Monday, February 16, 2009

My Town Monday: COURT!!!



This is the first San Diego Courthouse. Well, actually it's a replica. The original was built in 1847, but burned in the Old Town fire of 1872. You can visit this replica courthouse for free at Old Town Historic Park. It's open daily, 10-5. Seriously, if you are EVER in San Diego, you want to visit Old Town for shopping, eating, gazing. You'll get a sense of what the town square was like back in the 1800s.




In more RECENT news, this is the courthouse DH and I went to for our Small Claims case against the Twenty-Two-Year-Old-Who-Totaled-DH's-Car-And-Lied-About-Running-The-Red-Light.

It was our first time in Small Claims court. I basically went in the role of supportive wife. And mystery writer. And nosey citizen. And annoyed citizen that a liar could perjure herself and might actually get away with it. And, still, I was a bundle of nerves.

Here are my thoughts about the experience. There is A LOT of tension in Small Claims Court. A lot. It's like the entire courtroom is saran-wrapped in it. There is A LOT of lying going on Small Claims court. Enough to give you a stomach ache. Your best bet to prepare your statement ahead of time. Be succinct and articulate. The lawyer-Acting-As-Judge hears a TON of cases in a day, so make your case easy on the ears. Take the time to prepare some evidence, too.

Also, if you ever need story ideas, go hang out in Small Claims Court. The place is rife with them.

DH put together a binder with his statement, her statement, photos I took of the intersection and more. Yes, yes, he included those photos I took of the damage to her car when I played Sherlock Holmes and snuck over to her apartment building. Those photos may even have clinched the case because DH used them to show how her running a red light was the only way to explain the damage to both cars.

This is where the winners go to celebrate with a coffee and a hot dog. Yes! We won! JUSTICE PREVAILED!

Now that you've heard my good news, please trundle over to Travis Erwin's blog. He's our Fearless Leader for My Town Mondays. Along with his own MTM, he'll have a list of participants.

EDITED TO ADD ANSWER TO BINA OF JUST ANOTHER DAY'S QUESTION: How did the Twenty-Two-Year-Old-Who-Totaled-DH's-Car-And-Lied-About-Running-The-Red-Light react to the verdict?

short answer: I don't know.

long answer: The lawyer-judge (because in Small Claims Court your "judge" is a lawyer with 10+ years experience) listened to DH's side, listened to the other side, asked a bunch of questions, then said she needed to think about it some more and we'd get the verdict IN THE MAIL! Seriously! We sat through FIVE cases before ours. And no one breathed anything about verdicts coming via the postman. Anyway, the Twenty-Two-Year-Old questioned the mail thing. The lawyer-judge said again (somewhat snappishly) that she needed more time to render a decision.

And, honestly? I think it was at THAT second the Twenty-Two-Year-Old suddenly realized that repeating "It's just his word against mine" and looking smary might not cut it.

In terms of payment: She did have liability. So, Geico will send us a check for the value of DH's car, the towing charges, the cost of a rental car and the court costs. In fact, they cut the check yesterday. So, perhaps we'll receive it today. When the postman knocks....for the second time. :) Ha!



sources:
http://www.sandiegohistory.org/societies/firstcourthouse/
my life

38 comments:

Vodka Mom said...

What a relief!

And, what a great idea for a blog! "Hanging out in Court...."

D.A. Riser said...

Congratulations on winning the case. The judge must have known that you had Sherry Baldwin on your side.

Incidentally, I watched your trailer. Very cool. You'll have to give us the inside scoop on how it all came together as a blog entry. You haven't already, have you?

Barrie said...

Oh, thank you for watching the trailer. I've watched it myself...A COUPLE OF TIMES! :) Hmm...no I've never done a blog post on it....

Beth said...

Way to go, Sherlock!
Congratulations - and how nice to know the good guys win a few.

Janie said...

Barrie Sherlock to the rescue!

Congrats on winning the case!

Sepiru Chris said...

Congratulations on a good job of research, preparation, and delivery... because those are the basics of success in court.

Michele said...

Congrats on the win. What a great idea for a post, "My Town Mondays."

thanks for visiting the blog today.

Keri Mikulski said...

Glad you won your case!!

And I loved tension "like the entire courtroom is saran wrapped in it".. :)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Congrats! Those young things who think they can lie themselves out of any situation probably had a lot of practice at home.

Sitting in court as prep for a story or getting ideas sounds like a blast. Might be why court shows are so popular on daytime TV.

Sandi said...

I'm your newest stalker and I am off to amazon this second to buy your book! I'll be back to read in a minute (read in a day or two) when I have a second!

Teresa said...

Congratulations on winning your court case, Barrie, but couldn't you and your husband have celebrated in one of the restaurants at Old Town? Surely, your win was worth more than a hot dog!!

Barrie said...

Teresa, two words:
No time. :)

seriously, we had to rush home for the kids getting out of school. But we did have celebration/Valentine's Day sushi this weekend. Yay!

Reb said...

Congratulations. So glad the young thing didn't get away with it!

blueviolet said...

I'm so glad you won! You all did your homework perfectly!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Preparedness is essential in dealing with the State. I like the original courthouse better although justice would have been harder to come by in there.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Preparedness is essential in dealing with the State. I like the original courthouse better although justice would have been harder to come by in there.

Jenn Jilks said...

Nice job! Don't you feel good about it? You won, fair and square and the law triumphed.

Mary said...

Congratulations! It is always nice to hear that justice prevailed!

debra said...

Good for you, Barrie. I hope that
Twenty-Two-Year-Old-Who-Totaled-DH's-Car-And-Lied-About-Running-The-Red-Light becomes Twenty-Two Year Old... Who Pays!
I'm glad you and your husband got to celebrate in style. :-)

sara said...

That's awesome you won! Congratulations!

Travis Erwin said...

Congrats. Great to know truth can prevail.

Lauren said...

So smart of you to take those pictures! I'm so glad that you won.

Patti said...

Liberty coffee and hotdogs...God bless America!

Lyndi Lamont said...

Congratulations on winning, Barrie. Sometimes justice is served, in this case, with coffee and hot dogs!

Linda / Lyndi

Charles Gramlich said...

It's amazing how few people even seem to have a passing familiarity with the idea of truth

Barbara Martin said...

Barrie, it's always good to be prepared when going to court to present a case. Your hard work paid off.

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Glad to hear you won! You guys went very well prepared, which is key.

Mac and Cheese said...

Yeah! I've been waiting to hear the outcome. Congrats!

gabe said...

This is life imitating art when before it was art imitating life ... Sherry Holmes, great work. What a role model you are to your kids. Stand up for yer rights!

ARCHAVIST said...

how did you shrink the book trailer video to fit in the side panel? Cool!

Stacy Nyikos said...

I've learned so much! I just hope it's knowledge I'll never have to use. And by the by, I've actually been to Historic San Diego! Finally!! The kids and I really enjoyed it, especially, of course, the old fashioned candy.

Bina said...

Now Barrie. I am GLAD you won and I had no doubt you would, but you have to tell us how the girl reacted and what she has to do. Pay for the damage and then some? How long does she have to pay? Was she mad? WHAT!!!! I need details!!!!

Barrie said...

Bina: You always ask such great questions! I edited the post to answer this one. :)

Barrie said...

Archavist: I changed the width to 210" and the height to 181" in both places in the code. Because that is what PJ Hoover (http://pjhoover.blogspot.com/) told me to do. She's uber smart.

Bina said...

Woo Hoo! I am SO happy for you guys! See, justice did prevail!

Ms. R said...

What a story! Perhaps I SHOULD be hanging around small claims courts.

Michelle said...

Holy Moley... if I ever find myself in such a predicament I may ask you for advice... it's amazing the dishonesty that goes on in our legal system... I'm gleefully ignorant (for the most part) until it happens to me!

Britta Coleman said...

Victory in small claims! Good for you and DH. I hope Geico comes through with a humongo check and that TTYOWTDHCALARTRL has learned some valuable life lessons about truth and smarminess.