Monday, February 6, 2012

My Day in Court

   Hey, everyone.   I just wanted to share what I think is a typical day in the Las Vegas County Court system. 
     My day started at 7 AM when my alarm went off.  I wanted to get to the court house early so I wouldn't have to wait in a long line.  I reached over and turned off the alarm and waited for my friend's alarm to go off at 7:30.  So after her alarm goes off, and she hits snooze 3 more times, I finally get up and get in the shower.  I leave the house about 8:30.  I get in the car and decide not to take the freeway because of the time of  morning.  It is usually quite packed at that time. I head down Cheyenne to Las Vegas Blvd. (otherwise known as the Strip) and make it downtown in about 15 minutes.  Quicker than the freeway, for sure.
     I valet my car at The Plaza Hotel and Casino, cheaper than parking on the side streets or the pay by hour parking lots.  A lot of people don't take advantage of this service like they should.  For a couple of bucks, you could leave your car at one of the hotels for a few days if you'd like.  They'll just think you're having a heck of a time and will eventually be back for it.
     Ok.  I get to the court house about 9:30, as I had to walk a few blocks after valeting the car.  No problem.  I get through the entrance and immediately have to take off my shoes, belt, sunglasses, and empty my pockets, just like you would at the airport.  There have been a few shootings at our court houses here and they aren't taking any chances any more.  I go to the Traffic Court waiting area and have to take a number to get my place in line.  I am number 246.  They have just called number 187.  Hmm.  Looks like the wait is on.  It is now 9:40.
     15 minutes pass and they are on number 230.  Moving pretty quickly.  I start to wonder if I am going to get the same lady that I had the first time I stopped in to get the information that brought me back today.  She was quick and efficient.  The numbers tick off quickly and wouldn't you know it, I do get that same lady again.  I bring up my paper work and ask her what do I need to do and where do I go from here.  She informs me I need to go to the lower level to court Room B.  Hmm.  Didn't know they had a lower level in the building.  It was easy to find though.  Every thing in this building is clearly marked, which is a good thing.
     I make my way to the elevators and make my way to the lower level, stopping to use the rest room on the way, as I had peeked ahead and saw that the line into the court room wasn't that long.  Oops.  when I stepped out a minute later, it looked like I had stepped into a Walmart returns line.  What the heck!  Oh, well, I had made it this far.  Unfortunately, it seemed like a real Walmart line, complete with mothers with screaming kids, teenagers playing rap music on their I-phones, and the complaints that the line was taking forever. 
     It was 10:30 before I got to enter the actual court room, handing my paper work to an obviously bored Marshall, who doesn't even glance at the papers he is handed.  Not his job, apparently.  I take my seat in what looked like church pews from days gone by and look around a bit.  The Judge is at his desk and us in the audience (?) are looking at hime through a glass wall, where you can see 6 people sitting about 15 feet from his desk, waiting to be called.  Every time a name is called, they step up, he gives them a verdict, fine or traffic school, which can be done online nowadays I guess.  Technology is great, isn't it?  After 3 people are called up.  The Marshall calls 3 more from our cast of waiting people and they enter the room and take the vacant seats.  This too is moving quickly.  The judge is averaging about 1 plaintiff every 5 minutes. 
     My turn finally comes and I walk up in front of the Judge.  He asks if I have completed the task of getting a Nevada driver's license.  I say yes.  He asks if I have proof of insurance. (These were my 2 tickets.  No valid license and no insurance.  Even though I had both at the time.)  I say yes again.  He thanks me for my time and dismisses both charges.  He tells me I am free to go.  I say thank you, Your Honor, and exit the court room.  Barely 2 hours have passed from the time I entered the Court House.  I was thinking it was going to be an all day event.  All in all, it was not a bad experience, although it is one I would not want to go through again any time soon.
     Well, thanks for reading, and if you take anything away from this, take this.  DON'T GET A TICKET IN VEGAS!  Have a better one ya'll.

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