Friday, October 17, 2008

I WENT TO COURT TODAY


NO, I WASN'T ARRESTED BUT IT WOULD HAVE SERVED ME RIGHT IF I HAD BEEN! (FOR ALL THOSE THINGS I GOT AWAY WITH AS A KID)

I was there with a friend on a city code violation and had a look at court for the first time in over thirty years. Lucky me! The entire thing was eye-opening and again hammered home just how old I have become.

In the "old" days, going to court meant best clothes (church worthy,) clean hair and hands, shoes with socks (no sandals) and definitely no jeans with rips, holes, grime, or hanging down to the knees.

Now, I am no fashion plate, nor am I a giant fan of authority, but I was totally blown away! At least two of my anti-war disturbing the peace, trespassing charges also included resisting arrest. Yeah, it was hippie time and I don't regret a one of them. It would have been appropriate, had I gone to court, to wear my best hippie skirt and blouse, be clean and add the "Yes, sir" when appropriate...(no female judges in those days and the reasons for not going to court will be explained, if you're really interested.)

Anyway, there were approximately 25 people set to go before the judge. It was an arraignment hearing, so the whole thing about testimony and cross examination wasn't there. You either had to plead guilty or innocent and get sentenced or told when your next trial date would be. A few of the charges were related to no proof of insurance or driving after suspension. The majority were for drinking offenses...primarily underage consumption (we are a college town) and other alcohol related issues.

I've had my issues with alcohol in the past, but it now seems that the majority of cases going through the courts are alcohol related. And, with an attitude. The only kid (since they were all under 21 I have no regret in calling them kids, but it doesn't allay their responsibility) that was dressed appropriately for the hearing was one young man wearing an obviously new blue shirt (wrinkles still intact from packaging) and a pair of black tuxedo pants. He made an attempt. The young women disappointed me totally. The examples seen here are dress jeans compared to what I saw in court today...not to mention the "thongs" and midriffs that were showing.

Then came the communication problem. "Your Honor" was not said once...nor was "yes, ma'am" or "no, ma'am." Instead was the ongoing guttural responses consisting of "yup, nope, yeah, uh huh and uh..." I heard one "Thank you." The rest of the time I heard a variety of communication that could be best described as close to nonsensical.

Where was Judge Judy? I wanted her there! Not only to find all of them guilty with no leniency, but to also tack on an added fine for poor posture, communication skills, and for not having a mirror in their house so that they could see what they looked like before they presented themselves in court.

The judge this morning, however, showed more tolerance and acceptance than I ever would. And, she probably accomplished a lot more with her ability to accept everyone and deal with them fairly. However, I am going to suggest that I be the grammar coach, clothes critic and general bad hand for these kids. It was more than scary.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic said...

We are getting old. LOL

October 17, 2008 at 4:10 PM  

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