Don’t Trust, But Do Verify
You may have heard it said, “trust, but verify.” When it comes to government bureaucracies especially (and to be fair, private corporate ones as well) the maxim should be “don’t trust, but do verify.”
My story (see here and follow the links) technically isn’t over yet.
Commenter David TC has been giving me a real hard time. He knows a lot about how systems work and could probably give a good “generalist” lecture. But when dealing with bureaucracies he is too quick to give specific answers. The truth is specific answers turn on the specific sets of rules in place in each bureaucracy.
In this age of the Internet, it’s easier to find them. But your average Joe still might not be able to learn and understand them (I consider myself way ahead of the learning curve in being able to find information through search engines and understand complex topics).
So David TC informed that I shouldn’t have bothered the police about the tickets they wrote because it’s now a “court problem.” I was assured by a Lieutenant that he had spoken with the prosecutor and the summonses were pulled. But when I contacted the court to confirm they noted the summonses were still active and police don’t have the authority to pull summonses. (And yes it’s true you can’t just pick up the phone and have summonses pulled; but there’s more to the story; see below.)
Indeed the court’s website seems to validate this claim:
“I filed a complaint and I’d like to know how I can have the charges dropped?
“Once a complaint has been filed, charges will only be dropped in open Court at the discretion of a judge. In certain domestic violence cases, the judge may keep a complaint open for a period of time even if both parties request the complaint be dropped.”
The officer who wrote the tickets must have filed them with the court (as a “complaint”).
So I thought maybe David TC was right. But then I discovered that there is an A.O.C. form (Administrative Office of the Courts) that police can fill out and that must be signed by the prosecutor that will void tickets (I may be mistaken; but that information could be found here). And that the lieutenant indeed did file the form and watched the prosecutor sign it.
Someone at the court, apparently, dropped the ball or didn’t understand “the system.”
So I am waiting for confirmation that the charges are dropped and will again contact the parties to get absolute assurances that I don’t need to show up to court. And if I have to go to court I will.
I understand mistakes being made and balls being dropped. After all, I’m not perfect. But it’s not kosher when these mistake can lead to jail.