Get Out Or They Will Be An In-Jury

, , , , | Legal | December 24, 2018

(My mom gets called for jury duty every year. One year she is placed in a sexual harassment/title-nine trial. The woman in this case just so happens to be a patient of the doctor my mom works for. The judge in this trial is peeved from the start and warns that he will accept very few excuses for not serving. He declines to accept the excuse that someone is a small business owner and it’s nearing a shopping season, or that someone is a driver and doesn’t get reimbursed by his employer — basically, if he doesn’t drive he doesn’t make any money, and jury service payments are a joke. The judge gets to my mom, who states she has a reason for being unfit for this trial, but due to legal reasons cannot say in a crowded courtroom. The judge keeps pressing and my mom insists that due to HIPPA she can’t say anything more. The judge clears the court of everyone but the opposing parties and their attorneys.)

Judge: *as snide and sarcastic as all get out* “Well, now, [Mom], the court has been cleared. What is your excuse?”

Mom: “I work for [Doctor], and she is a patient.”

(The woman in question goes wide-eyed and whispers to her attorney. Both sides agree to dismiss my mom.)

Judge: *clearly pissed that he has to do this* “[Mom], you’re excused. But you have to return to the jury room to see if your service can be used elsewhere.”

(Fine. My mom went to the jury room, where the clerks were confused. It was already past lunch; most people were completely excused if they’d made it this far. They formally excused her from service for the year. My mom had a good laugh, not only because the judge was so rude, but because the woman was known for being a pain in the a** at my mom’s office.)

No Judgments, But You Were Speeding

, , , , , | Legal | December 18, 2018

(I’m dating a girl who works at a law office in a small suburb town. The attorney who owns the firm is also the head judge in the suburb. My girlfriend gets stopped for speeding on the main road through the town.)

Officer: *writing ticket* “Where do you work, ma’am?”

Girlfriend: “The law office of Jim [Judge].”

Officer: *stops writing, looks up* “You mean Judge James [Judge]?”

Girlfriend: “Yeah, but I just call him Jim.”

Officer: *crumples up ticket* “I’m not even going to bother.”

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.)

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.)

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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