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« Knit night | Main | Among the living »

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Comments

Rachel

Oh, geesh, what a day. I certainly know how that would make you feel. Sounds like she got off VERY light to me. I thought anytime you hit someone in the back end it's always your fault. That is what my insurance guy told me.

So glad those little donkeys cheered you up. They would cheer me up for sure!

kathleen

I hope I NEVER have to go to court. I have crappy luck at things like that. If I'd have been that driver, they'd probably have thrown the book (and a huge fine) at me. She got off easy.

meg

Ugh. What a horrible demoralizing experience. Did you at least bring your knitting?

Janis

Kathleen, you would do just fine. Just going to court meant that about 25% of the people were automatically found not guilty because the ticketing officer failed to show. And most of the rest were able to get points reduced or removed and get the fine substantially lowered. The ones who I was most sympathetic to were the people who showed respect for the process and the judge. They were dressed and groomed appropriately and came prepared. One woman had gone to the MVA to get a copy of her driving record so she could show the judge that she had no other citations over many years of driving. He was very lenient towards her, and she thanked him. I was appalled by the number of people who did not even bother to say thank you to the judge when he reduced their points and/or fine.

And, Meg, I am such a dope. I did not bring my knitting because I was told to expect security problems with most kinds of needles and I hadn't prepared a "courthouse safe" project. So I left the knitting at home and brought something to read. Problem was, I couldn't focus on reading with all the court proceedings going on around me and waiting to hear my name called. Knitting would have been perfect for that environment.

Another comment about the young driver who caused the accident that I witnessed: although it was technically her fault, it truly was an accident. That merge area is dangerous, and I worry every time I drive through it. It never occurred to me that the police would ticket her, and for that I feel sorry for her. However, feelings of pity began to evaporate when her decision to plead not guilty meant the police officer and I had to make a court appearance. She helped herself, but at great inconvenience to the officer and to myself. There is something wrong with that process.

ken

Hello Janis, Another great read.

Am I reading between the lines correctly? It sounds likely that she purposely ignored the calling of her name in court so that policeman would leave when she was a no-show. Is that what you suspect? What a great scheme.

Thank you Janis, I'm glad you hung in there and got a guilty verdict. I hope this helps her avoid accidents in the future.

Janis

Ken, I honestly don't know whether the girl and her father both have hearing problems or were working a gambit. Seems to me that you have to be pretty oblivious not to hear your own name - last, first, middle - when it is called twice. Whatever her reason for not responding, it looks like it would have produced results in her favor were it not for the presence of the witness (me).

When an officer and a defendant gave testimony that was at odds, the judge automatically ruled with the officer's statement - in every case but one. I wonder what would have happened if the girl had decided to refute my statement. I guess the judge would have had to choose whose statement was more credible.

Now, something else I've been pondering since Thursday afternoon: I didn't take any notes, so I have no statistics to share from the afternoon, but it seemed to me that the judge was more lenient with the white traffic court defendants than with non-whites. Again, I have no numbers, just my impression. And the only officer's statement that did not prevail was that of a young Black police woman who ticketed a white woman on a parking violation. It would be interesting to see the results if someone decided to sit out enough afternoons in traffic court so as to produce a statistically significant sample of cases in order to see whether or not there is a relationship between race, sex, etc. and the outcome of similar cases.

Rachel

How is Jimmy? How is Molly?? How are YOU???

Birdsong

Sometimes extra time with the donkeys is the only reward that helps. I certainly can relate having spent the day NOT getting picked for jury duty back in Dec.

Michelle

Wow, what a day. I know around here judges are typically much more lenient on white folks. One of my friends saw them take driver's licenses from the black and Hispanic men for not paying child support, and then letting her white ex off easy and even giving him extra time to pay! The judge should stick it to all of them!

After reading this, I'll think twice before ever contesting a traffic ticket, God forbid.

ricky

I shouldn't say this, because, frankly, you did the right thing.

Even though it sucked.

But, really, it was traffic court. I mean, unless someone got killed, unless someone else really relied on your testimony, frankly, you could just blow it off.

What do you think? They're going to send a couple of sheriffs out to arrest you because you didn't show up for a hearing about a hundred dollar fine?

Hell, it would cost more to send the sheriffs out there and arrest you than the whole fine would be worth.

If the only witness doesn't show up, the cititation gets dismissed.

Hell, you'd be surprised how many times the cops who issue the cititations don't even bother to show up...

lyn

Wow...crazy story. 1st...go to the yarn store and then go home to pet the donkeys....

Love your blog.

Lyn & The Whippy Curly Tails in the Toasty South
=^..^=

Rachel

Are you still among the living??
I enjoyed your blog. I have had a couple of blogs that I read and commented faithfully on and they have quit blogging but they told us. Are you ever going to blog again? Of course if you are no longer among the living I can understand that you can't let us know, otherwise.......

Janis

Rachel, contrary to all appearances, I'm still among the living! And I have some 'splaining to do, but, oh, boy, not this morning. This morning I have to get to work...and by that, I mean that place that gives me a paycheck. :)

Thanks for your concern - and I hope I haven't worried anyone too much.

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