- [Speak Up!] (
-- Rant! (
--- It... didn't go well... (

Posted by Kitsu on 29-08-2018 at 16:28:

It... didn't go well...

Sorry for needing to rant so much... Well, I don't know if this is so much a rant as it is an update.

It's been almost 2 weeks since I had to go before the magistrate for the incident of my son throwing a plastic bottle that hit a car. And since so many of you helped give me some incredibly awesome points to look at, I wanted to let you all know how it went. I wanted to do this earlier, but I wasn't able to talk about it or even write about it in my journal without my blood pressure suddenly skyrocketing and my head feeling like it was going to explode. I'm a little better, now, so I'll give this a try.

Well... I actually deleted a lot of what I had written because I'm not sure I should go into too much detail at this point. And my blood pressure was going up and my heart was racing while I was writing it, so I guess it's still upsetting me a LOT... So I'll just say this: it was the WORST nightmare. Even though I had some evidence of my own and questions from my lawyer (who hasn't charged us for this, btw), the magistrate deemed everything "irrelevant". He was incredibly hostile towards me from the moment I arrived, constantly snapped and yelled at me... At one point, he went so far as to literally SHOUT at me and make threats. He was nice to the other guy, though... I feel he was very biased and I didn't get a fair trial at all.

My son ran out of the building after and we assumed he was in the parking lot, but he wasn't. He wasn't in the car, either, it was locked. We had to call for him and found him several yards from the car lying in this dip in a patch of grass, crying his eyes out. I wasn't going to give anyone the satisfaction of possibly seeing me cry. I waited until we were in the car and far enough away from the building and I literally had a nervous breakdown. Mind you, I had taken 2 anti-anxiety pills and for all the good they did, I should have just taken some f**king Tic-Tacs... It was so bad, my hubby called my docs and they wanted him to take me to the emergency room. I refused to go because I feared they may keep me. Eventually, I just emotionally shut down for hours. I guess my brain knew I needed to. I can't tell you what kind of hell I've been going through. I didn't eat for 2 days, I still can't eat well some days, and I haven't slept well ever since I first learned of the incident.

At this point, we can file an appeal, which is what my hubby and our lawyer would like. My son and I have a different view... It costs $150 to file an appeal. That's a lot of money for people who play the game of "rob Peter to pay Paul" every month to pay bills... If we lose, not only do we need to pay the $150 filing fee, but we still have to pay the guy what he's looking for, plus his lawyer's fee and our lawyer's fee. If we would lose, it would come to well over $1,000, I'm sure. We can't afford that, not even if we make payments. But aside from that, I'm not sure I can emotionally handle another trial, this time at the courthouse with a jury. I still cry over it, I'm still having problems eating... Just from writing this, I feel like I'm going to throw up. My nerves are shot... I didn't even want to defend myself this time because I'd gone through an experience years ago where I had to go before the magistrate. We sued our landlord because our apartment was found to have black mold (which explained that god awful smell that kept us sleeping in the living room for 5 months) and all of us were getting sick with horrible respiratory infections. I was the worst... In any case, we lost the trial. We lost a LOT of things... We had to throw out a new mattress, our boxspring, clothing, and anything else that awful smell and those spores permeated. I was traumatized... That's why I was terrified to go through this again. And guess what, now I'm MORE traumatized... I can't handle more of this. It's too much physical and emotional stress. Plus there's that fear of losing MORE money for something we're not even sure was my kid's fault. I want justice, but unless you have a good amount of income and live in a nice neighborhood, you can't afford to try and get it.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice here? I could sure use some... Sad2


Posted by Daniella T on 29-08-2018 at 19:52:

Kitsu... all this for a plastic bottle thrown at a car? When people who do much more damage get away with it? Grrrrrrr! I totally get your frustration! Frankly, I would probably throw a bottle at someone.

OK, I know this is not the kind of advice you need, but still...

Does your lawyer think you have a chance with the appeal? Is this something that will affect your son in the future? If not, maybe just forget it?

They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally, they became heroes -- Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.

Posted by Kitsu on 30-08-2018 at 10:07:

That’s exactly how I feel about it. People do worse and get away with it and it’s frustrating. Besides, there’s no proof he did hit the car. My son didn’t see it hit, he just took their word for it. The woman in the car said it hit the windshield, so how did the side get damaged? Plus they saw none at the time and walked around the whole car. They went to a school function, then home, which is when they saw the damage. So it could have happened at the school.

I’m seeing the lawyer on the 4th, but it sounds like he really wants us to appeal, so I guess he thinks we have a good chance. Even if we do, I don’t think I can handle more stress than I have already. But I don’t want to pay $400 for something my kid didn’t do... That’s a lot when you live paycheck to paycheck.

People just suck today... Frown


Posted by ElectricWhite on 30-08-2018 at 13:44:

Originally posted by Kitsu
People just suck today... Frown

Yeah...but there are plenty of good folks who would help you out when the time arises.

Dealing with the court system can be really rough. I had to fight for my disability benefits, and, believe me, fighting a state governments gets rough! (I'll spare you most of the details, but the federal judge who finally ruled in my favor had 15 pages -- front and back -- of violations that the state had committed in order to deny me my benefits.)

Anyway, it appears that the magistrate was blatantly prejudiced against you and your son. (I wouldn't be surprised if that guy was related to or was some other type of kin to those car-creeps!) A reasonable jury should see this. And if --if -- the ruling isn't in your favor, they can't force you to pay more than you can reasonably afford, even if it means paying $5 a month until the damned thing is payed off.

I agree with your husband and lawyer about appealing this. I realize you and your son think neither one of you have the strength to do this, but I believe you do. You have the strength and courage to share your creative expressions and personal feelings with a bunch of people you wouldn't know if you passed them on the street (unless, of course, they all had a big neon sign with their usernames on it bolted to their heads). You've been doing this for quite a while now. (And I believe you intend to keep doing this for at least a few more years.) A jury trial lasts a relatively short time, and the people involved will fade back into the scenery when it's over.

Of course I'll support you no matter what you decide. Just, if you would, please, consider the possibility that this experience might strengthen you and your son and help the both of you feel better about yourselves.

Think positive, test negative.

Posted by Kitsu on 30-08-2018 at 15:24:

EW: True, there are some good people out there... I just don't encounter them for some reason. Of course, living in the "hood" where I do doesn't help. A lot of them moved here from city slums. I live in a tiny town, I grew up here. The people that moved in from the slums brought all sorts of crime and major drug, into a really small neighborhood in a tiny town... And the rest of the people are brown-nosers who suck up to "important" people to feel special. So I don't get enough real life exposure to good people. That's sad, I know...

Hmm, you and I need to talk... I've been fighting for disability myself and the state is ridiculous. Worse, I can't find one lawyer close to me that is willing to help at all. I honestly didn't know you could take it to a federal level. I may have to do that...

Very true, I wouldn't know any of you guys if we passed on the street (except the ones I'm friends with on Facebook), but I think it's easier to talk openly to you guys because of that fact. On the internet, I'm kitsu, a cyber-shadow. No one knows me from Adam... I can be a real anti-social butterfly. It's hard to slap on that happy face so people enjoy your company. In real life, it's hard to be open because you get judged, gossiped about... But here, I feel free. And all of you are so sweet, you make it easy to open up Animeflower

You made some good points. It won't last forever. And there is a chance that a jury would see that the magistrate was biased (funny, even my lawyer said he may be friends with these people). I think what bothers me is, if it goes badly again, I'd still have to pay, more this time, for something that probably happened after the incident. I'm so leery of getting screwed. Sometimes I feel like it's the story of my life... But maybe you're right, maybe it would help to strengthen my son and me. We could certainly use a boost like that!

Thanks for the advice, it definitely helped! Huggles


Posted by Becky Rock on 30-08-2018 at 21:51:

I don't know what the laws are in your area, Kitsu. Normally, a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Where's the proof with no reasonable doubt? I'd say this case has enough reasonable doubt that a jury would find in your son's favor.

But I can be a vindictive bitch. I'd do my best to make the guy miserable. Counter sue for emotional distress. Say that his inability to prove your son did anything is causing your family undue hardship because he is taking your son's name through the mud. I'd ask for $10,000 just to piss him off.

Find out everything you can about the guy. Does he have a relationship with them magistrate? How many other lawsuits has he been involved in? Look for every grain of dirt.

I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers so far...

Posted by Kitsu on 31-08-2018 at 15:57:

Becky: Honestly, I thought that was how the system worked here, but apparently this magistrate didn't get the memo about that... Freak3

You're a vindictive bitch after my own heart! Laugh2 I thought about that, suing for the emotional distress and defamation of character. But I didn't know what to ask for... Now I do! That's a good amount for all the crap I've put up with.

You know what's amusing? My kid looked both the guy and his wife up on Facebook. Turns out she works at one of the local schools as a teacher. You'd think a teacher would know that, in this day and age, grabbing a minor is NOT okay and she should have stopped her husband. Not only that, but she screamed and cursed at my kid. Hmm, that doesn't sound like proper behavior from a teacher.

I'll do some digging on this guy. I had the same thought, that maybe he's friends with the magistrate. But I didn't think about looking to see if he's had any other suits he was involved in.

Thanks for the advice! Huggles


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