Strap In For Some Petty Revenge

, , , , | Legal | October 26, 2020

In high school, I am good friends with a guy whose family is military. They live in military housing on the base in town. The housing itself is outside the base proper, but the property itself is still considered part of the base and is patrolled by the Military Police rather than the local cops.

I am going over to visit my friend at his house one evening, and as we are both too young to get licenses of our own yet, I have my dad drive me out. Upon getting into the car, he discovers his seat belt is broken. It’s not great, but there’s not much that can be done about it, as by this time of the evening, the repair shops have all closed. So, he basically just shrugs.

Dad: “I’ll get it fixed tomorrow.”

He drives me to my friend’s house and drops me off, and then goes home. As it happens, on his way off the base, he comes to a Military Police roadblock.

Military Police: “Sir, may I ask why you’re not wearing your seat belt?”

Dad: “I just discovered tonight that it was broken. I’m going to take it into the shop tomorrow and have it fixed.”

Military Police: “Well, sir, you’re driving without a seat belt. I’m going to write you a ticket.”

Dad: “I just told you it only broke tonight. Can’t you just write me a repair slip?”

Military Police: “If you don’t like this, sir, feel free to dispute the ticket in court.”

At this, she hands my dad his ticket and walks smugly away, convinced that she’s gotten the better of him.

Several weeks later, my dad has indeed disputed the ticket and is appearing in court for the pretrial.

Judge: “All right, Mr. [Dad’s Last Name], you’re disputing this ticket for a broken seat belt. You understand all your rights and responsibilities in this regard?”

Dad: “Yes, I do.”

Judge: “And would you like to be tried by judge or by jury?”

Dad: “I would like a trial in front of a jury, please.”

At this, the Crown Prosecutor steps over to my dad.

Crown Prosecutor: “Mr. [Dad’s Last Name], do you realize how much expense the Crown would have to go to in order to convene a jury over a broken seat belt?”

Dad: *Smugly* “Yep.”

There is a long pause.

Crown Prosecutor: “Let me speak to the judge.”

Long story short, the Crown Prosecutor, who was supposed to be ensuring my dad had to pay the ticket, went to the judge and got the case thrown out. My dad didn’t have to pay a cent.

And incidentally, the seat belt was fixed first thing the morning after he first got the ticket.

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