Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Parallel Universe

After I dropped the kids off at our babysitter I hit the road. By the time I had arrived my mom and my two sisters had already spoken with the victim/witness advocate and been ushered upstairs. After going through security I spotted my family. After a fair amount of milling about we were allowed into the 2nd Session, as spectators. The door to the judge's chambers swung open and the bailiff said, "Judge, all rise. Court. Please be seated." We looked around at each other. We all concurred that this is nothing like Law and Order. The Court Matron shuffled papers and handed them to the Judge. The defendants lawyers were on the left and the ADA's were on the right. It was almost laughable. There didn't seem to be any preparation at one point the Judge had to look up the sentence for a defendant should he violate his parole.

Then there was the girl who had been arrested for shop lifting who was wearing Roca Wear sweat pants with Roca Wear across her behind. She had chosen to represent herself.
I don't remember what I wore on the day I appeared in court, however, I keenly remember having a lawyer. A lawyer that my parents did not pay for, I had to make payments and I remember getting money orders and hand delivering them.

After all the cases had been called our small group and only one other person remained in the gallery. The Court Matron asked if any cases remained that had not been called. After no one responded we were dismissed. We rose to leave and the Court Matron called after us, "Ladies, could you wait please? I'm just curious," she said. She wanted to know why we were there and what we were doing. We explained what brought us to the court and that we came to support our mother. Spectacles. Always.

After another short bout of milling we were directed to the 3rd Session (which is essentially a court room, at least from this lay person's perspective). The victim/witness advocate told us our case was still being lobbied and she was unsure when it would go before a judge. She had an interview and told us we should just wait outside the 3rd Session until they called us in. We were free to watch until our case was called.

The bailiff opened the door to announce that court was in session. There were a few people in the waiting area and my family had gone to the Ladies room. I walked in. The room's light, is what I remembered. This was the room I had been in all those years ago.

Our case was the first one called. A plea had been reached. He plead guilty and lost his license for a period time, I can't recall how long. We waited for the defendant from our case to depart and then exited the court room.

We went to find the victim/witness advocate. "Could we leave?" "Oh yes, you are all done. Thank you so much for coming." We thanked her for all of her help. We discussed how intimidating all of this was even if you are here as a witness. She again thanked my mom for coming and she said many people don't show up because it is intimidating. She walked us upstairs into the lobby and the chatter turned to lunch.

She recommended a few restaurants which are undeniably yummy, however, they are also smack dab in the middle of my home town. My mom didn't want to run into her boss and I can't deal with sightings. I have been out of high school for 21+ years and I just can't deal with sightings. So we went to a delicious restaurant and had a great lunch. With no sightings. Well, maybe one.

Today was the season opener for the Red Sox. During lunch we watched the ring ceremony, on mute. Every member of the team gets a ring, the support staff, all the trainers, everyone. They introduce each non playing team member out on the field. I was cheering for all of them! They introduced one of the trainers, his name flashed on the screen, my sister and I looked at each other. Wait. Was that John Smith? Our John Smith?

A sighting when receiving a World Series ring? I'll take it.


Misty said...

even though intimidating, I am glad to hear that all went smoothly...

Kristi said...

What a strange and enlightening experience at court. I have never actually sat in a court before but I have always been curious. I hope I never HAVE to find out.