I was sitting in court on day watching my favorite judge listen to all sorts of reasons under the sun for the need of a Protection Order. This fine day had to be the topper though. This judge knows I have a very good and varied sense of humor, but he also hopes, for the most part, I can control it when in court. This day was a true test for me.
The players in this drama were all Spanish speaking. There were two interpreters for each party so the judge could tell what was being said, and vice versa for the parties. This means at each table there were at least 4 people. I believe one table was trying to find additional chairs for friends and family members, but the Bailiff vetoed that idea real quick.
Since I don’t speak very much Spanish, I really couldn’t tell what they were yelling at each other. I do know what the Bailiff was yelling, and it wasn’t nice, polite words. Before the judge even addressed the parties, the Bailiff was ready to call more bailiffs to the courtroom. Not a good start.
The judge finally acknowledged the parties, and their attorneys. Right off the bat this was odd, as most people don’t bring an attorney to a Protection Order hearing, especially if the case is not connected with a big divorce. Never the less there were two attorneys; two interpreters; and a lot of mad Spanish speaking people.
Once things got settled down by the pure force of the gavel being pounded through a microphone, it went all strange. The judge referred to the Petition for the Protection Order, and he stated he didn’t quite understand what was being asked of the court. After some real back and forth communicating between the Petitioner, the attorney, and the interpreter, it was declared a Protection Order was being requested in response to a curse. Yes that was right, a curse.
Here is the story, short version as I am sure there is a really long version available somewhere. There are two married couples, we will call them couple A and couple B, simple. Wife of couple A slept with husband of couple B. Bad, bad! So, wife of couple B contacts some witch or someone with knowledge of things spiritual, and puts a curse on wife of couple A. Now wife and husband (although he wasn’t saying much) of couple A are requesting a Protection Order from the Ghost which is a result of the curse.
I was so proud of my buddy, the judge, as he didn’t laugh outright on the bench. I would have no doubt in my mind. In fact, the judge looked down at me in the audience with a glare to kill, knowing full well I was about to burst. He calmly looked to his bailiff and then to his court clerk before continuing. I know this was all a way for him to gather himself so he didn’t lose it on the bench.
He asked the interpreter and attorney of couple A to make sure he had the whole crux of the Petition correctly. He made sure it was all phrased correctly, leaving no room for loss in translation. He said something to the effect of: This couple is requesting a Protection Order from a ghost which will come as a result of a curse placed on them by couple B? Yeah, that is what I was getting from my seat as well. The attorney and interpreter went back and forth with couple A, as they both knew this was a stupid case and know their names were going to be attached to it for all infamy. In the final report to the judge, yup, he had it totally correct. What was even funnier than the straight face the interpreter had when he said this, was the way the wife of couple A crossed her arms over her chest, hmmphted, and gave the evil eye to wife of couple B. Wow, she really thought she had this in the bag.
The judged shuffled some papers; probably shuffled his feet under the bench, picked up the gavel, and reported in an unusually loud voice for him, “Case Dismissed!” I seriously think he should have added, “…for being so damn stupid, ludicrous, waste of the Court’s time, and just well…so damn stupid.” I do know he did and ‘exit, stage right’ as fast as possible. The parties hadn’t even stood up yet. I had to exit, stage back door, and laugh as I was walking down the hall.
After court was finished for him, we discussed the day, okay; we just discussed this one case. We laughed so friggin’ hard; I think we were both crying. I know I was because someone got on the elevator with us, and gave the judge a really mean glare because they thought he made me cry. Well…he did…sort of.
More to come as they come to me.