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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.)

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A Candy Crush Saga

, , , , | Legal Right | November 18, 2018

(Our window displays out in front of the window feature jewelry mixed in with fake candy. My coworker is in the back helping a customer design a new setting for some heirloom stones. I am in the front. A woman enters, her cell phone held in front of her, obviously filming me, a smirk on her face.)

Woman: “I would like to buy some candy.”

Me: “Uh, candy?”

Woman: “You show candy in your window. I want to buy some.”

Me: “I’m afraid that’s not for sale. In fact, it’s plastic; it’s just display.”

Woman: *getting louder* “So you WON’T sell me candy?”

Me: “I don’t have candy to sell.”

Woman: *triumphantly lowers her phone* “Ha! You know I can bring a lawsuit against you for false advertising! I’m going to sue this store for all its worth!”

(At this point, the customer emerges from the back room, smiling.)

Customer: “Ma’am, I truly hope you do try to sue this place. I’m Judge [Name], and I occasionally need a laugh from the bench. And that’s what I would do, laugh you out of the courtroom.”

(The woman turned red and sputtered out that she didn’t think he was a real judge. When he pulled out his card, she slunk out of the door. The judge laughed and shared with us a few stories of crazy lawsuits he had seen, while my coworker finished designing the new piece. The store owner has promised to donate to his re-election campaign.)

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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.)

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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.)

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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.

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