Wednesday, October 07, 2015

My Day in Court

Well, I spent the day in court.
That's an exaggeration--it just felt that way. I went to The Hall of Justice about 11:00 because I wanted to see if I could pay the fine, then send a letter asking to have it rescinded or at least, reduced. However, when I finally--after a wait--got to the clerk, she strongly advised me to go to court instead. She indicated I had a better chance that way. Ellen had paid, then sent a letter and had had her fine forgiven--and she turned left on a red light, a much greater sin than mine, seems to me. However, this was 8 or 9 years ago and her fine was 200 something.
Anyway, for better or worse, I took the clerk's advice. She gave me an appointment to appear at 1:30 in courtroom 10. I went home and started writing out some of the points I'd bring up to the judge to try to forgive or reduce my fine. I then re-read my blog entry of yesterday and saw Pat's comment. Yoicks! Would I have to pay court costs on top of the fine if I was unsuccessful? I immediately called and got a recording that they answer phones only until 11:30. It was 11:34--damn!
I jumped in the car and drove back to the court (luckily, it's less than ten minutes away). Went back to the same clerk and asked and--no, they don't add court costs, win or lose.
Well, that was a relief, anyway. However, it's a long walk from where you have to park to the courthouse and it was then almost noon. I decided to stay and I did, having a so-so salad and water in the cafeteria. That meant that I had to hang out there for an hour and a half, but it wasn't too bad.
I had innocently--or ignorantly--thought there were actual staggered appointments: Mine was a 1:30, somebody else at 2:00, then 2:30, and so on. What a boob I was: EVERYBODY had 1:30 appointments. We all went in, filled out a paper, and waited to be called.
My turn came about ten people in, so it wasn't too bad. The judge asked what I pleaded, I said guilty and he immediately reduced the fine to $250. I didn't get a chance to mention I was only here two months, am on a limited income, am a frail old lady just like his sweet old granny--. Okay, it took about one minute, if that, and off I went. I was amazed that it was only 2:30 at that point; it seemed I had been in there so long, it must be 6 or 7.
Visited my pal, the clerk, and was going to put it on my credit card until she said there was a five dollar charge for that. Debit? Same thing. I found that so damn unfair that I rushed home to get my check book and went back. All right, I paid, it's over, and now I want to forget the whole friggin' ordeal.

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