It was eerily quiet when we arrived to the newly-renovated district court.
Our 100-mile trip went by fast and we arrived almost an hour prior to our court time. I joked to the Big Kahuna that I should have brought my camera so I would have a few pictures to illustrate my blog posting. He told me he had his camera and went back to his vehicle to get it. What a guy!
I knew we would be early so I brought the book I am currently reading.
I don't think you can read the title. It cracked me up when I realized that the title is 'Dark Tort' - How appropriate for reading in a district court. I made the Big Kahuna take a picture of it.
The parolee waiting to my right was flirting with the young clerk ("Where have I seen you? Are you a parole officer?"). Now there's a line I haven't heard! It seemed to be working as she smiled coyly while handing him a form to fill out. It was hard to concentrate on my book, so we decided to go into the court and wait our turn. We walked quietly in (the court was in session). We sat in church-like pews among the dozen or so people also waiting.
At the front of the court stood a young man in a jail-house orange jumpsuit, wrists handcuffed and legs shackled. His head hung low as his attorney spoke on his behalf. The kid said nothing and looked quite dejected while the judge read his sentence. Two other young men similarly dressed, cuffed and shackled sat on the bench next to him. All three hobbled out together after the sentencing. I looked at the Big Kahuna, my eyes bugged by shock and swallowed hard. This didn't look like it was going to be much fun.
The judge called two more cases and each person approached the lectern with their backs to us as they made their plea and answered his questions. Drugs and alcohol seemed to be the popular law breaking activity.
I wasn't really looking forward to my turn behind the lectern!
At 10:10 a.m. a man walked to our pew and whispered the name of our business. We nodded and he motioned for us to leave the courtroom and led us to a tiny little room with one round table. I hope I didn't let out an audible sigh of relief when I realized that I would not have to approach the Honorable judge (I wasted that extra trip to the nail technician on Friday).
Instead I just had to answer questions from the man, who was the lawyer attempting to collect the money the former employee owed. The whole reason we were there is that this lawyer said I didn't answer a court order to garnish an employee's wages. If an employer does not put the garnishment into effect, the employer can be held liable for the debt that was owed (over $1700 in this case). Anyway the person was not even our employee at the time and I did send the court a copy. He wasn't all that nice when he asked his questions. He asked if I had the order with me. I pulled it from my file and he said, "Let's see if you sent it." He leafed through all the copies. "The court copy is missing," he admitted. It was my one moment of glory.
I answered him as sweetly as I could even though I felt like spewing venom at the snake. This entire charade disgusts me--that he could waste my time and taxpayer's money for such triviality! His time would have been better spent searching for the deadbeat ex employee.
Anyway he finally agreed that the judge would not see me as the criminal he thought I was and he dismissed his case and we were free to go.
So justice was served.
We were off to find a suitable restaurant for our celebratory lunch. This place fit the bill.
The view from our table
I had the Summer Breeze Salad - chicken salad with dried cherries & toasted almonds served atop a cantaloupe boat surrounded with seasonal fresh fruit. It was pretty good.
Now I am off to an early bed because last night I was awake at some point during every single hour.
My Weekend Goal was to Make a Bench Pillow - I am happy to report that I accomplished that goal!
2 years ago