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miércoles, diciembre 07, 2011

About Those Small Courts

So here are reasons #7282 and #7283 why town courts in New York State should be immediately abolished.

Reason 7282: I received notices to show up in town court (I am not disclosing which one, you could imagine that it might be any of a thousand) at 9 am this morning on two cases. I was early. The judge hasn't gotten on the bench yet. It is now 9:30 am. There are about two dozen people waiting for him. This does not count the four or five state troopers who are now lounging in the clerk's office since before 9 am. Or the prosecutor, who was here early. Oh. And the clock in the courtroom now reads 12:45. Nice, disorienting touch. The people who are waiting used to be strangers, now they're discussing legal issues with each other. Can anyone argue that this is an efficient use of time and resources? Oh. I finally got taken care of at 1:05.

Reason 7283: For the past three months I have been trying to get this very court to provide paperwork for an old case from 2001 or 2002. I spare you a precis of the fruitless correspondence between me and the court and my characterizing the court's responses. So today I asked the clerk who was there about all this. She says that only the other clerk can deal with it, and that clerk is here two days a week for three hours on each date. I have to deal with that clerk, who won't be in the court until tonight. Great. Is there something this clerk can do to help my client and help me get the needed paperwork? No, there isn't. You have to deal with the other clerk. She alone can do this. Well, I've been doing that for almost three months, and my client was doing that before I got involved, who knows for how long, is there somebody who can help me? No, there isn't. She'll be in tonight. Frowns all around.

Sure, I could complain to somebody about all of this. Right. And then I'd really have done it: next time I show up here I will be sure to receive royal treatment. It's a choice between being treated like an anonymous object or being truly reviled.

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