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Fighting the NSX Moving Violation

18 October 2002
Costa Mesa, CA
Since I've graduated from college, I never find myself being told really great stories at the 3 in morning anymore. So my college buddies and I always write don't humorous things that happen to us and email them. Since this one started with the NSX, I thought I'd share. I know it may be hard to believe, but this is all true....

Orange County Superior Court – April 17, 2003

So I went to traffic court today. I received a “21453(b) CVC – stop at red signal and yield to traffic before right turn” on December 11, 2002, and after two extensions, my arraignment date was today. I don’t know exactly what makes me spend all this time fighting the judicial system for any moving violation I receive. Part of me does not want to pay $111.00 plus $51.50 for traffic school out of principle, and I suppose the other half secretly enjoys watching the great unwashed (read: complete imbeciles) try to hash it out in the courtroom.

For those of you unfamiliar with the judicial process for traffic offenses, here’s a quick overview. You get pulled over for doing something stupid, the degree of your violation depends on the quantity and caliber of drugs present, and level of verbal abuse you present the officer. You then choose to post your bail, or go to an arraignment. I think almost all people in my position, pay their bail, go to traffic school, and never see the courthouse. I am certain of this because everyone in there this morning except me was standing chest deep in quicksand with a garden trowel.

You arrive at your arraignment at 8:00, as directed by the nice little old lady behind the bullet proof glass . You go to H14 and see that the doors are closed, but the crowd outside was not informed that this is not self-seating at a bon jovi concert. They are pushed up against the door as if that’s going to make a difference. The bailiff opens the door, women and children are trampled, and then everyone realizes they should have been sitting on the bench in the back next to me with a coke and smile, because traffic is not first come, first serve.

Now this is an arraignment, NOT your trial and as the bailiff clearly tells you, and there are only five correct responses: guilty, not guilty, traffic school, no contest, and extension. There is no arguing at this time, a simple answer to how do you plea will suffice. Now, as a side note, everyone knows that I am heavily affected by Murphy’s law, and am therefore guaranteed to be called last of all these damn people. This of course will give me the opportunity to see almost everybody to answer their question incorrectly.

Traffic Commissioner Thomas J Rees has my utmost respect as a human being. That guy sits up there day after day, an educated man, and listens to the most unbelievable shit, and somehow remains calm and monotone throughout the whole thing. This is not the case for all judges, believe me.

“Jose Gutierrez Mesa Juan Carlos: you are charged with speeding without insurance or registration behind a school bus unloading children. How do you plead to the charge of speeding?” I’m thinking, there are five correct answers here Jose, but the smart money says you’re going to say something else. Sure enough, he came back with “Well I hav dis oder case pendin in central court right now, an I’m kinda sposed ta be dere and I was on the oder sida the scoo bus and stuff.” Truly quality stuff, nothing but incoherent babble coming out this grown man’s mouth. It took ten minutes to get it sorted out, or as sorted as it will ever be. He’ll be making monthly payments till they locate Saddam.

So it’s now 9:30, I’ve been watching this tom foolery go on for at least an hour, when Judge Tommy does something that surprises even me,. He calls Pamela Anderson to the podium. I’m careening my head all over, thinking - PAM! - , how did I miss seeing you in this whole deal. Well as it turns out, Pam was not so much that curvy lifeguard we all know and love, as a 45 year old mumbling women with a hell of a paperwork predicament. This lady was a specimen.

“Miss Anderson”, I’m still smiling about the name thing,” I have two matters which to discuss with you, the first is a failure to register on November 12, 2002, how do you plead to this charge?”

“Well I don’t have the car with me right now.”

“How do you plead mam, guilty or not guilty”

“You see I have this huge problem I’m sorting out with the toll roads right now.”

“Miss Anderson, I don’t see how that has to do with this”

They went back and forth until he gave her another extension to try and take care of it again, I wish I could be there when she and the DMV try and sort out her registration, that’ll be a hallmark moment.

“Well, onto your second matter Miss Anderson. Did you have insurance on December 5, 2002?”

“I have insurance now.”

“Miss Anderson, do you have proof that you had it then?”

“Yes, I did have it then.”

“Do you have paperwork on that?”

“O no, it’s all there at the credit union, I couldn’t get it”

“Miss Anderson, I don’t see what prevented you from going to the credit union and getting it?”

“Well it’s out of state I think, well and it’s the wrong kind of insurance anyway”

I almost had to leave the room.

“I don’t see how that makes sense, I’m going to enter a plea of Guilty for Miss Anderson, as it seems she cannot produce any evidence of insurance, despite her already having two extensions to do so. Would you like to pay that in 30 days, payments or volunteer work?”

“Money?, No, I don’t have any of that.”

She must have thought that the court system uses marbles as currency.”

“I guess that means Miss Anderson will take volunteer work, 34 hours by June 19.”

I went after her. The judge actually looked up from his paperwork when I said, “not guilty, your honor.”, because I had been paying attention, and I was the first one to call him your honor all day, which so far was at least 75 people. So I guess the moral of this story is, when you see someone picking up trash on the side of the road, smile, it may be Pam Anderson!