Thursday, September 7, 2006


When I headed downtown for my day in court, to plead my case as to why I was not guilty of running a red light,...I cut the time a little too close, very close and it was made even more hair raising when I realized I did not know where to go.

I virtually ran to the court house. Upon arrival I joined a large mass of people. All looking solemn, very concerned, and quite angry. My type of people.  I got at the back of a line, every one was so quiet and giving off incredible strained vibes, I couldn't help myself and blurted out, "Is this the line for traffic court?"  Those around me nodded yes and I held out my ticket, "Anyone get pulled over for that trap at Coldwater & Coliseum?". They erupted like a volcano!  Everyone had a story. A truck driver with a heavy load of recyclable, a lady with a grand baby in the back seat, crazy drivers who cut in too close, rear ending horrors. Non-sympathetic and heartless cops. Anger and frustration ruled this crowd.

Good! I'm glad I was not the only one offended that I was called a law breaker. Such  a lie!  I was pushed through that intersection! If I had braked, like everyone around me, I would have been rear ended.

The court room was a zoo. Albeit , a well behaved and respectful, very quiet zoo. The Zoo Keeper was a Super-sized bailiff. He was terrific. In a before life he must have been a traffic cop. The hand language was exquisite pantomime. The exaggerated wrist flick  meant "Get away from the door". The "bring it to me" finger fluttering could only mean, "Get your butts to the front". The explicit finger pointing interpreted as, "Stand behind the rail!"

And the sweet gentle gesture of bringing one finger to his lips silenced us all. One look into the crowd would catch the eye of the offender and stop him dead with the of most menacing of glares. He could pick anyone out of the mass, catch their attention and control them with one glance. Every man who entered the back door with a hat on his head was immediately aware of the death ray glare thrown his way across the room. Hats were immediately swept off the head.

He was poetry in motion.

What is up with traffic court? Why did we have public intoxication convicts wearing those orange suits usually associated with the University of Tennessee? I'm here to tell you, one of those guys was HOT. Long wavy hair, a left over from the hippie days, Woodstock. Or maybe a biker. He was beautiful.

We also had in our presence the man who streaked the Bob Dylan concert. Which was held at the minor league ball park last night. I made up the streaking part. I was not there but I would like to think that people still streak to get attention...and to get arrested.

Cocaine possession with intent, persistent felons who did not appear in court and where finally apprehended and forced to appear, women inmates along with the men, not certain what they did, but was told where some of them worked, (strip club!) The judge and the prosecuting attorney had the annoying habit of referring to everything as case number XXXXXXXXXXX053 with a CDS secret code attached and house detention. Juicy stuff that we were only given a teaser.

Everything moved swiftly, if losing three hours of your life is swift. People came and went, entered and stood, found seats of those who were called, babies were banished, interpreters were found for those who did not speak English, husbands stood at the podium for their wives who were out in the lobby with the baby and could not speak the language anyway, only Arabic. Some only Spanish. And then there was the guy who told the judge that he slurred. "Maybe a stint with the CDS would help that slur" the judge told him. The inmates went first. Lawyers and clients went next. Unfinished business was resolved. Some remanded.

Then it was my turn.


When I was asked what I wanted to state, well I stated...."I protest..."

Court Date (jury trial!!!!!????) (only a fool defends a fool????) this February.

Oh wow. Five months to draw diagram's, plan a defense, and .........

Search the internet to find out if that guy really did streak the concert last night.


nellemclaughlin said...

I can relate to your experience. I went to court two months ago with a neighbor. A problematic neighbor signed a summons against them for burning wood in an outdoor fireplace. I was going to be their witness. When we waited through HOURS of others hearings, they pleaded not guilty. Then they received a court date. That date has been changed three times but in about a week I will be going back to court. Can't plan a defense other than to say that they have done nothing illegal. This neighbor who made the complaint has the option of closing his windows on windy days but he refuses. We shall see how the wheels of justice turn in our township.

adlessor said...

Good for you.    Good luck.   Now get going and prepare your case.         Dawn

mavarin said...

Great slice of life!  For what it's worth, I've done traffic court three times (well, the first time, John was the defendent).  It was worth it every time, as much to see what others were doing as for the result.  Good luck!

am4039 said...

still trying to catch up. I will read this tomorrow. Hope all is well.

am4039 said...

I read it and good luck. LOL. I wonder if that guy did streak? I remember going to  court a few times in my life. LOL. Not a good thing.

yakima127 said...

You are so brave!  Good luck planning your defense!  Jae

ryanagi said...

Was it a traffic camera? If so, was it automated?  If's heresay. If no living being witnesses the offense and can attest to your know. A computer controlled camera isn't a living witness. I heard an expert on the radio talking about this topic. Do a search on the net. I'm sure you'll find all the details you need to get out of the ticket.

shadierush said...

Wow! At least you found something interesting to watch as things drug on. I'm not a people watcher so I would have been bored out of my mind!
Hope your trial goes well.

suzypwr said...

I used to spend a lot of time in court for my job - I never got tired of hearing other cases. Good luck!


flossiepumpkin said...


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mtrib2 said...

I think your defense should be that you did not brake to avoid an accident.    mark

smstuebe said...

Defendants with lawyers always go first in order of "Check in" or if your lawyer knows the clerk.