This morning was my big day in court. I had tried to block it out of my mind, assuming that it just wouldn't happen, but last night I dug out the subpoena and it really did say I was supposed to be in traffic court on November 30th at 9am. As a witness. The police officer had summoned me and the guy in front of me as witnesses for the kid who rear-ended me. I've never been subpoenaed as a witness before so I wasn't really sure how it was supposed to work.
Rich said it was going to be a giant waste of my time, but I was optimistic, though bummed I couldn't even have my phone for entertainment.
I arrived at 8:30, found the right courtroom (though that took a bit) and managed to score a seat next to this elderly Hispanic couple. When the sassy bailiff warned us to get rid of any gum, saying, "this judge won't stand for no gum. He'll give you ten days for it." The lady next to me whispered, "but that police lady up there - she have gum! Do you think I can keep my cough drops? I don't want to get in trouble for coughing."
After waiting for over an hour, it was almost our turn. I had coincidentally sat behind the kid that rear-ended me and he was there with his father. I also noticed that there are an awful lot of people who drive with suspended licenses, based on the cases that came up before ours.
It was finally our turn and we all approached the bench. The judge asked how the kid pleaded and he pleaded guilty. The judge asked if he had anything to say about it and the kid said that he just didn't stop fast enough so he hit me. When the judge asked if I had anything more to add I said, "just that he was super nice during the whole thing. It was the most pleasant accident experience I've had."
The judge looked at me. "The officer? Or the guy that hit you?"
"The guy that hit me. I mean, the officer was super nice too, but Mr. Jones was very pleasant and apologetic about the whole thing. There was no drama and he was very cooperative. It was even a pretty day."
The judge smiled and then shrugged. The other witness (who was in the truck in front of me) said, "man, I want to be the guy who runs into you next time."
Then the judge said that he felt the insurance companies could handle everything and there was no need for him to add any tickets to it. So we were all free to go and he thanked us for our time.
And that's how I made this kid's day just a little bit better. He's still going to have insurance rates go up and he still totaled his mom's car. But he was responsible and honest and that should count for something.