Saturday, 31 January 2009

A Court Date to Remember

It isn't often that Dal and I get to go on dates. Lack of close by family and a slow cash flow make it really difficult to spend some quality alone time together. When we do get some alone time, usually after LQ is in bed, we will sit down and watch a movie together or eat something fattening together.... you know that's the sort of thing that strengthens a marriage.

I am sure you have guessed by the previous post that Grandma is visiting LQ at the moment, so Dal and I took advantage of Grandma's great love for LQ and skipped out the door on Friday morning to go to court. Yep, court. If you haven't thought of a courtroom for a romantic date, you have been missing out. Dal and I managed to stumble upon this potential date when we appeared at the North Ryde Court House on Friday to contest an unpaid parking fine. I know, "unpaid parking fine"... not the most exciting reason to be summoned to court. I was considering embellishing the story for the story's sake and telling you that we are really under witness protection and we were asked to give evidence at a hearing. But I am sure you would have guessed otherwise (considering most of my readers are related to me).

Even if you don't have a reason to go to court, find out the busiest courthouse times, get there early for a good seat and enjoy the show. This is how your date will most likely pan out:

  • Upon early arrival, you may be approached by a short shady looking lady (or man) soliciting work for her/his blind lawyer employer. Short Shady will ask if you are already represented today and if you reply in the negative, he/she will then let you know that the blind lawyer's services are available to you at any price you name. That's right, whatever money you have on you, they will gladly take. I suggest politely, but firmly declining the offer. I saw one particular Robbie Williams look alike take them up on their offer. Only to find out later in court that he really didn't have a case at all and was given the full penalty regardless of his representation. I only hope he had a mere 20 cents on his person.
  • Once you have been ushered inside, make sure to find a comfortable and well situated seat. I managed to find a seat directly over an air conditioning vent and for all my complaining about the heat, I am now suffering from frost bitten toes.
  • To start the show, you are asked to rise while the judge enters the courtroom. Make sure you watch the people who work there. They bow quite low when this happens.

The show begins. What is so wonderful about this particular date is that you really don't know what you are going to get each time. What you will come to find out is that the people
who are represented get to go first, because apparently a lawyer's time is more precious than any others.

Whether they are represented or not, here is an example of what you can expect to see.

  • There are plenty of AVO's for the judge to attend to. Of the many that we were able to witness, the one that stuck in my mind was the lady of asian descent who seemed to have beat up her poor "more mature" husband. He claimed he had no fear, so the AVO was dismissed (eek! Had no fear? or had MORE fear of being beaten for having fear?).

  • Another man was actually apprehended for his violence, but his lawyer claimed that although he had a history of violence, on this particular occasion he was not at fault and did not touch the woman who had come into his bedroom and started attacking him.... hmmm, do I believe the man with the record, or the "victim"?

After all the AVO's, we had the pleasure of witnessing the "not so bright" elements of society. These were manifest in all sorts of traffic offenses. A few speeding fines that had gone unpaid, a man who just refused to get a licence but still insisted on driving his wife's car, a young man who stopped in a bus zone and thought he had a good defense when he said "I didn't know it was a bus zone", a woman who insisted she had a reason for going
92km/hour in a 50km zone AND my all time favourite - the taxi driver.

The taxi driver believed that he was doing the right thing by letting his passengers off in a no stopping zone. First he told the judge that it was a legal thing to do. When she corrected his way of thinking, he then moved his defense to "my passengers told me to d
rop them off there." When that didn't work, he pulled out my favourite line of the day "I provide a public service!" Quick, someone give him a cookie!

Oh boy, did he get it from the Judge.... she basically said all the things that everyone wants to yell at taxi drivers as they pull illegal u-turns right in front of you.

All in all, it was a pleasant date. The Judge was very nice about our parking ticket and after hearing that Dal actually works where he got the ticket and was legally parked, she made mention about the laziness of North Ryde council and said she was sorry our time had been wasted.

NOT SO, I wanted to tell her. We got to spend time together AND after the four hour show you just gave us, we feel really good about ourselves!

We seriously considered taking the camera to document the eventful day, but didn't want to incur the wrath of the judge or those people who all had an AVO against them!


fifi said...

Hehe sounds like a great date. Gotta love the AVO's....have you read my "ode to a bogan" blog? i particularly like the picture I found

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

We had a similar court date recently, except it must have been a more up-market courtroom or something, because it cost us over $600. My husband's such a romantic. To think he set up such an expensive outing for me by instigating a near-fatal crash makes me swoon.

Misty said...

Going to court was an annual field trip at my junior high. Unfortunately the day that all of us 8th graders went it was dull as dirt. All we got to witness was the judge giving instructions to a jury. Needless to say at the end of the day all of us kids could tell you just how many tiles were on the ceiling.

DeNae said...

Court dating! Sounds like my kind of romantic getaway.

My husband really is a kind of court lurker; he's a federal agent and often winds up sitting in on the trials of his personally accosted bad guys. But he goes with the guys from work. Now I'm thinking I should be jealous..."Waaaah! If you loved me you'd take me to court!!"

Hel said...

eek denae, I don't know if I could handle watching the kind of criminals your husband has to deal with! It's more romantic when it's the petty criminals that you can just laugh at.

CaJoh said...

I once got pulled over for blowing a stop sign about 20 blocks back. I was so furious that I decided I needed to go to court. I was so ready to argue my case about how they should have pulled me over right away but the judge said if they could identify you even a week later they can do so. All the same I got money back from the Bond they placed on my drivers license so I was happy.

Gran Denny said...

Hi Helen
Wow you've left Enmore ward, what's your new ward?
Your house looks great, what a bonus.
Jade says bye and thanks a lot for all you've done for her - especially her baptism book. She loved what you did in Primary. She's been out in NZ since Dec 27. Luke and Shell are coming out to pick her up at the end of the month, she;ll be well and truely ready to go home by then.
Isabel is growing so cute, loving all the photos.
Take care and enjoy the suburbs. Love Dennise

DeNae said...

Hello, Miz Helen! You kind of fell off the grid there for a few days; I guess you're totally NOT taking my advice, and have actually been unpacking a few boxes!

We left Mercer Island in June of 1997, so I missed your husband by less than a year, I guess! But if he served in MI ward, I know he met all of my dear, dear friends! Ask him about the Dunfords, the Vassaus, the Buckmillers, the Woolleys, the Schneiders, Shannon Sperry, Grace Smith...oh, the wonderful people I knew!

The world is big, I suppose, but the church is still kinda small!