It was a week for firsts last week. The unexpected guilty verdict for my trial by declaration (TBD) with regard to a citation citing only California Vehicle Code 21461a as my alleged violation had me making a trip to Redwood City. First I wished to obtain the prosecutions evidence against me and then file for a trial de novo as is my right after a failed TBD. It was clear to me acting as Pro Per in my own defense that at best 21461a is vague and cannot stand alone. But does it stand with an officer’s testimony providing the prosecutions argument in a TBD? Apparently it does.
It took a while to find the parking garage that is but a few blocks from Traffic Court. After I parked I enquired some directions from an elderly gentleman who professed he was a lawyer who deals with litigation of business affairs and has done so for more than 30 years. With his directions I easily found the court, went inside and placed my wallet, clipboard, keys, glasses and belt into a grey bin which proceeded slowly on its way like riders on an amusement ride entering an unknown cave. Somewhere in there an x-ray camera will reveal to the glazed over eyes of security guards skeletons and other content not normally seen while peering at an assortment of ordinary objects in a grey bin.
As I proceeded through the metal detector I felt my pants slipping! I desperately grabbed at them and managed to catch and pull them up prior to accidently exposing myself in public. I grabbed my belt, secured my pants and gathered the rest of my things from the grey bin that finally popped out like scared riders from the haunted house ride at Playland. I asked aloud “where can I find a clerk?” and was directed by one of the two hired guards that I would need to stand at the end of a very and then he stressed the word “very” again and added “long line”.
So I went to the end of the very, very long line at the end of a rather long corridor and took my place there; at the very end. Moments after arriving I was nearly struck from behind by a rapidly opening door. Taking note I made sure to keep myself clear of any further swinging of those doors which led to the courts. The entrance to the women restroom was also back there on my right, but sans any swinging doors. I estimated I would be in that very, very long line for at least a half a day. I wished I had brought something to read to better past the time while waiting in that very, very long line.
This all reminded me of Alice and her long, long fall into a rabbit hole which led to Wonderland. Finally after more seconds than there are grains of sand in a handful I was at window 6 and face to face with the white rabbit clerk. He rapidly asked of me my business for being there. I ignored his question and asked my own. “What is your name?”. He said it was “Frank” and I jotted that down and asked if he had a last name but Frank the white rabbit would not say and instead just repeated his question, “What is your business?”. I then asked for an employee ID but that white rabbit clerk was adamant about not providing me with anything substantially identifiable.
I told him I wanted to obtain the statement of the officer from my TBD. The eyes rolled as he twitched his nose and one could see gears slowly turning as that white rabbit digested my request. “You need to file a motion” was his sudden outburst. This came out of left field and was rather unexpected. If this was his way of confusing me he had most certainly succeeded. I stammered and watched as a slight smile appeared and quickly vanished from the white rabbit’s poker face. “What judge?” I mumbled while my thoughts raced questioning who does he mean for me to file a motion with? Then with head still spinning and regaining my balance I pointed out to this curious and aged rabbit that I was asking for a public record. “You need to file a motion” was his gleeful reply, not bothering to hide his grin. He maniacally repeated the phrase over and over again while dancing and twirling in place in a dervish manner. Perhaps I began to ponder was Frank the mad hatter in disguise? (to be continued…)