07 August 2005

so my traffic court appearance was 2 weeks ago friday. When I got to the courthouse there was a sign on the door into the courtroom that read “court cancled; see information.” At the information booth, a large black woman named Lucricia smiled up from her computer…

“You Musta not got the card… your address is prolly wrong in the compooter. Lemme see your ticket or your license.”

“Thanks here…”

“Ok, what’s your name Iroll…. how do you pronounce it..???”

“My first name is Irl, I go by Tom.”

“What is that foreign or sumptin?”

“No, just some dumb kentucky potato farmer hick that couldn’t spell three generations back.”

Lucricia is laughing… “oh, you better stop. you gotta court date of next thursday.”

So the date she writes down the date and time.

Somehow it gets stuck in my head that the new court date is the same time, 10:00. When I arrive there at court, i notice the time lucricia has written down is actually 8:30. Fuck. As I walk in the courtroom, the baliff waves me into a seat right as i’m noticing the time.

I walk back out of the courtroom and get in line to see lucricia again.

You gotta get it re-scheduled. And you gotta get it done today. They issue a warrent for your arrest if you fail to show up. You don’t want that.”

I most certainly DON’T want that.

So I take a number from lucricia. It’s 59. They’re service 22. Welcome to the Pinellas County Court System. I go across the street and get a smoothie. It’s not jamba juice. Having to deal with all of this on a stomach full of ghetto smoothie… I don’t know if i’m going to make it.

I get back… now service 36. Fuck. I wait my turn, all the while court going on just inside the courtroom. Finally It’s my turn.

Oh, if they’re still holding court, the judge will fit you in after the 10:30 session. Oh, Great. So I race back into the courtroom. The 10:30 session is still in full force at 11:30. I wait through 60 plus cases being herd praying for some sort of heart episode to take me away from this.

At last they are calling the defendants that waited around from the 8:30 session. I may yet have a chance of solving this today. Most of the cases are routine… non-paid speeding tickets, expired registrations, 15 year olds with unpaid moped registrations. At last it’s the last defendant. It’s some long child support drama with 3 different counties involved and 2 baby’s momma’s… dear god, please… some sort of courtroom violence to break the bordom…. please just a little.

As he’s finishing up, the baliff asks me if i’m with him. I tell him my story. He speaks to the court recorder and after baby’s daddy is disposed of, the court recorder tells the judge the story. She also points to her computer screen showing the judge that the warrant has already been issued for my arrest.

I need a drink…. is it too early to drink?

The judge calmly says… “well, he’s here, lets just dismiss the warrent and the criminal charges. Get his case file back up here.”

I owe the judge a blow job.

The judge dismisses all criminal charges and knocks them down to civil charges because i’ve got all my paperwork caught up.

Thought this case load, I’ve seen many defendants ask the judge for community service instead of fines so I ask the judge since i’ve already paid close to $1000 to the state of florida if I could do community service instead of paying court costs. He gives me 20 hours. I’ve got some gratis work coming up for edward’s non-profit. That will more than cover it.

The judge adjourns for lunch and I head to Tijuana Flats for a couple of tacos and a pint.