Posts Tagged ‘Fine’

… I think that’s how it goes.

Anyway.. so I am not longer a fugitive from the law for an unpaid parking ticket that I didn’t know about.

I called the District Court this morning to find out exactly where they’re at and the woman told me that they only accepted payments until 3:30pm.

Bird came down with some sick, twisted variation of the swine flu so I thought I was going to have to drive out there alone.

I really didn’t want to do that because with me, you never know what might happen :: have you realized that yet? :: so I had a little lip-chewing action going on. Usually, Chief’s dad pops around the shop and hangs out for .. well.. EVER and half the time I’m looking for ways to ditch in the back :: the man thinks I have a serious urinary problem :: but I was hoping today that he would show up. He’s at the age where he will jump at the opportunity to do ANYTHING that breaks up his routine so you know what happens, right?

He’s no where to be found.

Chief’s solution is to over-night the payment and I’m like.. yea. Right. Because YOUR batting a thousand on the idea diamond right, bucky?

Anyway.. I give his dad a call asking why he didn’t show up today and he said he had to run some errands but he’ll stop by. It’s about 1pm.

2.5 hours to deadline.

So I wait.. and wait.. and wait.. and he finally pops in around 1:30pm.

2 hours to deadline.

I ask him if he wants to drive me to where I needed to go and he said sure but he still had one thing to do before we could leave. Would only take him 10 minutes at the most. No problem. Go do what you have to do.

He comes back at 2:30.

1 hour to deadline.

By this point.. with the morning I’ve had.. I think that maybe spending the night in jail would do me good. No kids.. no dogs.. don’t have to worry about making dinner, etc.

But he shows up and he insists on driving. He says it’s because he can drive around if there wasn’t a parking spot but I know it’s really because he had a difficult time getting in and out of my wagon.

He warns me for the 1000th time that I can’t smoke in his Astro but that doesn’t bother me. If I’m somewhere where smoking is prohibited, it doesn’t bother me much.

What he NEEDED to warn me about was his freakin’ driving!

I’ve been driving so long that when I’m a passenger I’m prone to getting car sick. OMG.. I hate being carsick.. Even when I was younger and my father would drive us to .. well.. ANYwhere.. my mother never left the house with a milk jug filled with water.. crackers.. plastic bags to get sick in.. and a box of tissues. It’s not so bad if I’m sitting in the front seat but FORGET the back!

Don’t get me wrong… he’s a good driver. Until he has to stop. Then it’s the last minute jam on the brakes that lurches you just forward enough so that you don’t go through the windshield but far enough so that your stomach flips.

Imagine that on a highway that is all peaks and valleys.

We finally get there and I understand my mom’s obsession with water, crackers and plastic bags. But I will myself to not blow chunks and I’m impressed with myself because it worked.

So I go in the courthouse and ask the lady at the window if this was the right place to pay a fine. She asks me what kind of fine and I pull out the bright pink piece of paper.

THAT’S AN ARREST WARRANT she says so loud that the other people waiting in the office all turned and looked.

FOR A PARKING TICKET I DIDN’T KNOW I HAD I had to say just as loud.. or louder. Just so .. like.. these people know that I’m not involved in any drug cartels :: well, there is Weed and the Crack Whore :: or up for murder or something.

She makes this little sarcastic “hmph” noise and goes somewhere behind the window. I’m assuming that she’s processing something to make my fugitive status go away but she comes back to the window with a handful of papers that she rifles through until she finds the Post Office’s green return receipt card.

She literally slams it down in front of me and says “.. so you’re saying you never got this?” pointing to the signature.

NO.. I said.. not only didn’t I SIGN it.. it’s not even MY NAME.

She gives me a look and I start thinking that maybe this is opening up a can of worms that I don’t want to see the light of day so I put on my most sincerest fake smile and tell her that I just want to pay the fine. Obviously someone in my house :: Chief :: signed it but I’m not worried about it. I just want to pay what I owe.

She then gives me what I believe to be HER most sincerest fake smile .. complete with little head tilt .. and put her hand out for the money. It was 119 and change so I give her 120. She asks if I have the change because they’re really low on coinage and I tell her that I don’t but it’s fine. They can keep it.

Nope. No can do. They have to give me the change so everyone in the room is digging through their pockets and handbags to come up with change for a buck. I offer to go out to the Astro and see if Chief’s dad has change and she said :: omg, I still can’t believe it :: She said:

IF YOU LEAVE THIS ROOM BEFORE THE TRANSACTION IS COMPLETE, YOU WILL BE ARRESTED.

Are you fucking kidding me? YOU owe ME change.

I said that.

I shouldn’t have.

She went on this little tirade behind the glass that completely captured the attention of her co-workers and sent me their evil glares.

But somebody came up with the change and I had to sign a piece of paper stating that I was guilty. I contemplated signing the Not Guilty line but figured I had pushed the envelope as far as I could and I just wanted to get the hell out of there.

I was quite relieved when I got back to the Astro.

The ride home seemed a lot longer then the ride up but that was because Chief’s dad had that brake thing going on again and I just barely made it back to the shop before I heaved up everything that had been in my stomach for the past few days.

So it’s over..

Thank GOD!!!

Ok…

So my girl Jen512 wanted to hear about this.. this.. um.. “experience” :: for lack of a better word :: so while I have some time to kill before starting dinner, I figured I’d tell you about my day of civic duty in the new county I live in.

Before moving into suburbia, I lived my whole life in a very large urban city. Jury Duty in the city was simple. You basically showed up.. indulged in the burnt coffee and stale donuts they provided as a “thank you for showing up”.. sat.. waited.. waited.. sat.. collected your 9.00 check and went home.

I really have no idea who the people who actually sit in the jury box during trials are because as God is my witness.. NO ONE was ever picked from the huge room of potential jurors that sat there with me each time I went.

But anyway…

So here’s the thing… I may grumble about going. It may be an inconvenience to go… but I really don’t mind it. It’s like going to the gynecologist. You don’t REALLY want to go.. but it’s a necessary evil that once you get there, really isn’t so bad.

On with it..

So I moved into this county in November 2007 and in less then a year, I get the jury summons.

In the city, it was basically a post card that asked if you were a citizen.. if you were ever convicted of a felony.. if you understood English and if you needed someone to help you answer the questions.

Honest to God.

Here in the county, the questionaire is SIX FREAKIN’ PAGES long and includes questions about how exactly lives in your household.. what they do for a living.. how old they are.. what their relationship is to you.. if they’ve ever been arrested..etc.

So I fill it all out and mail it back it and then am given a time and date to show up. Oh.. and a number. I’m given a number. My number was 104 or something like that.

Anyway.. the day comes and there is a torrential down pour. It was a miserable fucking day but I have my handbag full of snacks and puzzle books and reading books and magazines and everything else I can think of that would stave off boredom for the 8 hours I was going to be there.

So there are about 120 people sitting in the holding cell potential juror’s room and we watch this video and get lectured a welcome speech from one of the high judges.. all the shit, basically.

It just so happens that on the day I had to go, they were starting to pick the jury for an abnormally high profile murder case. I can’t go into anymore detail then that for ambiguity sake but believe me.. it was an abnormally high profiled murder case. In fact, it was so abnormally high profiled that I would have actually LIKED to be in this jury.

That is.. until I found out that the trial was probably going to be about 3 or 4 weeks long and that because it was so abnormally high profiled, the jury would have to be sequestered.

Hell No.

Not doing that.

A point of the case was that it dealt with homosexuality… and although I am in no way a homo-phobe, I figured that my good Christian values would dictate that I SHOULD be and that would be my out to be dismissed by the defense team.

One day.. One trial and I’m free.

NOTE: Before you start typing hate mail, save the time. I don’t believe that my good Christian values dictate that I should be a homo-phobe. I was just trying to get out of being sequestered into the Thanksgiving holidays!

Because this was a big case :: I promise I will never say “abnormally high profile” again in this post, they brought all 120 potential jurors up into the courtroom. Where we sat.. unable to eat.. or drink.. or talk to the people sitting next to us.. or read or do ANYTHING until we were dismissed.

Wonderful. There goes my handbag full of diversion, huh.

The worse part was.. in an attempt to hinder you further from maybe whispering to the people sitting next to you.. they had white noise playing on the speakers.

You know the “shhhhhshhhhhshhhhhshhhhshhh” noise? The sound that the “snow” channel made on old tv sets?

Talk about cruel and fucking unusual punishment for people that a few hours before you were welcoming with open arms of thanks :: no stale donuts, though ::

Anyway.. they pass out a set of questions that they want you to answer. These will be reviewed by the judge, defense team and prosecution team.

One of the questions was:

WOULD YOU HOLD IT AGAINST A DEFENDANT IF THEY DIDN’T TAKE THE STAND?

Something to that effect.

HELL YEA I wrote.

And I would. Definitely.

So all the papers are collected and then the questions are read aloud for which everyone who answered a certain way has to stand to acknowledge their answer to the question.

Not sure if I’m explaining this right. But like, they would say:

All those who answered YES to Question 5 regarding a friend or family member convicted of a crime please stand up with your juror number displayed.

Personally, I think that sucks but as you will find out I think about this sucked.

Anyway.. so they get to the question about holding it against someone who won’t take the stand in their own defense and I promptly stand up. So did the girl to the left of me.

Remember, we’re not able to talk to one another and there’s enough flying monkey’s from the Wizard of Oz trolling around making sure we don’t.

So after they get done all that.. they start speaking to the potential jurors one by one.. up at the judges side bar.

Remember, there are 120 people in there. They are interviewing people NUMERICALLY. It’s almost 3pm by this time.. I am number 104… they are on number 23 or something and I’m thinking.. Welp.. court ends at 4.. there’s my one day / one trial thing done and over with.

NO.

SUCH.

LUCK.

4:00 rolls around… then 4:15… then 4:30… THEN 4:45.

The judge then tells us that we would ALL have to come back tomorrow.. no IFS.. ANDS.. or BUTS.. because to NOT come back tomorrow would mean serious.. serious consequences.

Here’s were things get dicey. I really should learn to never leave my house without a filter on my mouth or at least learn how to control my impulses because as soon as the Judge said, “… you all have to come back tomorrow” all ANYONE heard coming from me was OH. NO. I’M. NOT!

It was kind of like that old EF Hutton commercial.. the one where EVERYONE stops to listen? Yea.. well.. that’s kind of what happened. And since all eyes were on me I, of course, had to stand up for the rights of citizens everywhere.

Right?

Um.. yea.. they didn’t think so.

Anyway.. so I start ranting about how the jury summons had said ONE DAY or ONE TRIAL. This was our ONE day because we certainly weren’t involved in a trial. You cannot tell me that NO ONE in this court room figured out at .. like.. Oh, I don’t know.. 2pm? 3pm, maybe? that they weren’t going to get through ALL 120 jurors. Could they have NOT let anyone know then so that they could make the appropriate arrangement for say.. oh, I don’t know.. they’re JOB maybe? Because as of NOW.. my office and certainly OTHER people’s offices were closed so how the HELL am I suppose to notify my boss that I have to come back HERE! again?

Every body started fist pumping the air… chanting my name.. comparing me to Norma Rae!

Well.. no .. actually they were just agreeing with me with a head nods and mumblings of “yep, that’s right”. But hey, a girl can have a fantasy right?

All of a sudden, one of the flying monkeys rushes towards me and tell me that I better “knock it off” :: really. He said that :: or he’d give me a fine.

“A fine?, “ I asked making that smirky face I made once in a while. “For WHAT?”

“Disorderly Conduct,” he said.

I think I responded with OH. COME. THE. FUCK. ON! and added something about him being a kindergarten drop out who couldn’t get a real job as a policeman.. and if he DIDN’T know, I was a United States Citizen who had every right to oppose the sanctions placed upon me BY the court when I was here doing my duty TO the court. How fucked up was that??

One thing you need to know about me… in situations like this, I tend to pull out the big 10 cent dictionary words and go into “lawyer”-speak, as my psychotic ex husband used to say.

He had about enough of me, I’ll tell you what!

He whips out his little citation book and tells me that I am definitely getting a fine and incredibly, asks me my name and address.

I tell him in my most billowing Norma Rae voice that:

I AM JUROR NUMBER 104.. LOOK IT UP IN THE GODDAMN PAPER WORK

And then I walked out of the courtroom… down the hall.. down the steps.. across the courtyard.. across the street.. into the parking lot and into my car muttering, “… what the fuck did you JUST do you simple ass mother fucker?” Quickly proceeded by “.. dammit, I need a coffee STAT!

So the next day comes and I head back to the courtroom :: like instructed :: taking the same seat that I had before.

All the flying monkeys were giving me the hairy eyeball and the other potential jurors were sneaking me smiles and nods.

Again they put on the white noise.. and again you have to sit there with no source of entertainment or access to caffeine. This was going to be a LONG day!

There happened to be some kind of issue with Juror 103 :: on my right ::. I’m not sure what it is because you know, we aren’t aloud to inter act, but at some point she grabs hold of one of the flying monkeys and tells him that there is no possible way she can continue to sit in the court room because the defense attorney was the same guy that her old babysitter used when she was on trial for shaking her :: the juror’s :: baby to death. She got off and apparently, this woman held it against the defense attorney.

DAAAAMMMMNNNNN!!! The things you find out when white noise doesn’t work as well as you think it does!!

Anyway, the flying monkey tells the woman that she cannot leave the court room but that he will speak to the judge. She gets all hysterical crying and asks if she could use the ladies room. The flying monkey then gives a not to the crypt keeper and a set of doors rivaling the beginning of Get Smart opens and she leaves.

She eventually comes back and about an hour or so later, when the judge and all were finishing up grilling Juror 87 or 88, the unexpectedly call Juror 105 :: the girl on my left ::.

Immediately there is a buzz in the room. What did this mean? Is everyone else going home? Are they going to keep everyone else? WHY. THE. HELL. WOULD. THEY. SKIP. OVER. ALL. THESE. PEOPLE? What was so special about HER?? Why did SHE get called next? Did she have naked pictures of the JUDGE?

It was craziness. Pandemonium would be a better word. All the official court people start shushing everyone and the judge is banging his gavel and calling order and all this stuff and finally, everyone calms down.

Juror 105 was questioned and then released.

Lucky bitch.

Anyway.. so fast forward to when they finally call my number.

I go up before the judge, the prosecution and defense and the judge asks me about the answers to my questions. But before he could get to any specific one, I tell him that I didn’t answer one question truthfully. I told him that it would be difficult for me to serve on the jury because I morally opposed homosexuality and the reason why I didn’t answer truthfully is because there were obviously people around me who were gay and I didn’t want to either offend anyone or make anyone uncomfortable.

The defense attorney poo-poo’d that sentiment. Which.. okay.. he TECHNICALLY was right about but he really didn’t know that for sure. I mean, I COULD really feel that way.

The judge then asked me about THE question.. the whole defendant taking the stand thing.

I said to him that I understood that it was a defendants constitutional right NOT to take the stand but I firmly believe that an innocent person had nothing to hide and that if I were accused of something I didn’t do then I you wouldn’t be ABLE to keep my mouth shut about it.

The defense attorney huffed at that but instead of cutting my eyes at him I just remained with the persona of a dutiful potential juror.

I thought this was it… given what I said, no one in there RIGHT MIND would want me on a jury and I would be excused. I figured it was early enough in the afternoon that I could get some shopping done.. maybe check out Border’s… go to DSW… I had it all planned out.

But they shot me a curve ball.

They told me to go back to my seat.

WTF???

I gave a grin… and politely made my way back to my seat.. mentally calling them ever curse word in English AND Italian!!

And I sat.

And sat.

And sat until they finally got everybody interviewed.

It was then that the judge called on me to go to his chambers.

All eyeballs on me.

Fuck.

As I made my way back.. escorted by a flying monkey.. I swear I was waiting for the cuffs to be put on and was trying to figure out how the hell I was going to 1) let Chief know that I was probably the only potential juror ever arrested and 2) explain to Chief why I was the only potential juror ever arrested.

I get to the chambers and the judge and both attorneys were there. I sit down and the judge tells me that the reason why I’m being called back there is that the defense attorney feels as though I was not being honest about my answers.

Are you KIDDING me?

This is already 2441 words so I’ll cut to the chase.

Remember that juror that they interviewed out of order? Well apparently, she said the same thing about THE question that I did and he was convinced that we had some conspiracy thing going on between us.

Are you KIDDING me?

I asked him if he was insinuating that the flying monkeys didn’t do their job and keep us from talking.. because there was no way in HELL you could have a conversation .. even with mental telepathy.. with them around.

The defense hack also said that he didn’t believe my rant on homosexuality and suggested to the judge that I be held in contempt of the court.

Are you KIDDING me?

I was getting really REALLY pissed at this point so I turned around and told him why it was so damn important to have me on this jury? Obviously, his client wasn’t going to take the stand because he was guilty as hell :: yes, I did say that :: so he wasn’t going to win me over on that.. and he definitely isn’t going to win me over on the gay thing… so why was he wasting MY time, the JUDGE’S time and the COURTS time by grilling me unless, of course, the reason WHY he wanted me on the jury is so that WHEN his client is found guilty as ALL HELL, he’d have an out to get him another trial.

I have to admit that that came to me at the last minute but I can tell you that it did peak the Judge’s interest.

The defense attorney said that that was ridiculous and told me that I was making a mockery of the law.

That really inflamed me. I told him that on the contrary, HE was the one mocking the law. That even though one may not always agree with the law.. it is the LAW and he was the one trying to dance around it. And as far as the constitution goes, I’m sure he didn’t agree with everything in it.. but even though it preserves certain rights, that doesn’t me that I have to agree with those rights.

The judge asked me again if there was any shadiness with the other potential juror and I told him that he could look up every single juror sheet that I ever filled out in the city and the answer to that question is always the same.

He seemed satisfied… the prosecution was literally getting a kick out of all this and the defense guy was all twisted up in knots.

The judge told me I could leave and as I was walking out, I remembered the fine. I decided to be bold and ask him if I still have to pay it. He seemed a little taken back by my boldness but I told him that considering the defense attorney basically wanted me drawn and quartered, wasn’t that punishment enough?

He told me he would see what he could do and if I got the citation in the mail then to just mail it to his office.

Ordeal over.. I made my way home.

Quickly.. before anyone changed their minds!!

BTW … the guy on trial? Yea.. they found him guilty as all hell!