well....I was in the wrong place.

Of course. How silly of me to assume my municipal ticket would be taken care of at the municipal courtroom! Didn't I realize I was supposed to be at the Civic Center!?!?!

First of all, I'm going to court. Not a job fair or a Mardi Gras Ball, which are the only two reasons I can possibly think of for going to the Civic Center.

And it's too late for me to make it before they close the doors for the 8 am court. Arghhhh. So I leave, pay $3 to park for the approximate 7.5 minutes I was at Municipal Plaza, and head back to work. I can't make it to the 10 am court, so I have to hold off until the 2 pm court when all of the losers who can't get out of bed for early court manage to straggle in.

Let me just say that there are some characters at traffic court. There was a little, teeny tiny Middle Eastern dude named Muhammad Ali. NO LIE. And there was a black woman with the most horrible blond weave I've ever seen. It looked like someone had put Sun In on a squirrel and tied it to her head, bless her heart. One poor gentleman had a bad cough and the bailiff threatened to kick him out and charge him with contempt if he didn't get it under control. Scary.

When you walk into court they ask everyone to give their name as a way to sort of sign in. Then they ask, no...demand that you sit in that order. The woman in front of me was large. As in, a good 300+ lbs. I left a seat between her and me because A.) Those seats are TINY and B.) I don't like to touch people and C.) She smelled like a combination of sweat, fried foods, cigarettes, and some cheap perfume.  She needed more than her alloted seat, and I was just making room for the overflow.

And then the Bailiff called me out in front of everyone. Her exact words were, "Hey! Blondie! MOVE DOWN!" I didn't want to embarrass the lady, but I certainly didn't want to slide down either.

But I did. Because I'm a law-abiding citizen.

After about an hour of sitting with my legs crossed, taking up only half of the whole seat that I was forced to sit in, it was my turn. Thank God! And it went fine. My insurance ticket was thrown out and the judge let me go to driving school for the speeding ticket. Whew!

But I tell you what...I don't EVER want to have to go through that mess ever again!

I'm not sure if all court proceedings are that frightening, but I'm 100% sure I don't want to find out. I can't imagine why just going through that process isn't enough to deter criminals. I don't even have to get to the next step - jail - to know I do not like being in trouble. I'm a rule follower, plain and simple.

And that's the way I want to keep it!

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