A Hypothetical Way Of Getting Out Of Jury Duty

, , , , , | Legal | November 20, 2018

(My husband is an extremely laid-back, no-nonsense man. He is intelligent, but dislikes hypothetical questions and “what if” situations. When he is summoned for jury duty, I am certain it will be an interesting experience for the court. This happens when he is called upon to answer questions for jury selection.)

Prosecutor: “How would you know if someone is lying to you?”

Husband: “Depends on who they are.”

Prosecutor: *smirks* “Okay. Say it’s a stranger.”

Husband: “Then what am I doing talking to them?”

Prosecutor: *blinks twice then moves on to next juror*

(My husband was informed that his services were not needed. He seemed very pleased with the outcome, especially since he only had to be himself to get out of jury duty.)

A One-Way Ticket To Stupidity

, , , , | Legal | November 13, 2018

(I am waiting for a friend to fight his parking ticket. I am sitting in the back of a very busy traffic courtroom.)

Bailiff: “NEXT!”

(A guy goes up and hands a ticket over to the bailiff, who announces his name and citation number to the court reporter.)

Judge: “Well, Mr. [Guy], what’s the story here?”

Guy: “I was parking on the South Side in a municipal lot. It was really busy and I was in line for the meter.”

(In this city, there is one “meter” per lot. You enter your plate number and a receipt prints out.)

Guy: “While I was in line, the meter maid gave me a ticket.”

Judge: “This ticket says it was on [date], is that correct?”

Guy: “Yes.”

Judge: *sighs LOUDLY, places his head in his hands, and makes an announcement* “If there is anyone in this courtroom with a ticket from the South Side on [date], please stand up.”

(About fifteen people stand up.)

Judge: “How many of you were in line to pay when you got the ticket?”

(Everyone raises their hands.)

Judge: “Son of a— Bailiff, can you collect up all those tickets, please?”

(There’s a bit of a wait while everyone pulls out their tickets. The bailiff hands them to the traffic court judge and he reads each one. Finally he announces that he doesn’t have time to hear each case. He’s dismissing every ticket; they can all leave. Finally, my friend gets called.)

Judge: “What’s your story?”

Friend: “Well, I was on the North Side on [date two weeks after the last group]. I parked, walked across the lot towards the meter and the meter maid pulled in. She immediately ticketed me. If you look at the time on the ticket and the time on the receipt, she wrote the ticket at exactly the same time as the receipt printed. I was the only one in the lot. She had to know the car in the lot belonged to the guy currently at the meter.”

Judge: *looks at ticket* “This ticket was written by [Meter Maid].”

Friend: “Yes, sir.”

Judge: “Well, today is your lucky day. That story sounds so stupid I wouldn’t normally believe it. But, given what I just witnessed, I’m dismissing yours, as well.”

Friend: “I don’t suppose there’s a way to prevent this from happening again?”

Judge: “I’m going to suggest she get retrained or replaced. I can’t make any promises.”

(Based on a story in the local paper a month later, she was still doing it.)

Hereditary Handicapping

, , , , | Legal | November 4, 2018

(I work in a traffic court and am visiting with people to determine what they want to do on their tickets. I call the name of a defendant who has a ticket for parking in a handicap parking space. As the man approaches, I see that he is elderly and walks slowly. Usually that means he had a tag to hang from the rear-view mirror, authorizing him to park in the handicap space, but it had fallen down, or he had just failed to put it up. Those tickets can be easily dismissed if the person just shows the tag at court.)

Me: “Good morning, sir. I see you have a handicap parking ticket. Do you have a handicap tag?”

Defendant: “Yep.”

(He digs into his paperwork and begins pulling out the blue plastic hang-tag.)

Me: “Ah, did you just not have it up at the time?”

Defendant: *handing me the tag* “No, I had it up the whole time. Don’t know why they gave me a ticket.”

(This is unusual, but it only takes a quick glance at the tag to see what the problem is.)

Me: “Sir, this tag expired in 2007.”

Defendant: *very matter-of-factly* “Yep.”

Me: “Well, it’s no wonder they gave you a ticket, then.”

Defendant: “That was my father’s. It came with the car I got from him when he passed away.”

(Who knows how long he’d been parking in handicapped spaces based on his father’s tag. I asked if he had or needed one of his own, but he said it’d “be more bother” go to a doctor to get his own tag than to just pay the $500 ticket, which is what he did.)

This Is All Public Record

, , , , , , | Legal | November 3, 2018

Years ago, my wife and I were the target of a civil suit. When we arrived at the court for the first hearing, the lights in the courtroom were out and not a soul was in sight. We checked the date and location on our paperwork. We were in the right place at the right time. After some hunting we found the judge’s office and were ushered into his private chambers. Had we not done so, it would have been a judgment against us. The other lawyers were there and smirking, but apparently put out that we found the location of hearing. At the time it didn’t go well, but the plaintiffs made some nasty goofs and the whole issue was dropped. I would have forgotten about the whole issue but I mentioned the judge to a friend of mine I’ll call Waldo.

Waldo was a nut. I say this in a kind way. He was one of the infamous “advisers” in the early days of the Vietnam War. Later in life he became a major advocate for rights and freedoms. To say that he liked to stick it to “the man” was an understatement. One time he went as far as pulling over a cop to warn him of a taillight out. Another time he had the sheriff’s office raid a bank for failure to respect a warrant.

But when I told him about the judge, he said he knew exactly who that was. He was in the same office I was in and complained that the hearing wasn’t public. The judge smugly declared that the office was public. After the hearing, Waldo left and was halfway out of the building when he got a crazy idea. He headed back to the judge’s office, waltzed past his secretary, and barged right into the chambers where the next “public hearing” was taking place. The judge naturally blew his top and asked Waldo what he was doing, barging in like that. Waldo calmly answered that the judge himself had said that this was public. Infuriated, the judge had to tolerate his presence.

Thankfully, laws of Karma caught up with the judge and he was ousted for that nonsense, and a few other bits of malfeasance.

Catching This Criminal Is A Piece Of Cake

, , , , , , | Legal | November 2, 2018

This happened years ago, when my father was a child. My grandfather told me the story.

One day, after a family outing, my grandparents and their children arrived home to discover that someone had broken into their house and stolen various items. A local teenager was soon identified as the likely culprit after his father turned him in to the police. The father had noticed that his son was suddenly in possession of several items that didn’t seem to belong to him, and the police quickly realized that these items matched the description of some of the things stolen from my grandparents’ home. As such, my grandparents were asked to testify against him in court. At this point the young man had not yet formally confessed, but it was expected that he would be found guilty based on his possession of the stolen items.

During the court proceedings, the judge asked my grandparents to describe the items that had been stolen. They listed off several items, including one particular item that was missing from the refrigerator: an expensive cake from a famous bakery. However, upon hearing my grandmother mention a chocolate cake, the young burglar loudly objected, “The cake wasn’t chocolate! It was strawberry!”

He was found guilty.

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