A Day in Court

Christianity Oasis has provided you with this inspirational writing titled A Day in Court from our Sojourn With Luz Leigh collection. We hope these short stories bring you understanding and peace within.

A Day in Court

Welcome to Christianity Oasis. This is A Day in Court from our Sojourn With Luz Leigh Collection. We hope you enjoy this enlightening reading and it helps you on your own be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

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Sojourn With Luz Leigh

A Day in Court

Written by Luz Leigh - 07 December 2007

The day was just a normal day. I had no big plans other than delivering Meals on Wheels to my thirteen clients. When that task was completed, I moseyed down to the local justice center where the justice of the peace holds court. There was only one trial scheduled for that afternoon, so I made my way into the courtroom, found a seat on the back row and waited.

While waiting, I entertained myself by checking out the paintings displayed around the room. The paintings on the walls were a mixture of black and white drawings of some very stern looking judges from years past and of course, the "man" of Texas ... General Sam Houston. Depending on who is doing the talking, Gen. Sam was either next in line to Jesus Christ or he was close to the devil. You see, it is reported that old Sam like to drink. But, back to the paintings. There among those austere judges were two oil paintings by a local artist. These were country scenes, with mostly pastel colors. One was of a farm house, complete with an outhouse with the familiar moon-shape cutout on the door.

At the stroke of 2:00 p.m. the young bailiff enters the courtroom and asks us to please stand. Now enters the judge himself, who then gives us permission to sit. He proceeds to explain to the defendant and the plaintiff, and the rest of us in the room, what will transpire as he hears the small claims court case. For the record here, $10,000.00 is not chicken feed in my neck of the woods, but that was the amount of money the plaintiff was seeking.

I will try to keep this brief and retain my composure as I relate the case as I understood it. This was not my first time to be a "fly on the wall" in justice court; my daddy was a city judge in a small Texas city and later a justice of the peace. As a teenager, I would pass the time of day, listening to such cases as the one being brought before the court today. However, there was a very big difference. The courtroom today was air conditioned and the chairs were a little more comfortable. But on to the case at hand.

As it turned out, the defendant was the soon-to-be ex-son-in-law of the plaintiff. At issue were some items the plaintiff claimed were in the possession of the defendant and he wanted his "stuff" returned. Among the items were a broken-down 1982 model trailer house, a worn out 20-year-old three-wheeler, an expensive riding lawnmower, and a crackerjack welder. Remember this is deep East Texas and we treasure many odd things. By the way, the descriptions of the items are mine.

There were no attorneys present to assist with the case, so the fight is on. To make it easier to type, I shall call the plaintiff Mr. Jones and the defendant Mr. Smith. Mr. Jones presents to the judge a list of his possessions in question; the judge takes a long time reviewing it. He then reads the list of the items aloud and asks Mr. Smith if he knows anything about the items in question.

"Well, yes, your honor, I do. The mobile home was given to my wife by her daddy and I done told him, come get the thing offen my property. The three-wheeler was a piece of junk when he gave it to me years ago and I couldn't fix it, so I give it to a friend who was gonna gut it for the parts. The lawnmower, well, I don't exactly have it. See, judge I loaned it to my momma and some low-life stole it from her house. She bought a cheaper mower to replace it ..."

At this point the momma interrupts to say, "I'm seventy-five years old and I needed something to mow my grass, but I ain't gonna pay no $2500 for a Snapper mower ..." All this time the judge is saying, "Ma'am, ma'am, you can't be talking right now. Mr. Smith continue."

"Ok, judge. The welder ... I ain't got it ... Mr. Jones has it in that shed out back of his house along with all that other stuff that he stole." The judge quickly interrupts to say the plaintiff is not on trial; Mr. Smith is to keep comments focused on the case at hand.

Each side presented at least one witness to help with their side. Mr. Jones's first witness was his adult son, whom one could tell had been coached as to what he was to say. After he answered a posed question from his daddy, Mr. Smith said, "Judge, you can't believe a word he says. He's an ex-convict ... spent time in the pen." Again the judge says, "He's not on trial". To which the defendant, (Mr. Smith) states firmly, "Just wanted to show the credibility of the witness, your honor."

The second witness for the plaintiff testified he unhooked the electrical wiring from the mobile home before it was moved from the plaintiff's property to Mr. Smith's property. Relevance? Not sure what bearing that had on the case.

Mr. Smith's only witness was a friend of his who testified that he saw the defendant place some of the smaller items (not listed above) in the trunk of his wife's car to be returned to her daddy.

It went like that for almost an hour before the judge decided he had heard enough and ruled in the plaintiff's favor, after reducing the amount of the judgment to considerably less than the $10,000.00 sought.

Had the young defendant had an attorney representing him, there is no doubt in my mind the case would have gone a lot differently. When he appeals the ruling to a higher court, he will have an attorney.

It was my opinion that had these two men been Christian in their attitudes toward each other, sat down, and worked things out as mature adults should, this case would never have been filed nor heard in a court of law.

Most of the things I have written are true, but I did take the liberty to embellish a little to make the story more interesting.

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