Tuesday, September 4, 2007

But, Your Honor, I've Got Evidence

I was so disappointed today. This morning was my court date for the infamous parking on the sidewalk ticket. I spent a couple of hours last night putting together all my evidence. I had a picture album full of 4 x 6 photographs showing how my car was NOT parked on the sidewalk, unless you were really being picky.  And I had pix of other cars parked all over the sidewalks, none of which got tickets for the same or worse infractions. I also had a list of addresses where I saw ticket free cars parked on the sidewalk. Clearly, law enforcement had selected me for special treatment.

Right after I got that ticket, I had gone to the police station to find out when and where to appear, because I refused to pay the $25.00. A very large breasted, and yet, very butch officer took several minutes to find out what time and in what courtroom I was expected to show up. I was so mesmerized by her hermaphroditic appearance that I wasn't paying a lot of attention to what she was actually doing. Apparently she wasn't doing much.

This morning, after sitting through four cases where the defendant was pleading guilty to violating an order of protection, it dawned on me that I had been sent to the wrong courtroom.

I hailed a passing lawyer and said, "Excuse me, but this seems to be domestic violence court."  He confirmed my suspicions and I left that courtroom and started hunting down a traffic courtroom. I found a police officer from the town that ticketed me and asked him where their cases were being heard.

He did what most men do and checked to see if I had read the courtroom right, because he noticed I was blond and assumed I couldn't read. Oh, look, I can read. Somebody else made a mistake. However, despite the cranky look on my face, he did steer me in the right direction.

Since I was late I just found a place to sit while the judge was laying down the law. Or handing out fines. Or dispensing justice -- whatever they do. There was a sign by the clerk that said not to come up while court was in session. So I couldn't check in. However, when the judge ran out ofcases he looked up and asked, how many of you still need to be heard? About ten people raised their hands, along with me. Well, why didn't you check in with the clerk?  Catch 22.  Because it says we are not allowed to, your honor, since court was in session. Look, if you want your case heard you have to step up and be counted.  Yessir, whatever you say sir. But we're not allowed to step up when you're busy -- oh nevermind.

I was called up and the judge said loudly, "It says you were parked on the sidewalk -- how do you plead?"  "Not guilty." "Okay, hold for trial." So I sat down again with my plastic bag of photographic evidence ready and waiting for my Perry Mason moment.

The next thing I know my name is being called again. I stood up ready to make my case. Ready to defend the rights of the little people against THE MAN. Suddenly, I was being told I didn't have to come up in front of the court. "But I have evidence to show the judge."

"Case dismissed -- what did you say?"

"I said, uh, thank you, your honor." 

For some reason the cop decided that he wasn't going to go up against my bag of evidence. He scribbled something on the ticket, handed it back to the prosecutor and in a heartbeat I was a free woman. No $25 out of my bank account. I win. I win. I win.

Unless you count how much it cost me to have two rolls of pictures printed and buy an album to put them in. But money means nothing -- not when there's a principle at stake.

Part of me still wanted my day in court. My chance to have the last word. So I was sorry I didn't have an opportunity to go toe to toe with the prosecutor as I made my case for truth, justice and the American Way.

But soon I began to realize there was an upside to not having to fight for anything.  Somehow, some way, I had made the police officer from the Town Without Pity flinch. When push came to shove, he blinked.

It must have been the lip gloss.


screaminremo303 said...

Atta girl. You overlookeed the most obvious scenario. The Cop obviously was falling behind in his alimony and needed some court overtime. Out here, we get a minimum of two hours for a traffic court appearance that takes maybe twenty minutes. I can't imagine what the FOP got installed in their contract, but I guarantee it's better.

Either way, good for you.

sdoscher458 said...

I understand perfectly how you feel. Guess you made the cop really nervous, they don't like photographic evidence that proves them wrong...lol. Good going...Sandi

sgeorge952 said...

Good for you Mrs. L!  I had a similar situation last year.  I got pulled over for speeding when coming off of a bridge with traffic when the light had just changed.  Didn't happen!  I showed up complete with pictures! (is that a girl thing?) And the officer had written the charges wrong so dismissed without my ever opening my mouth! Like you I was disappointed!

psychfun said...

Well you could always park there again & hope the same officer gives you a ticket! HA! You could put a HUGE sign up there saying do not park here or Officer X will give you a ticket...see me for picture for evidence & charge a buck a picture! HA! My dad gets out of tickets all the time...I don't know how he does it. He had a Chicago cop give him one for not stopping at the sign & had pictures that from where the officer's car was sitting there was no way he could tell because of bushes...dismissed. Ugh! I've had a lot of officers following me lately but they haven't stopped me. A year ago last St. Pat's a female one stopped me and right away said "I'm not giving you a ticket" I was like Ok...then why the hell are you stopping me...headlight out...oh ya...I just found out abou that! :-) But I did fix it sooner rather than later figuring she logged it & next time I might not be so lucky. Sometimes I wonder if going to college with a bunch of guys who are now officers is a blessing? I have no idea but does seem odd.

rgossett4195 said...

ah rats!  rose

mombzbe said...

Yay for you, Mrs L!
Of course it was the lip gloss.  

fmgruber said...

So busy within my own little corner of my Shorthorn country, I am so I glad I came by for a little visit. I needed a little laugh and you have gloriously provided it. I thank you lass. Fernan, http://journals.aol.com/fmgruber/FernansShorthornFarmLife

swibirun said...

You only used 4 x 6 photos?  Didn't Arlo Guthrie teach you anything?  It's supposed to be 8 x 10's with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one;)

Have a great weekend!