Thursday, February 02, 2006

My first foray into our legal system, pt. 2

Well this morning was my court date.

I was up until about 1:30 last night working on all my evidence and my arguments. I wrote out what I would say, and tried to anticipate any arguments the police officer might make. You can see the sweet diagram I made of the street, the parking sign, and my car to clearly show how I was not in violation. I was ready!

I got up bright and early, and went to go argue my case. I wasn't late, but I didn't have a whole lot of time to spare before my 8:30 hearing, so I was a little worried when I arrived at the courthouse and realized I didn't have change for the meter -- the irony of getting a parking ticket while I was in court fighting a parking ticket would be too much for me. I asked a few people for change, but nobody had any. So I ran into the courthouse to find some change so I could run back out and feed the meter before my appearance.

When I got to the courthouse, I discovered that they had full airport type security which I had to wait to get through. Inside I found a change machine - ran back out, fed the meter, ran back in, through security again, and finally checked in at the window with a few minutes to spare.

So there I am, sitting in the waiting area in my shirt and tie, sweating because I just ran a few miles back and forth to my car and the courthouse is at about 92 degrees for some reason. I also discovered that if you wear a shirt and tie to traffic court, you will be quite overdressed. Seriously overdressed. Finally, they called us all in.

The courtroom was pretty small. All of us who were being seen sat on benches around the perimeter of the room. The judge then told us all that we were here not for a hearing, just to file our plea. If we pled not guilty, a seperate trial would then be scheduled. This confused me, nobody told me this wasn't the actual trial. Why on earth would I come to court if I didn't want to fight my ticket? Remember, I had already filed an appeal by mail. This was rediculous. I was all prepared. I woke up early! I had diagrams!!!!

Sure enough, when it was my turn, she called me up, asked how I wanted to plead, I said, "Not Guilty" and she said ok, your court date will be March 13th. I had to sign a few papers saying that if I didn't show up, I would automatically lose and owe a bond of $79.

That was it. It was all rather anticlimactic. Now I have to wait until March.

So far, I'm out about $4 for parking and postage and 3 hours of my time in fighting my $25 ticket. We'll see at the end of this all if it is worth it. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion...

PS - when I got home, Andi informed me that wearing a shirt and tie with jeans isn't a great look for me. Apparantly thats one of those things your just not supposed to do.


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