Not A Fan Of Courting Court

, , | Legal | June 26, 2018

(One winter’s day, my mom is driving with my brothers and me, all under the age of ten, in the backseat. She’s in the right lane, and there is a large snowbank on the shoulder. The car next to her suddenly changes lanes without looking, pushing our car up onto the snowbank. Once the driver realizes what happened, he switches back to his lane, and our car slides back onto the road. No one is hurt, and the damage to both cars is minimal. The police give the other driver a ticket and send us on our way. My mom thinks that will be the end of it. She’s wrong. A few weeks later, she’s summoned to court. The other driver is fighting the ticket, as he’ll lose both his license and his job if he gets more points on his license. Not having a choice, my mom goes to court, where the ticket is upheld. The other driver keeps appealing it, though, forcing my mom to come to court again and again. As a working parent, she doesn’t have time for this. Finally, the court comes up with a deal that everyone can agree to: the driver will have to pay the ticket, but won’t get points on his license. As part of the deal, he also has to pay whatever expenses my mom has incurred because of this.)

Judge: “How much reimbursement are you requesting, [Mom]?”

Mom: “[Amount].”

(It’s a number in the hundreds, and is exact down to the penny.)

Judge: *surprised* “[Amount]?”

Mom: *nods* “[Amount].”

Judge: “May I ask how you calculated this?”

(My mom produces a handwritten bill for lost work, gas, babysitting, and pizza delivery on days that court went late.)

Judge: “No emotional distress? Weren’t there children in the car?”

Mom: “Yes, but they all thought it was the most exciting thing to happen that month. None of us were hurt.”

Judge: “All right, then. [Other Driver], you are to pay [amount].”

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