Contempt of Citizen

Almost a year ago my moped was stolen. A week later I got it back. I wasn’t interesting in pressing charges or anything, I was just happy to have my little bike back. Months later (months and months to be honest – maybe six of seven) I received a summons to appear as a witness. It turns out the Commonwealth had decided to pursue charges.

Like a dutiful citizen (who always votes, never shirks jury duty, etc.) I showed up at the courthouse on the appointed date. After waiting for a few interesting hours, we learned that the needed sign-language interpreter was a no-show (the defendant is deaf). A new date was arranged and I went on my merry way.

That new date was today – perhaps three months after the original trial date. Again I went to the courthouse and again I waited for hours. When the case was called the defendant wasn’t there – but I was asked to wait. So I waited. More time passed and the assistant district attorney came to let me know that once again they didn’t have a sign language interpreter and that they’d have to reschedule once again.

What?

How hard is it to find an interpreter? Give me a couple of months and I can probably learn ASL and just do it myself. I felt totally misused and feel my time was treated with contempt. If I treated the court as they treated me I suspect there would be a consequence. For me the only consequence is that I’ll have to go back again – and hope the court isn’t once again wasting my time.

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