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Court jesters

Posted: May 2, 2010 10:31 p.m.
Updated: May 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.
I needed to be entertained, and what better place to go than the court in Santa Clarita? On April 15, at about 1 p.m., I went to be a spectator and watch the court in action.

There is lot of activity at the Santa Clarita Valley Civic Center. I walked the halls before court was in session, and saw one division of law after another. Watching the people and trying to figure out who they are and to what division of law they are going was a lot of fun.

I entered the court room at 1:30 p.m.; court is to be called into session at 1:45 p.m. Don’t you dare be late. The judge shows up at 2 p.m. without his robe, calls the court to order in his shirt and tie, and then proceeds to his chamber to put on his robe.

The judge has his hands full, with stacks upon stacks of folders on his desk. To settle himself down and try to get organized, he scuffles these folders back and forth and side to side. It took the judge about 15 minutes to get the folders in order.

In the meantime there are court clerks, court bailiffs, sheriff’s deputies and lawyers of all kinds hustling around.

The first prisoner was brought in wearing handcuffs, directed to sit down, his handcuffs were removed and the judge read the charges brought against him. After the prisoner declared his plea, the judge passed the sentence and wished the prisoner “good luck.”

I witnessed a small-claims case, which the plaintiff won, even with a high-priced lawyer going against him. The plaintiff was peeved, rightfully so, and he told the judge that if he knew that this lawyer was coming, he would have brought his lawyer. The high-priced lawyer came with a witness from the company he was representing with stacks and stacks of folders, which matched the judge’s folders.

The bantering between the plaintiff and the lawyer was amusing.

Sitting in court was the best ticket in town. It was better than any movie or play. Everyone should go for the entertainment, and see
how their tax dollars are working.


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