Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Anti-climax in the courtroom

I get up at an ungodly hour to get to the LA Superior Court a little before time as a responsible citizen. Of course my confirmation page didn't tell me the address or that there was more than one LA Superior Court so I get there, park and just as I get in, I find out that I'm at the wrong court. Having parked 2 blocks down, traffic hour and the right court 20 blocks down, I panic and run like someone's following me with a butcher knife. Miraculously, driving like a maniac, I make it to the right court in time to see a hundred people in line before me at the entrance. It looks worse than the airport security scene on long weekends. The elevator ordeal (with 30 peeps squeezed into a 3x3) and other such unmentionables later, I reach the assigned court room.

The cop on duty makes everyone (about a 100 of us) sit on the left side of the room. Then he begins to call out names and you get to sit on the right side of the room, in the order your name gets called. It brings me back memories from elementary but I ignore. Snoop Dogg is right in front of me. I can only see him from the back thought. It takes the cop 30 minutes to get through the name game until everyone gets seated. Then he plays a small audio on civilian rights which I pretend to not understand. Few more minutes (I'm already aching to break free at this point) and he makes another announcement about a temp judge being on duty and that peeps have a right to leave if they wanted to see a 'real' judge. No one seems to care about time although it's 9 am on a weekday. Finally the temp judge comes in and calls the first guy. "Mr. Chris Brown" he says and the room breaks into laughter. What are the odds!

9 defendants later, it's my turn.
"Miss you are charged for crossing an intersection during a flashing light. Do you plead guilty, not guilty or no contest?"
"Not guilt your honor" I say confidently.
"Ok your base fine is $25 and please see the cashier for setting up a trial." Dang hadn't thought of this. I thought in my innocent head, that if the cop doesn't show up, you win! Poor me. I cannot bear the thought of dealing with this again.
"I'm actually moving out of town and won't be able to come in for a trial." Could it be any more lame?
"What do you wish you do then?"
"Umm is there any way you can reduce the fine?" I am insane.
"Because you are asking for a special consideration, I will have to finish with everyone in the room first and then hear you out. You'll have to wait about three hours. Do you wish to do that?" No no no. I have to get out of here. I will die in here if I wait half that long. Plus I have a meeting at 11 with out-of-towners that I can't get out of.
"In that case I plead guilty." I given in with a kitten face.

20 minutes later, my bank balance gets down by $123.

All this, because I had dared to cross a street in downtown during lunch a few months back when the walk sign was flashing and gotten a freaking jay walking ticket. It was flashing for god's sake, not even red. He could have given me a warning, he could have opted to fight real crime but instead he took the easy way out. Someone's going to hell where there will be no sports bars with girls serving booze in shorts. Oh and that wasn't Snoop btw... just a clumsier look alike, if that's possible.

Funny when it happens to someone else, ain't it?

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