Monday, December 7, 2015

Hick's Words Of Wisdom Concerning the Legal System

Val is a time traveler tonight. She'll type up this tale and it will appear Monday evening while Val is elsewhere. She's magic like that.

Jury duty looms Monday morning. No matter how many times I call that information line, I cannot get the message I want to hear. So plans have been left, The Pony will be dropped off, I will drive to the courthouse in bill-paying town, I will drive back to pick up The Pony after school and attend the First Monday faculty meeting (if not chosen for jury), and then drive BACK to bill-paying town for an appointment of The Pony's after stopping by the bank on the way during one of those trips. Yes. A regular day of work is preferable to jury duty.

Sunday morning, I may or may not have complained to Hick. It's so rare that I voice my displeasure with anything, I seriously doubt that a cross word exited my lips. But for some reason, Hick told me to call the courthouse and tell them I couldn't be there.

"Tell them you take a water pill and you can't sit in the courtroom that long."

"That's not going to work. They won't even take a doctor's note from people who really have something wrong with them. They'll issue a bench warrant if I don't show up. Remember, like when the process server brought those papers for you to go to court over the lawnmower incident?"

"That was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of!"

"I know. And YOU were the one pressing charges!"

"Yeah. And after missing three days of work because they would continue the trial every time I showed up, I told them to stick it. I told the judge that I was done. I wasn't pressing charges anymore. It was the judge's secretary, I guess. The clerk. And she said, 'You can't do that!' And I told her, 'You watch me. I'm not coming back. I don't want to press charges. I've lost too much money missing work for three days. That kid has served more time in the county jail waiting for his trial than than he'll get if you convict him. I think he's learned his lesson. I'm done with it!' And then she went off to talk to the judge, and came back, and of course they made it sound like it was their decision, so I didn't have to go back."

"That kid never did have a nickel. He had a stringy mullet haircut, and Dollar Store tennis shoes that were falling apart, and he was thin as a rail. He probably ate better at the jail than he did at home. I don't know how he had the strength to carry that riding mower over the swinging bridge."

"Yeah. But the other kid was loaded. His parents had all kinds of money."

"So HE got bailed out, I guess. I didn't know him. And he would have gotten off anyway, probably, because he'd have had a good lawyer."

"More than likely. Just tell them that you're a racist or something. So you don't get picked."

"That case I had to serve on, I THOUGHT I had it covered. It was about eminent domain. So I made sure to say I was against it. That I had strong feelings about it because the highway department took our land behind the house to put in that road. My dad was bitter because they paid almost nothing. And I'll be darned if they didn't PICK ME! I was about #40, too. I should have not said anything. I'm sure the guy who was suing the state had his lawyer pick me. Because he thought I'd give him more money. That's what the trial was for. It was a done deal. We just had to decide on the award. It was kind of interesting, though. We had a bunch of expert witnesses, and one of our jury questions was how much each witness was being paid to testify. One guy got $5000! He was from the DNR. The local realtor only got a couple of hundred dollars. That would have killed her to find that out. She really thought she was something. She's the one who lied and said she climbed down in that 15-foot hold where the gas tank had been, all by herself, and then out again."

"Some people don't realize they oughta just take what they're offered and not go to trial. The guy would have had to pay the lawyer and the witnesses out of his money. And didn't you say that one went late?"

"Yeah. We were there until after 10:00 at night."

"Now that lady I ran over with the city truck? She should have just taken what we offered, which was $25,000 and her medical bills. She only broke her arm."

"Well. YOU broke her arm. When you ran over her with the truck."

"Still. Seven years later, it goes to trial, and she only ended up getting $33,000. No medical bills. So she would have been better off to settle in the beginning, and not pay the lawyer for the trial. She would have come out ahead."

"Hindsight. If she had that, she may not have gotten run over by you."


  1. I think I've already mentioned that I've never been called for jury duty, and I must say you make me realize I haven't missed anything but aggravation.

    1. Well, you've missed more than that, from the stories I heard yesterday. About jury people. Not about your missing-out-ness.

  2. Hick make a good point. It's a farce and a waste of time and money when the legal system is driven by greed rather than justice. I'm tired and cranky this morning so it's probably just as well I'm not up for jury service (although your last comment made me smile - thank you for that)

    1. Heh, heh. Hick needs somebody to force him to take responsibility. He always acts like it's nothing that he ran over an old woman.

  3. I only got called for jury duty once and when I kept up with the excuses, the judge, whom I knew personally, finally sent me off with disgust. But I would have liked to have been on the jury. As it turned out the guy copped a plea and there wasn't any trial anyway.

    1. Around here, you pretty much have to cease drawing breath, or be raging drunk, or in the middle of removing your own appendix with a toothpick and nail clippers to be excused.

      I wonder if some defendants get a look at the jury pool, then decide to plead in chambers...