Friday, August 10, 2007

I Want You To Want Me

I know all of my loyal readers are feverishly checking back at my site to see if I was successful in capturing Angelina Jolie in my sights, right?

Well, Angelina had to take a back seat today, because this morning in the mail I got very bad news from the Clerk of The Crook (oops, sorry, Cook) County Circuit Court.

Five weeks ago, I got pulled over for speeding, which would have been totally acceptable to me had I been speeding, but I wasn’t. I was barely moving. It doesn’t matter. In the grand scheme of life, this is hardly a big deal.

Nothing ever goes smoothly for The Rock Chick, though.

Initially, I wanted to post a cash bond to get my driver’s license back. I waited three days and went to the courthouse and was told they didn’t have my license yet. I asked about setting up a court date and they said to return the envelope that came with the ticket requesting one and I would receive notification of my court date in about six weeks. I did just that.

The courthouse is nothing short of a madhouse, and Lord only knows when my ticket would have actually shown up in the system, so I just decided to drive on my ticket instead of trying to go back and post a cash bond. You can do that and it’s fine.

Since it’s only been five weeks, I have been on the lookout for my court date notification, but wasn’t too worried about not yet having received one. That is, until I got the mail this morning.

I received a postcard saying that I hadn’t returned the envelope and therefore hadn’t complied with the terms of my ticket and they have found me automatically guilty and if I don’t go pay them $75.00, they will suspend my driver’s license. WTF?

So, I immediately went back to the courthouse, frantic that I hadn’t received my court date in the mail. If you miss a court date, you are not only “failure to comply”, but “failure to appear” and that could land me in the slammer alongside Nicole Richie. I know I’m striving for A-List Blogebrity status and it’s so nice to be wanted, but not in this way!

Anxiously, I stood in line to go through the metal detectors. I had no metal on me at all, but somehow I set off the detector. It must have been my magnetic personality.

I was told to walk through again and siren went off a second time, which means they have to physically search you. After a pat down and a once over with a hand held metal detector, I was allowed in.

At the ticket counter, the woman looked up my information, vanished for quite a while and then returned holding a copy of the ticket, my driver’s license and the envelope I mailed to them. You know, the one that they said they didn’t get, which is why I was automatically convicted on day 30.

I was told that they are so backed up they even though they had the envelope, they can’t process all of the returned envelopes within 30 days and sometimes people get a guilty verdict automatically assigned for failure to comply.

If I wanted to request a second court date, though, she’d be happy to set another one up for me for a $45.00 fee. I tried to explain that I never got a first court date and the lady said that, unfortunately, thing like this happen all the time. She then added that I’ve already been found guilty on the ticket and that I really should be thankful that since there was no first court date to miss, luckily, I was not “wanted” and would not be getting arrested.

Lucky me! Man, I’m on fire! I should stop at the race track or something on the way home!

The guy in line behind me chimed in with a “you don’t want to get another court date”.

It seems the same court date fiasco happened to him and he did pay $45.00 to get another court date. He had just appeared in court and the judge didn’t believe that he returned the envelope on time and apparently, she’s tired of hearing that excuse. Not only did she find him guilty for $75.00 fine anyway, she added a $50.00 extra “failure to comply” fine and ordered him to traffic school for an additional $60.00 fee.

Good Lord. I decided to just stay guilty and pay the $75.00 fine and move on.

Welcome to Crook County is right.

15 comments:

Dorothy said...

I know that county...I feel bad for you. But glad your not wanted in that way.

The Rock Chick said...

Dorothy: I'm glad I'm not wanted (at least in that way!), too! I look terrible in orange jumpsuits :)

Julie Pippert said...

Yeah I went through this recently.

Only...I did know my date and I did fail to appear (loooong story of bad circumstances) and I threw myself on the mercy of the court, who was, luckily, merciful.

I got defensive driving.

Sorry you got no mercy from a screwed up system that left you to carry the burden!

P.S. I was very worried about orange jumpsuits and crowded living conditions too. ;)

Julie
Ravin' Picture Maven

Harlekwin said...

Cook County Court System = Mongolian Cluster Fuck!

Yikes, baggy orange jump suits don't look good on anyone. I wonder if there is one small enough to fit Nicole. She'll probably have one custom tailored and on the back, where it should say "Los Angeles County Jail" it'll read..."Baby On Board" in Swarovski crystals, of course.

I'm still practicing my wave. Thank you so much for the link in your blog roll and for helping me with the contest. I was able to vote again this morning and am now in second place.

I hope you're having a great day!

The Rock Chick said...

Julie: I suppose the woman at the counter was right. I should be thankful that that was the worst thing that got screwed up. I've been to Cook County Jail--NOT AS AN INMATE (thought I'd make that clear), but during the course of my Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement studies in college. Definitely not a place I'd like to spend an entire weekend or anything :)

Harlekwin: Perfect description!!! Love it!!! Here's a waving tip: I learned when I was in the Miss Illinois pageant, that you always wave with the hand opposite the crowd. The paparazzi doesn't get a good shot of your armpit that way :)

It let me vote a few times before it shut me off :) If you don't win, maybe we can make one for you!!!!

This Eclectic Life said...

What a mess! I would have hated to have to write you in jail! Orange is not a good color to go with your tiara. What's this I see about you going behind my back with Harlekwin??? What makes her think she gets to ride in the limo and wear a tiara? Are you promising that to everyone?

Qtpies7 said...

Oh my gosh! What else can I say?
Sometimes you just have be be thankful because it could be worse! For me, it could be what you are going through, but for you, it could be what the other guy went through!

sam said...

Gah! That makes me so mad because no matter how much you KNOW they're in the wrong you're forced to just suck it up. Bastards.

Karina said...

This whole thing just enraged me! It just gets me all riled up when "the system" that is supposed to work FOR us, works so mightily against us! And I work in the legal field, so trust me, I'm all too familiar with the "we're so overlaoded with paperwork" b.s.

Enraged for you! But you probably made the right choice by just sucking it up and paying the $75. sigh...

By the way, you've been added to my blogroll! ;-)

Jamie said...

That is so rotten and unfair that it is almost like real life.

How about organizing all your readers to print out a copy of the blog and mailing it to all the newspapers, TV Stations and politicians associated with Cook County.

You might as well get 15 minutes of fame out of the experience.

The Rock Chick said...

Shelly: Oh, well, it's all over now! On traffic conviction is 25 years is not all that horrible, I guess. I will survive! I figure it'll give the tabloids a little dirt to write about me when, you know, I make the A-List! Harlekwin asked and she's been practicing her wave!!! Don't worry, there's plenty of room in my imaginary limo :)

qtpies: exactly. My streak of Murphy's Law has been pretty bad lately, so I decided it would be best to cut my losses where they were!

Sam: yeah, well, life isn't always fair, I guess. Better it's a traffic conviction than something way worse!

karina: thanks for the link :) One step closer ot the "A-List". I'm wondering about this "overloaded with paperwork" thing. Everything is done by the computer and the envelopes even had a little barcode scan thing on it. How backed up can you be that you can scan a barcode within 30 days. These guys make the post office workers look like olympic runners :)

Jamie: Oh, I'm not sure that taking on Crook County about anything is the kind of fame I'd like to have ;)

katherine. said...

that is just crazy...will you be able to blog from the slammer? (smile)

The Rock Chick said...

katherine: LOL...Thank goodness it won't come to that because I'm not sure! That would be awful, you know, being so close to the A-List. Well, I guess there's not such thing as bad publicity, right. My story might end up on Perez Hilton or something....

Crystal said...

Wow, that's so crooked!

I'd get a local newspaper and/or news station to do a story on it.

Sarah said...

This sounds exactly like something that would happen to me, only I am not so sure I would handle it as elegantly as you did. I would probably have been escorted from the premises in cuffs as I threw my toddler temper tantrum about how "unfair" this was.