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Innocent Until They Prove Themselves Guilty

, , , , | Legal | December 14, 2018

(This story was told to me by a friend who has jury duty for a trial against a man facing several burglary charges. The trial and presentation of evidence go by as you’d expect from any trial. Afterwards, the judge thanks everyone for attending and instructs the jury to deliberate, with any further courses of action to be discussed after that. Then the judge asks if anyone has any questions. The defendant immediately puts his hand up and asks this gem.)

Defendant: “Yeah, so, if I’m found innocent, does… does that mean I get to keep the stuff I took?”

(His lawyer put his head in his hands, as the judge and jury struggled to hold back laughter. It took less than five minutes to convict him.)

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Appearances Can’t Be Deceiving

, , , , , , , | Legal | December 10, 2018

In the late 80s, my uncle looked like a big, hairy biker guy, despite being a very big teddy bear. He had the ZZ-Top beard and long hair, and perpetually wore a bandana like a headband.

He was pulled over for speeding or some minor infraction and decided he wanted to go to court to fight it. He decided nobody would give the time of day to a dirty, biker-looking guy, and went and cut off his hair and beard, which hadn’t been cut in the better part of a decade. My mother didn’t even recognize him clean shaven, it had been so long.

He showed up in court — my mom and I, a child, tagged along for some reason — in a suit, with short hair, clean shaven….

Only to find out the judge assigned the case was blind.

And nobody in our family has let him live that down!

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Feel For Her Poor, Coddled Children

, , , , , | Legal | December 8, 2018

(I’m working at an aquarium. Today I’m in charge of doing a feeding show with the penguins. As little kids in the audience go, “Eww,” or, “Aww!” a full-grown lady walks up.)

Lady: “AAAH!” *covers children’s eyes, and then turns to me, through the tank* “How can you let kids watch this?! Dead animals being given to these cute creatures! Disgusting!”

(She stalks off, and I continue the show. Just a week later, I get a notification from management telling me I have to show up in court for this lady who’s suing us.)

Lady: *in court* “They were corrupting our children, letting them see these dead animals being fed to the animals they thought were these cute, fluffy creatures!”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, the penguins need the fish to survive. The children aren’t ‘corrupted’ by it because they eat fish, beef, and chicken themselves! Are you expecting us to have to feed them at ten pm when we close and they’re about to go to sleep?”

(This went in a circle for a while, but she ended up losing!)

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Repossession Is Ten Tenths Of The Law

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 2, 2018

(I am unemployed for an extended period of time. I end up getting a ticket for lapsed car inspection. The police officer tells me to get the car inspected and the ticket will be reduced to a parking fine. Two hours after this, my car gets repossessed by my car finance company. This is three days before I start my new job. I am not able to get the car inspected, so I go to court to pay the ticket.)

Judge: “So, we can reduce this to a parking fine if you plead guilty. Did you get the car inspected?”

Me: “Unfortunately, the car got repossessed several hours after I got the ticket.”

Judge: “Oh, no! That’s terrible!”

Me: “Well, I have a job now and I’m doing well, so it could be worse. I’m hoping to get the car back on Friday, and then I’ll have it inspected.”

Judge: “I’m so glad to hear you’re doing better. You have enough on your plate, so I’m dismissing this. You have a good day!”

Me: “Thank you so much!”

(I got the car back and it is now inspected. I’m super grateful to the judge, because if I’d had to pay a fine, I wouldn’t have had enough money to recover my car.)

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Claims To Be Dismissed

, , | Legal | November 26, 2018

(I work in the land acquisition department for a civil engineering firm. We are tasked with acquiring right-of-way and/or easements needed for roadway improvement projects initiated by our state, county, or even city transportation and roadway departments. We usually settle with property owners, where they’ll receive fair market value or an acceptable amount of money for the portion of their property required for the roadway project. However, in some cases, we have to acquire the portion by right of eminent domain, by act of condemnation. In most cases the judge only deals with the property owner and attorney for the body of government seeking to acquire the owner’s property. Very rarely do these hearings go to jury trial, but on the off chance they do, jury duty is ordered as it is with any other trial. Potential jurors are each issued a paddle with a number in a large font printed on it. This happens to a former coworker of mine.)

District Attorney: *after introducing the case* “Is anybody here familiar with [Property Owner]?”

(A few jurors raise their paddles, as does my coworker.)

District Attorney: “Is anybody here familiar with [Roadway Project]?”

(A few more jurors raise their paddles, including my coworker.)

District Attorney: “Does anybody here know [County D.O.T. Commissioner]?”

(A couple of jurors raise their paddles, including my coworker.)

District Attorney: “Is anybody here familiar with [Our Employer]?”

(A few more jurors raise their paddles, including my coworker.)

District Attorney: “Does anybody here know [Boss]?”

(A couple of jurors raise their paddles, including my coworker.)

District Attorney: “Does anybody here know [Coworker]?”

(By then, [Coworker] is basically jumping up and down in her seat, waving her paddle as if she is swatting at flies.)

District Attorney: “Yes, Juror #24, how do you know these parties?”

Coworker: “Because I am [Coworker]!”

(She was promptly dismissed.)

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