Thursday, July 16, 2009
About a month ago, our dog, Sydney, got loose and was picked up by Animal Control. When I went to the pound to pick her up I had forgotten to bring any of her records. I assured them she was up to date on her shots etc. According to their records, I wasn't.
The officer gave me 2 summons. One was for no rabies certification and the other was no county license. She told me that if I could find the papers at home, to notify the courts and that would be the end of it. So, I paid the $25.00 fine that was due because they had picked Sydney up and took her home.
When I got home, I realized that all the papers I had were for our dog that had passed away a little over a year ago. Her next update wasn't due until 2010, but Sydney's had all expired the month before.
So I figured I would get the shots and license, mail in the fines for the summons and that would be the end of it.
We got the shots and license. The 2 summons, which were due today, June 16, laid on the counter.
They laid and they laid.
Each day I cleaned the counter and moved them from one to-do stack to another.
They laid and they laid.
Just this morning I realized they were due today by 1:30pm.
I rushed to the courthouse to pay the fines and got there around 1:15. I was informed that it was too late and that I had to go in front of the judge.
This is Virginia. We are conservative. When you go to court for ANYTHING, even Animal Control, you better be dressed respectfully in your Sunday-Go-To-Meeting-Clothes. I was wearing blue jean shorts, a t-shirt and sneakers. I felt awful about that. I was guilty of the summons and didn't expect to get an extra fine for my attire but still, you just DO NOT dress like that for court.
The judge went alphabetically. My last name starts with a T so about 15 people went before me. It went very fast. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.....you get the point. Then he called my name and I went and stood before him, (wishing desperately I had taken a Xanax before hand).
He asked if I was guilty and I replied "Yes Sir, it was inadvertently but I am guilty." he asked me to explain. I then first told the judge that I would like to apologize for my attire. I told him I was expecting to pay a fine and I felt very disrespectful standing before him dressed in the manner that I was. He paused for a moment and then said in a very surprised voice, "Well, Thank You. That is really, really nice and I appreciate that.". I then explained the mix-up on Sydney's shots and licence and showed him proof that we had since had everything taken care of. He smiled and said, "Dismissed". DISMISSED!!!! As I had told him, even though it wasn't on purpose, I WAS guilty.
He LIKED me! HE REALLY LIKED ME! lol.
If I had paid the 2 summons ahead of time it would have been about $200.00, but instead.....
D I S M I S S E D !!!!!!!
When I was leaving a different officer came outside and said, "Ma'am, you need to go to the Circuit Desk and pay your fines. I replied that my case had been dismissed. His eyes opened wide and he said, "Dismissed? In Animal Court? Wow!". Then he said "Have a great day!" And you know what, I think I will!
P.S. To all you rain-on-my-paraders, yes, if I had had the proper paperwork in the first place none of that would have happened. But do you know what, if that had been the case, then this would just be another hot, humid, long, summer day. Instead.....DISMISSED!!!!!