Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Day In Court

"This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

My plan was to do a post on the Writing Room revamp, but I didn’t have time this morning to write it up and post, so today we are exploring the wonderful world of traffic court.

A few months ago I was pulled over on a routine stop where the police were checking everyone’s Motor Vehicle Inspections to ensure they were up to date. I wasn’t worried, as I had had mine done in January. I remember this distinctly because it occurred right before my birthday and I had to purchaser four new tires to pass inspection, which I was not happy about. I had planned on spending the money on a new pair of sexy boots as a b-day present to myself. Instead, I got tires. Not anywhere near as sexy.

However, when the po-po pulled me over, she said my MVI was not current. After my initial – “What?! No way!!” – I peered through the window to see she was in fact telling the truth. The sticker clearly stated January 2009. She told me to check my glove compartment to see if I had the current receipt they always give you, but that too had the old date on it. It appeared my dealer had forgotten to attach the sticker and give me the receipt. Well done, boys. Well done.

Now, if I hadn’t purchased the new tires, I would have been questioning my recollection of events, but since I had, I knew the MVI had been done. Unfortunately, my brand new tires were not enough to convince the officer. She wrote me up a ticket for $168.00. However, she was nice enough to tell me all I had to do was appear in court with my paperwork showing the MVI was indeed done and they would void the ticket.

I went home and checked my invoices and sure enough, along with two other things I had done the same day to the car, the MVI was among them. I called my dealer and told them what happened. I also told them I wanted a letter from them taking full responsibility for the gaffe, which they gave me when I swung in to have the sticker and receipt updated.

Then it was off to my court date for 8am (ugh). After going through security to get into the court and having a jolly little joking session with the very nice security guards who rifled through my purse, I went down to the waiting room. As the others filed in, I realized you get all kinds of people from all walks of life at the courts. I started slyly eyeballing each of them, trying to figure out their stories. Turns out most of them were there for not having their headlights turned on during daylight hours. Hardly scintilating stuff.

Finally, I was called before the judge where I entered my plea of not guilty and was given a court date. Now I am off to Night Court on December 8th to show them my paperwork and get the ticket dismissed. A lot of rigmarole for someone else’s mistake, but I figure I’ll think of it as an adventure and see if I can rustle up some story ideas along the way.

11 comments:

Donna Alward said...

Off to Night Court? Say hi to Bull for me.

LOL

Seriously - security? I wonder if that's new? I went to jury duty and there was no security at all. And like 300 people. Anyone could have walked in there. It was a little unsettling, actually.

Julianne MacLean said...

Glad you had the invoice and paperwork at home to prove your innocence. Good luck at Night Court.

Pamela Callow said...

The wheels of justice - or should I say the "tires"? - turn slowly...

Glad you had the paperwork. Get the dealership to buy you a pair of boots for all the time you've logged!!

Pam

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. Too bad you just couldn't have shown the judge the paperwork right then and there and skipped the court date!

Bev Pettersen said...

Holy smoke, Kelly. You sound so calm about the procedure. They don't make it easy. Hope your next MVI is complimentary:). Sounds like you'll have some great story ideas anyway, along with nice tires.

Tess said...

Wow - note to self - check for sticker etc when I have my car paperwork done.

Seems a bit silly to waste the court's time with all this - can't they just send you to an office to prove you had the paperwork done? I know the answer appears to be "no", but sheesh...

It's a shame Harry Anderson won't be your judge!!

Anne MacFarlane said...

Wow, that's a lot of work. Do you think they do it in hopes people just get discouraged and pay the fine?

Deborah Hale said...

I think whoever did the MVI should have to do the running around to fix what they screwed up. In my dreams, right?
At least you got a good blog out of it!

Jennie Marsland said...

Sounds like fun, Kelly - not! I'm afraid I would probably have given the people at the garage a blast for causing me that much grief. However, it's all grist for the writing mill.

Bonnie Ferguson said...

Hopefully the rest of the process goes smoothly.

Stella MacLean said...

Talk about courtroom! I can relate to your story. Hope the rest of the story goes better than the first part of it. One of life's little moments.
Stella