Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Court Day #1

Today was a day that I have not looked forward to AT ALL. *grin*

Well, okay, perhaps that's a bit dramatic.

Today was a day I was a little nervous about. There, that's better. *giggle*

I was in a car accident in early January of this year, and the young man did not have insurance. I find that interesting to begin with, because right after the accident I told Karen, my friend who was with me, "I hope he has insurance." I had flashbacks to my car accident experience in 2006. It's amazing to me how life experience teaches more than a classroom can. *grin*

So, due to the fact the young man did not have insurance, the officer set a court date. Shortly after that I received the official court summons to appear today. On the summons, it stated if I didn't attend today, a warrant would be out for my arrest. *grin* Needless to say, I took a PDO.

In the mean time, I paid my deductible and my car is in GREAT shape now. In fact, you can't even tell it was in an accident! *grin*

When I got up today, I cuddled with Jay and told him I didn't think the guy would show up in court, but I wanted to be wrong about that. I said a short prayer and got ready. I was SO GLAD my Dad was going with me. *grin*

I picked up Papa-Son at his house, and we headed out so that we could be early instead of late. We used Siri to get there, which Papa-Son thought was really cool. *grin*

We parked in the "court" lot, and had our own little journey to actually get into the building. There is a lot of construction happening in that area, so after two minor details, and a small ba-dump moment, we found the entrance.

Upon entering the building, we had the full security experience. At first, I'll admit, I was a little taken aback. I mean, I was only there for traffic court. But later I discovered it was more than just traffic court, so it made sense. *grin* The gal checked my purse and literally went through EVERYTHING. Which was fine, but it was the first time someone has gone through my wallet. Honestly, I have never been to a court like that, so I didn't expect that. It made sense though, and when we left I was glad they were so tight on security.

We rode the escalators up to the courtroom and found a seat. We were ten minutes early, so Papa-Son and I each took out our cell phones and entered our own world for a while. I was supposed to be there at 1:30.

1:30 came and went, and there were people there for court, but the judge wasn't there yet. I kept reading on my Kindle app on my iPhone, until about 1:45 when we were told to stand for the judge. We were also told to not use cell phones at that time.

After watching the judge take care of a couple cases, he said that he was going to read some names and when we heard our name we were to form a line at the entrance area to the judge's area. (Hard to describe, basically where a gate could be between the audience and the court was where we were to wait.) I started counting using sign language on my lap so I could recognize the gentleman that hit me. He called eleven names, none of which were mine. Only three people went forward. I waited, and felt like a fish out of water because I had no idea what to do.

After he dealt with the three that went forward, he re-read the names. One of which was the gentleman that hit me. I looked at Papa-Son and said, "Should I go up?" He said, "I dunno." I stood, and paused, as the judged looked up at me. One of the officers (there were officers four officers in the courtroom) waved me forward.

I walked forward, and it felt like I was in a dream. It felt very surreal.

I told the judge my name and what case I was there for and he said, "You're not on my docket." I pulled out my folder that I had made, and pulled out my summons. The clerk wanted it first, who read it and gave it to the judge. The judge started clicking things on his computer and I just stood there. I wasn't sure what to do. He wasn't talking to me, he was just looking at his computer, which I obviously couldn't see. Shortly after that he said something to verify/ask if yes, I had been hit. I told him that my insurance company was pursuing him for money, and that the officer at the site of the accident had set this court date. The judge followed by telling me that two warrants were being put out for the guy's arrest and bond was being set for $8,000. He went on to tell me that the $8,000 could NOT be paid for by the bondsmen. (I just stood there, as if I knew what to say or do.) I continued to stand there for a little while, and then I said, "Okay, do you need anything else from me?" He said no, but when they bring the young man in, I would have to come back. I said "Okay," and started to walk away. Next, he said, "Thank You, Ms.______" And I turned to him and said, "Springer." He said, "Ms. Springer."

Papa-Son handed me my stuff and we headed out.

A couple things have been in my head since court.

First, I'm glad I didn't hire a lawyer. It would have been a waste of money and time today.

Two, I think the young man is probably in over his head and ran instead of facing today. I can't say I can relate to that. However, he now has $8,000 on top of the $7,000ish he owes my insurance company. That's a lot of cash to me, and I have a steady job. I don't know his situation, but it might be that he doesn't have one. Yes, I'm thinking a lot about this, as not everyone has the childhood I did so maybe he wasn't taught the way I was taught to be responsible. I dunno. Therefore, it has made me think a lot about this kid. He added a warrant for his arrest today. It just seems sad to me, even though he did it to himself.

In the end, I have come to one conclusion. My car is fixed and no one was hurt. I did have to pay my deductible to have my car fixed, but if I never see that money again, that's okay because it's a car. Not a life. Life goes on.

Life's too short to get worked up over stuff like this. *grin*


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