Have you ever sat dumbfounded at your circumstances and then been given a sign from above? A rare occurrence for this happy atheist, but this backyard thunder and lightning last night prompted me to remember there was something to do after all . . .
. . . Town Court!
Any Editor worth his salt would create such an assignment for his new, cub reporter. The whippersnapper wants an exciting, engaging gig that gives him purpose. The Publisher knows somebody has to do something, STAT! Stay on budget.
What's a third of five dollars? The cost to get the old Martin H. Glynn, High School, where I went to fifth grade. Where I went on July 12th, arriving five minutes late for the Town Court of Kinderhook, presided over by the Honorable Lisa Mills.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Our cub reporter has taken to calling them as he sees them and only provides description of each person thus. No policy, prejudice or presumption should be associated with our young lad on the beat.
Defendent 1: A slight black dude in a white tee with a gold chain, skinny black jeans. Big white sneakers.
JournoAI: "Wow, sixteen lined up already and Deputy Friendly looked right down at what I was carrying, before I nod and give hearty/confidence greet. Sit down in cordoned section. Dang . . . I can't hear a thing with that 5K BTU AC rattling away at this sweating crowd."
NOTE: Our special Journalistic Ant(i)Logarithm will now be referred to as JAI. The grammar gestapo hate this techno lingo.
Defendant One gets a "Parking on the pavement" for a hundred fifty bucks total.
JAI: "Wow, who doesn't park on the pavement? Tears up my lawn after a while if you don't, you know? I could be working on the X5 or Cub Cadet right now. Another black dude . . . "
Accused of a "4011A" - Mr. Daniels registration lapsed. Judge Mills patiently explains the options of a plea or trial.
JAI: "Man, my ears suck. That's would you get starting a new gig at almost 55. But I'm the only thing the public has right now, hang in there. What a huge responsibility once embraced."
Two biddies are off to the left inputting or outputting things into a Dell computer. Unknown if they're grandmothers, but most likely.
Mr. Daniels wrangles a parking on the pavement too! Fifty dollar fine, NYS gets another twenty five. He can't pay tonight. Credit cards and payment plans are available.
Well . . . Judge Mills is impressed by the little girl and her lily white mom(?), who's carrying a rainbow umbrella. Ms. Meyers is grandma. The judge asks the little girl if grandma keeps a good house. A good baker?
JAI: "Wow, as Citizen X, I'd take umbrage with the personal questions and stick to the "Yes" and "No" routine in the face of NY's other justice mill. But, I'm agorist like that."
Grandma was speeding! That's an 1128a, I think. Grandma doesn't understand the plea and trial thing. Confusedly pleas guilty to the first charge and the Judge lets her withdraw it. Grandma's got paperwork and realizes that's next now. Parking on the Pavement. Fifty dollar fine and Governor Hochul gets 93.
JAI: "Cub reporter confused too."
Existential Sidebar (ES)
About a year ago, Eric Sundwall stood before Judge Mills regarding a pre-Covid ticket that was still outstanding as of 2021. Officer Friendly demanded that he exit the car to write his name on a pad after a broken head lamp was pretext . . .
. . . Mr. Sundwall wanted his day in court having experienced dozens of appearances over the course of almost forty years. That 2021 appearance included Deputy Grumpy who made you take hats off and pointed to the pile of papers you could rummage through on the empty desk. Maybe find your ticket/issue if you didn't have your own paperwork. Post-Covid. What evs.
Deputy Friendly didn't care that the next white punk with hat backwards and big boots and cargo pants had his hat on backwards. He couldn't find his paperwork. The nice old ladies found it.
Hat Kid didn't get the plead or trial thing either. After asking what would you recommend, Deputy Friendly offered a quick assist and 306B (?) turned into Parking on the Pavement! He could pay the seventy five bucks tonight.
This father and daughter in blue had a 1239a (seatbelt) coming back for an Aug. 9th hearing. They were off to see the DA, given a nice packet of info.
Same thing for "Kristina", average mom.
Average Dad, Arthur Hanlon? Sixty Nine in a 55. No attorney.
He's got a 'proposal' that is either signed or needs to be.
A 119a turns into a 1110a (traffic control device)? TOK get a C-Note and the guv get 93. He's got cash! Frumpy guy walks free!
A father and daughter combo from Kinderhook. A 3752A1(?). Something with the lights, not fixed in 24 hours. Somehow gets off (from notes).
The Judge knows "Cali". Heavier white gal in her 30s. From Stuyvesant. She's the loud cougher from the line that doesn't help me hear too well. A 30725A1? Five of them? Covid? Judge says something like "been here a number of times."
ES: "Ah yes . . . how many times in front of good old Archie Williams in the course of a bad year . . . the one time I told Officer Grenci I was a well known anarchist at the FBI. Eh . . . so many tales."
EDITORIAL NOTE: It's probably a good time to let the reader know this goes on for thirty-one defendants. Since there's no cost of paper or delivery for this story, you could probably skip to the end, for the moral of the story.
Pleads NOT GUILTY to all charges!
Signed paper ready, two weeks to pay a total of $125.
Good old parking on the pavement.
Another black guy. This time the Judge asks, "Have you brought me a package?" He's in his UPS browns. They get to wear shorts in the summer. I bet Deputy Grumpy would have made his brother take his hat off too.
JAI: "You can't ever take this guy's license Judge M!"
He's from Albany. has a "lights" 3752A1 and a 4011A, registration. Not good.
Bald guy in suit pops up at the desk. Local attorney - KLEINBAUM!!!! (more on him soon)
This guy can pay his buck twenty five for parking on the pavement.
Existential Sidebar (ES):
One can only assume the Baumber suffered as the attorney for the counter claim against Mr. Sundwall in the only small claims incident against him in the course of small business over a slightly amount of time as the driving.
The Counselor had two client needs tonight and was able to take them out the door for himself in what seemed about two minutes. One can probably only guess at that client expense. Four Hundred an hour? How's a cub reporter delicately ask that question? No plea sheet?
J. Haas something something March 2020. Judge has no recollection.
Something to dismiss and jurisdiction. Good old jurisdiction.
Good old Kleinbaum . . . he's gone.
A big dude from Gloversville. Wearing a mask. His lane violation 112(x)A is a ready to go 042A? Parking on the Pavement! One twenty five for the Citizens of Kinderhook. Twenty five for Kathy. Lines forming to left, at the pay spot.
Young, short guy with a hat. Deputy Grumpy's waving his finger from some solid perch. Somewhere.
1229c Seatbelt. Document Magic. Parking on the Pavement. $150 - He can pay.
The next guy is a really big dude with dreadlocks. Blonde ends. From Albany. His DMV address is screwed up. Not an excuse!
Parking on the Pavement! $125.
Scott Parker in the Orange tee is wearing a mask. Equipment Violation 3718. In between the plea & proposal process there's indication that the fix was after septic and furnace problems.
JAI: "A man after my own heart."
Fixed and dismissed.
JAI: "Wow, almost halfway. Coffee break while writing in the cloud."
Mr. Coons seems like a pudgy man combined with a man bun. Very Elizaville, nowadys, I presume. He had a lane violation (1128A) and some type of trouble with a suspension back in April. He's got a proposal to sign and can't pay the 75 tonight. Handy payment packet.
JAI: "Ding, ding, ding. This is a Violation Mill and everybody just wants to get through it. Cops and Assisant DA's don't even need to show up anymore. If the first hearing needs to go another month for a trip to the DA, so be it."
It's 5:49 PM.
Ms. Salida(?) from Germantown has a 509sob1(?), 1225c, 375?
Only has the magic "People vs" paperwork for one charge.
Back on August 9th.
A mom and daughter with frizzy hair from West Sandlake.
An 1120A turned into a Parking on the Pavement. Can pay, $75.
Father & Bro combo in full trash glory. From Albany. 306B (inspection) &
37512A (safety?). Carter (X) has until September 13th to tango with Columbia County's finest barristers.
Big short middle age dad type with a Ponytail and kid with an Ocean City Tee. Arnold? 37571(12A)? Ghent. It turns into a quick "what do you do?" conversation before Pavement yields another $75. Twenty five for Kathy. Get that stuff fixed in 24 hours. Not Three months.
Defendant 19(a) - notes error
Short Brock of Yellowshirt and Carhart pants. No paperwork at all.
Somehow two parking on the pavements were involved.
But he walks away "dismissed".
Nice work Brock.
Brianna Collette (?) from Hudson. Ponytail. 509a - DMV something.
Another Parking on the Pavement at 6:11PM. TOK:100 / NYS:25
The fat kid from Apart 2S got a 3752A1 dismissed.
JAI: "Can't hear anything with loud guy talking in line. Deputy Grumpy woulda shut that shite down."
A white guy's who's "wonderful" when asked how he is. Big calf tatoos.
No inspection? He'll be back on the 9th.
A little black gal, with four little kids.
JAI: "My grandfather would have said something really mean about this."
Sara Myer? Judge asks each kid their names. Kilara? Lebron.
Sevnty five in a fifty five.
JAI: "Ouch. That's fast."
An 1180b too? Parking on the pavement for that. Traffic control for speeding. She can pay the $193.
MIchelle Aloudi(?) has a yellow shirt and blonde highlights in her hair. Brooklyn. She doesn't know what to do, but has the paperwork. An 1108B into a 76155? $193 by August 9th.
JAI: "Loudmouth guy can be seen in periphery vision."
Mr. Donovan of Albany in a blue hat, mask and many tatoos. 30's?
306B - no inspection - he'll be back on the 9th too.
Defendant 26 (it's 6:31 PM)
Mr. Blue checkered shirt is the loudmouth Deputy Grumpy would have put in his place. He's got a jurisdiction issue and will be back on September 13th.
Tall skinny black kid from Brooklyn a registration and lane violation. He takes his green hat off as he approached the bench. Kendall?
He's got the paperwork and Parking on the Pavement! He gets two weeks to pay $125.
Bailey Gilmore(?) is a six foot five, 18 year old goofy farm boy with his dad. He's guilty of not knowing he needed to get his lights fixed within a 24 hour period. That's it.
In reality he's gotta stand before a judge admit he's "just a child" after all.
Judge is nice and asks questions about how old he is, what's he going to do, still lives with his folks?
Deputy Freindly whispers "dismiss" at the appropriate moment and maybe the kids not back for a while, having learned the 24 hour fix it rule.
Mr. Sundwall had his light issue dismissed after telling the judge he never received his supporting deposition from Officer Friendly. Somehow his simple word alone was sufficient with regards to the 24 hour fix. Also dismissed. But curious why didn't Judge ask him about what he did or plans to do?
Finally the hip chick in a patterned sun dress with short dark hair and tatoos. Pale. Ms. Kirby? Summers, NY.
Sixty nine, in a fifty five. 10 miles over. 1180e to a 1110a. $193, pay 2nite.
Another tall black kid named Penn & Teller? Eighty one in a 55!
He's in maintenance now at NY Presbyterian. Used to be at Mt. Sinai.
One month to pay a Buck 93.
JAI: "Officer Friendly approached and asked if we were just observing. Yes, offering the newly minted press off the lanyard in our dad checkered shirt. Not necessary."
MR. LOPEZ after sometime was determined to be thirty three after some discussion with Deputy Friendly. He was demur, sitting and wearing the kit from an un-identified club. Peru? not Mexico.
He had a driver's license which was produced to the Court. He didn't know that the kids below 16 needed to wear seatbelts in the back. He'll be back for Judge Dellehunt on August 2nd.
JAI & ES:
I got out before any questions were asked of me. If I really were a cub reporter I would have been obliged to ask about the staffs names, maybe some follow up from the judge or deputy.
But by 6:51 PM, the Town of Kinderhook Court on July 12th, 2022 was adjourned. I suppose can go back and add up the fees collected on behalf of the municipality. The Court transcript would probably reveal the names and actual charges and whatnot, correctly.
My court appearances over the years diminish as my idiotic youthful rebellion reluctantly subsides approaching sixty. Normally I wouldn't have ever cared to know what transpired on any given court night, five miles from home on any given Tuesday.
It's definitely a racket more than any greater public service being rendered. Seatbelts and inspections aren't as important as speeding and the record will show the dearth of parking on the pavement convictions for future analytics to ponder.
Justice Mills is a nice and fair lady and reminds a lot of the care given to the community and its out of town visitors by former Judge Williams. On one of my last visits to his court, he pumped to the front of a long cue and dismissed whatever was in front of his court about me summarily. He was looking haggard, I used to play ball with his son. He really liked my shite in court and understood my place as a community businessman years later.
But somehow the process of justice has been simplified, even for lawyers. People don't sit in the court room. Over thirty can be processed in less than two hours. I'm glad I stuck it out and watched.
One can only imagine a higher court's docket and layered nonsense that is covered by no interested media.
Coverage Cost: Two hours. Five miles. $232.67
Actual cost: $2.67