The Lazy Arm Of The Law

, , , , , | | Legal | May 27, 2018

(While we are filing our 2016 income tax returns, our accountant discovers that someone stole my Social Security Number and attempted to file this return. It is one of the rare times I am glad we were not expecting a tax refund. Our accountant suggests we complete the following three steps. One, file an identity theft alert with the Internal Revenue Service; two, sign up for fraud and theft alert with the three national credit monitoring companies; and three, file a police report. Steps #1 and #2 are easily completed; then, we have this experience with Step #3:)

Police Officer: “Hello, you have reached the non-emergency phone number. What is your concern or problem?”

Me: “We’ve just found out that someone tried to file a tax return under my SSN, and our accountant suggested we file a police report.”

Police Officer: *long sigh* “Well, you can just call 911 and request a police officer to do it at your home.”

Me: “I just want to make sure I heard correctly. You’re suggesting I call 911 to file this identity-theft claim? But I though 911 was just for emergencies.”

Police Officer: “Yes, it is for emergencies. If you felt this concern was an emergency, this is a quicker way to file this type of police report.”

Me: “No, it is not an emergency; my wallet and purse were not stolen. Someone tried to fraudulently file a tax return with my SSN.”

Police Officer: *another sigh* “Okay, ma’am. You and your husband can come to the police station and file your report there.”

(Somehow, I am not comforted that my local tax dollars would be used to cover the 911 expenses of filing a non-emergency police report!)

This Wedding Has Some Arrested Development

, , , , | | Legal | May 25, 2018

I work third shift for a medium-sized hotel. Around three am, while doing security rounds, I find a guest room door open. From the doorway I can see one of the lamps and the phone are broken and strewn about the room, and there is no guest in the room.

The room also appears to have been ransacked, clothes and personal belongings thrown all over. I call the desk and have them call local police, and stand by until a officer arrives.

Ten minutes later the officer and I enter the room. He finds pills and marijuana on the table. While the officer is investigating, a guy eating a powdered doughnut and wearing nothing but underwear comes to the door. The officer asks him if he is the occupant of the room and the guy just grunts at the officer, enters the room, puts on a pair of pants, and crawls into the bed.

He refuses to follow the officer’s directions and is detained. The guy starts yelling and swearing while in the meantime, a second officer arrives, as well as the guy’s girlfriend and father. The father explains that they are at the hotel for his daughter’s wedding and I need to make the officers go away.

After being screamed at that I am destroying his daughter’s wedding, he wants to know how much it is going to cost to get the officers to go away while pulling his wallet out. One of the officers informs him that what he is planning to do could land him right next to his son at the jail. The father then wants to speak to the general manager who I have already called and is on his way in.

Normally, we would have filed a police report and that would have been the end, but both the son and the father had caused such a ruckus that the son was trespassed and the police charged him with obstruction and possession of more than a pound of pot. The father was removed from property the next night because he got drunk at his daughter’s wedding and became abusive with not only hotel staff but also his family members. His excuse for his actions was that the hotel was working with the government to ruin his daughter’s wedding because he knows too much.

Give Me A 49th Chance!

, , | | Legal | May 24, 2018

(The defendant has been found guilty of public urination. After a police officer was requested to make him leave an event at the local community center, [Defendant] insisted on taking a long piss out of his wheelchair in the community center parking lot, all captured for posterity on the officer’s body camera. This is his fourth arrest — and conviction — on misdemeanor offenses in the last six months. [Defendant] is representing himself.)

Judge: “Ready for sentencing? Does the State have any recommendations?”

State’s Attorney: “Well, Your Honor, [Defendant] is a frequent flyer in the criminal justice system. Over the years, he’s been found guilty of…”

(The list the State’s Attorney reads from has 48 convictions that range from public drunkenness to felony possession and ingestion of controlled substances, with forays into disorderly conduct, various levels of theft, violation of a protection order, simple assault/domestic abuse, and driving while intoxicated.)

State’s Attorney: “…recommend [maximum jail time for the crime].”

Judge: “Do you have anything you’d like to say, [Defendant]?”

Defendant: “People can change, Judge.”

Making It A Matter Of Public Record(ing)

, , , , , | | Legal | May 23, 2018

(When my husband was 18, he defaulted on a credit card in the amount of $500. Fifteen years later a company starts calling, trying to collect on that defaulted credit card in the amount of $12,000. They call him, me, my mom, my sister, his parents, his siblings, and his grandmother. Repeatedly, at all hours. They start telling him that if he doesn’t pay he will be brought up on federal charges and be a felon. They tell our family that he is a bad person who will go to jail for year. That if we don’t settle with them, they will push for the max penalty and he could go away for 10+ years. At first we think that this is a scam call. It’s scary how much information they have on us. When we look into them they turn out to be an actual debt collection agency. We both start taping the calls; so do my sister and two of my husband’s siblings. We all tell the company to leave us alone and stop calling. My husband and I tell them to either take us to court or leave us alone. After three months of this, we finally take them to court for harassment. This is one of the conversations that we have, to the best of my recollection.)

Their Lawyer: “You can’t use the recordings that your clients made. California requires all parties to be informed that they are being recorded.”

(Our lawyer presses play on one of the recordings:)

Employee From The Company: “This is [Employee] calling from [Company]; is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee From The Company: “Just so you know, this call is being recorded for legal purposes…”

(Our lawyer stops the recording:)

Our Lawyer: “Sure sounds like everyone was aware the call was being recorded.”

Their Lawyer: “But they weren’t actually recording the calls.”

Our Lawyer: “Well, maybe they should stop lying to people, and then they wouldn’t be here today.”

(They settled out of court, which was to pay our legal fees, “settle” our account so they couldn’t sell it to anyone else, a small amount of monetary compensation, and to never contact us or anyone in our family again.)

At Least Your Alcohol Addiction Supported An Old Lady

, , , , | | Legal | May 22, 2018

(It is about 15 years ago, and I am a greeter at a gigantic nationwide store. My duties are to make sure the front of the store is a safe place, all the carts are clean, and cart wipes are stocked in the proper container. Occasionally, something will set the buzzer off and I have to check the receipt to find a common data point between all the things that set off the buzzer that day, but other than that, it is usually a pretty chill job. This is the tale of one afternoon shift that is decidedly not chill: An incredibly old, frail, and somewhat wobbly woman comes through the doorway with a cart, and sets the buzzer off.)

Old Woman: “Oh, dear me! What is that?”

Me: “Hi, ma’am! I’m [My Name], and please don’t worry. It’s an alarm that makes sure everything is scanned and all tags are deactivated, like on pharmacy items, liquor, and detergents. I’m so sorry for the scare there! May I see your receipt, for the register and order numbers?”

Old Woman: “I went through the pharmacy, and then I grabbed this cart from over by those old registers they never use except for the holiday season, what with the Black Friday and Thanksgiving and all that…”

(While she’s talking, I take a quick look at the cart, noticing quite a few bottles of liquor, partly covered by newspapers and a torn up box. A common trick, but only in a much younger demographic.)

Me: “Oh, okay, ma’am. Well, it looks like you may have grabbed someone else’s cart. There’s actually a few bottles of liquor in here.”

Old Woman: *is very confused* “Liquor? Like bourbon and whiskey?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Old Woman: “Oh, no, dear, I don’t use any of that… A Scotch every other week, maybe some baking with rum or something for the holidays, but I don’t buy it. My husband does all that stuff! Oh, heavens, all this trouble! Well, I was just getting my prescription, but I took this cart from the old registers! Oh, but you…” *motions towards me with one hand, and almost falls, catching herself on the cart* “…well, you can take all this rubbish out, right? I need this to walk to my car!”

Me: “Well, yeah, but I think it may be easier for you tonight if you just got a scooter.” *points at the electric carts*

Old Woman: “Oh, no. Oh, no. That won’t do.” *tries to walk with the cart, but is even more wobbly*

Me: “Ma’am? I’d much rather see you safe in a scooter than wobbling and falling. The young man bringing in carts will help you out to your car, okay?”

Old Woman: “Well, all right, if you insist.”

Me: “I do, yes. I’m sorry for the scare; you have a better day, okay?”

Old Woman: “Well, you just added a bit of excitement in this old woman’s day. You have a good evening now, child.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(The courtesy clerk quickly gets her purse, and I make a stop motion as he starts to grab the liquor. He whispers:)

Clerk: “Like what, she stole it?”

Me: *whispering back* “No. This isn’t even her stuff at all! Totally unintentional.”

(I think that the matter is finished, and all I have to do is take the cart back to the LP department so they can do their thing. But, as I’m walking the liquor filled cart to Customer Service, some random woman, reeking of liquor and looking worse than drunk, grabs my arm. She has an incredibly fragile, tough-girl act going on:)

Drunk Girl: “Yo! Like, why’d you move my cart, b****?”

Me: “This cart? An old woman was using it to support herself while she was walking out of the store!” *quickly reaches the Customer Service desk*

Drunk Girl: *walking briskly beside me* “YO! LIKE, NO, B****! YOU DON’T F****** TOUCH MY STUFF!” *tries and fails to grab the cart* “I PAID FOR ALL OF THIS, YA KNOW!?”

Me: “Sure. Okay.” *quickly moves the cart of booze behind the Customer Service desk* “I just need to see your receipt for all of that. Immediately.”

Drunk Girl: “LIKE, WHATEVER, MAN, GIVE IT TO ME. MY F****** CART, YO!”

Me: *turns around to the clerk* “Hey! Page LP real quick. We’ve got a live one.”

Clerk: “Already done.”

(The drunk girl ran and took the cart from behind the desk, and as she ran towards the other doorway, a couple of police officers stopped her, one handcuffing her and the other redirecting the cart towards Customer Service where the LP guy was waiting. She was arrested when they found that she had an outstanding warrant, but they added underage drinking, public intoxication, and a couple of other things.)

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