Court Summons, driving without due care & attention

Drakon

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I continue to be intrigued by this case. Alas, I hated Rumpole of the Bailey when I was growing up and I don’t understand the references.
Having said that, I always hated Roots on TV when I was growing up, but it became one of the best books I’ve ever read.
I’ll come back to this thread in September so.
 

mathepac

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It was a beautiful morning and after a decent walk from the council car-park, I was beginning to overheat inside my anorak, from the Bertie school of fashion. I arrived outside the court-house for my date with destiny slightly sweaty. Climbing the steps, I made my way through the throngs gathered outside, to the main entrance, the portal of doom. A envisored custodian demanded my number while blocking the entrance. "Number?" I echoed, noticing to my horror I was using the hated rising inflection to end my sentence (sorry guys). "Look at the list in the windah", said he gesturing to his right with his head while flourishing his badges of office, the plastic clipboard and biro, in the direction of his next client.

I approached the indicated window which had attracted a sizeable group, trying, like frequent flyers around an airport departures board, to establish their vitally important number. I had great difficulty finding my number* and was surprised the list was posted on an outwards facing window instead of inside the court building as had been my previous experiences. I found "MATHEPAC" towards the end of the list with an astonishingly high number, There were close to 200 cases listed for His Honour's court on the day.

I made my way back to the custodian and gave him my number and made to pass him to gain access. "Ya can't come in" he said, "COVID-19." "But I gotta see me brief and consult wiv him, an' I'm wearin' a mask", said I. A lady whom I recognised from previous visits as a barrister was making her way out past the jolly gatekeeper asked me "Who is your brief?". Flattered that she seemed to recognise me, I said "Mr. Rumpole, milady." She smiled through her mask and my heart did summersaults. "He's inside," she said, "but no doubt you'll catch him as he'll be in and out, consulting clients and smoking fags." Now deeply in love, blushing furiously and sweating again, I thanked her and retired to wait on one of the benches in the court grounds.

Rumpole duly emerged, lit a fag, engrossed himself in conversation with a client / colleague and once the fag was disposed of, I approached. We reintroduced ourselves and I gave him my number unbidden. "Oh Christ, not a hope. Yer man is operating at a funereal pace the last few days and there isn't a snowball's chance he'll hear us at at this sitting," opined Rumpole. "October is already full with the backlogged cases, so our projected earliest date is late November, maybe even December. This thing" pulling on his face mask "has us all up in a heap [paraphrasing here as per the guidelines]. Gimme a few minutes. I'll go back in and suss the lie of the land and come back to you; maybe I can get you out of here so you can enjoy the day rather than hanging around out here wasting it."

I resumed my seat on the bench, no not that one guys , to relax in the warm sunshine. The custodian began to call numbers, like a bingo-caller on the banks of the Styx. "Numbers 1 to 17, numbers 1 to 17, this is your final call" he boomed bringing my airport analogy from earlier to mind. He had just called 36 to 52 when Rumpole re-emerged. "I was right, we won't get a hearing today and they're not allowing civilian witnesses into court. I'll write once I have clarity from the Courts' Service." I thanked him and left, a sense of relief flooding over me. Despite my blase appearance about the matter, I was pretty wound up and hadn't slept the previous night.

Driving home I had opportunity to give the matter some thought, always a dangerous thing for me! If as Rumpole predicts we get a date in Nov/Dec, I now feel that is grossly unjust. My legal representative and I attended, the DPP's local rep was there from the Garda Superintendent's office and the prosecuting Guard was there. There was a Guard off sick but his cases were listed after mine so made no difference to our slot in the running order. The fact that the civilian witnesses did not or could not appear should not lead to an adjournment and re-scheduling of the matter to a later date. The judge should have called the case and ordered a summary dismissal in this layman's opinion. While there are three witnesses to the alleged incident only one places me and my car at the alleged incident and the location given in this witness's statement differs to that given in the summons.

Once I got home, I rang the Courts' Service, The DPP's office and the Garda Station concerned looking for input. I got the circular referral "nothing to do with us, ring the next guy on your list". When I told whoever answered in the Garda Station that I wanted the Super's office I was met with a categoric "no". The prosecuting Guard was still at Court

What do you think oh wise ones? Potentially 4 court appearances, 680 round trip kms, parking, refs, etc. It would have cost a lot less to meet Seamus Woulfe in Clifden! And of course Rumpole's fees are still to be met - he hasn't had a bob while all the over-paid self-important State employees are feeding high on the hog.

Ask Rumpole to apply to the Beak to throw out the unsupported charge? Launch a High Court case? Contact an EU Commissioner? Volunteer to be the next Minister for Agriculture?

We live to fight another day or should that be we live and hope to fight some day?

*The list was sorted in the name of the prosecuting Guard and as I had forgotten my Guard's name, I had to search the list serially from top to bottom. This version of the list is handy for the Guards' use but not for the great unwashed and I don't remember previous lists being arranged in this way, me being the experienced cove this case has turned me into. Still we gotta facilitate the high-paid help on over-time rates.
 
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cremeegg

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Great post, thanks for keeping us up to date.

What do you oh wise ones?
Well this foolish ones advice is to simply forget about it. If you go back to court on the next 'date' it might be heard, you might be convicted, you might be fined, you might have your license endorsed.

If you do not go back to court, what is likely to happen. Nothing, I suggest. Though AAM readers would be the loosers, we of course would lose the opportunity to follow your story.
 

Drakon

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And still you won’t confide on AAM your alleged offence?
Perhaps as a free man?

I’ve been intrigued since day one by this, despite the many references to Rumople (as a child at the time my elder siblings were huge fans. That, and Dynasty, which had a long running court case of Blake Carrington’s trial for murder).
 

Sue Ellen

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Dreadful treatment, absolutely dreadful. Its definitely taking its toll on you. Hopefully it will be sorted in your favour eventually.

BTW your writing talents are wasted on just all on AAM, when you write your book on this matter it will be well worth reading :)
 

mathepac

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And still you won’t confide on AAM your alleged offence?
Perhaps as a free man?
I can't / won't comment on the detail of the charge against me nor on my substantiated version of events. Although the matter is a relatively minor one, it is still sub judice and publication of any details in advance of a full hearing ain't gonna happen, certainly not from me.

Maybe once Rumpole weaves his magic, ties witnesses in knots, has the Beak eating out of his hand, and we gain an acquittal, I may spill the beans. Until then the word is mum.
 
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mathepac

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Great post, thanks for keeping us up to date.
Thanks and no problem. My sense of indignation and injustice is rising as time passes. The term "Justice delayed is justice denied" has been attributed to many but I think it's relevant here. The problem for me now is I can't forget, all fired up as I am :) :)
 

mathepac

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Dreadful treatment, absolutely dreadful. Its definitely taking its toll on you. Hopefully it will be sorted in your favour eventually.
Pretty shabby. Even though we're all of us just scoundrels facing Madame la Guillotine or trans-shipment to the remotest of the colonies at best, the arrangements were extremely poor. Could retired judges not be sworn in to sit at other locations in parallel with each other and under-employed admin civil / public servants seconded to the Courts' Service, no legal training necessary, it's monkey see monkey do type work at the administrative level?
BTW your writing talents are wasted on just all on AAM, when you write your book on this matter it will be well worth reading :)
Thanks. Bleak House Part II? :) :)
 
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SparkRite

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The term "Justice delayed is justice denied" has been attributed to many but I think it's relevant here.
I suspect you still have some way to go (quite a bit really) if you think that.

BTW., agree with what has been posted above you (may) have missed your vocation, but never too late to take up the quill.
;)
 

mathepac

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One lives in hope! Thanks and I'm happy enough in here, no deadlines, no pressure, no imposed schedules.
 
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MugsGame

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I find myself conflicted. I wish the OP a speedy resolution to this injustice. But further inspiration, perhaps followed by some dedicated writing time "away" from outside distractions, could be the making of them :p
 

mathepac

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If they weren't allowing civilian witnesses in, why was the case even called?
That's what gets my goat, although now I have an extra bit of information. No off-duty Guard to be called as a witness and the longer and more uncertain the road to an actual hearing, the less likely it is that the civilian witness will stay the course and appear. All to my good I suppose in terms of getting an acquittal, a nolle prosequi or one of them Latin yokes they dish out in court, but the sheer waste is hard to take and very hard to justify with so much else needing State /tax-payers' time, money and attention at the moment.

Just to clarify, Rumpole believed the case wouldn't be called, he had as I said his own reason for that belief, but probably (hopefully!!) conferred with the court clerk for confirmation. If my case was called and I was absent, that could result in a bench warrant being issued for my arrest. The case was listed to be heard on the day, but never was called / heard.
 
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mathepac

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No idea but it wouldn't surprise me. Apart from me an' me old china Rumpole, everyone else involved has a financial interest in stringing these matters out.
 

Purple

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No idea but it wouldn't surprise me. Apart from me an' me old china Rumpole, everyone else involved has a financial interest in stringing these matters out.
Having spent some time in the district court in Tallaght a few years back as an interested party it really struck me that so many of the people there were in need to medical and psychological aid rather than legal aid and there seems to be an industry around adjournments and delays.

There must be a better way of dealing with that subset of society who have fallen through the cracks. The lawyers and the officials all spoke one way and the majority of those on low level antisocial and drug related charges all spoke a different way. It all seems quite medieval and utterly pointless if the objective was justice and the betterment of society.
 

mathepac

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Missive to hand from Rumpole's offices today, my case has been re-scheduled for early November, 2020 and to quote his communication, it "will undoubtedly be heard on that day", emphasis mine.
 

mathepac

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Guys your generosity knows no bounds! But beware. If his Judgeship proves immune to the eloquence of Rumpole's pleadings, I may get the literal chop and thereafter serve no purpose other than pushing up nettles, thistles and brambles; no daisies for me, I'd be too angry! :) I'll do my own ghost-writing and any few quid gathered can be used for feeding the doggies and drinking to my continued fight from the far bank of the Styx.
 
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