In Mike’s angry, white-knuckled fist was a crumpled $75 citation he had received from the City. It was for a ‘false police alarm’ at his telephone shop on Ninth Street in the heart of South Philadelphia’s celebrated Italian Market.
Only trouble was it hadn’t been a ‘false alarm.’ The cops finally came after the ‘second’ call because the response people at his security company screwed up. And only because of Mike’s security cameras were the police choked with evidence. With clear pictures in hand they finally rounded up the burglar who is now incarcerated in the Philly jail house awaiting trial.
The slim intruder had broken thru the security window and stolen $5,800 worth of cell phones. And for the past six months the only justice Mike has received is the incivility of the system including showing up for a court date the ADA simply neglected to tell Mike was postponed.
Since then three more court dates also have been deferred at the last moment. Every day is a new bite out of a shit sandwich – including his insurance premiums which will catapult thru the roof if Mike doesn’t swallow the loss out of his own pocket.
To add more disgust to his witches’ brew he has to now spend another day or two in court to get his scurrilous and spurious charges for a false alarm removed. No one in the vast catacombs of bureaucracy will get off their cottage-cheese ass to simply assist to annihilate the pernicious paperwork. And furthermore, Mike has the hideous insult of having to overpay $22 to park at the court.
But let us pause to get our blood pressure revamped before getting into all this endless angst of the victim being endlessly victimized — by police who are too ‘busy’ to do police work and Assistant DA’s who demonstrate nothing is so unproductive as the law. That is, it is expensive whether you win or lose. And we’re not just talking about money.
The lunacy has gotten so exasperating that one — and the rare one at that — of Philadelphia’s and perhaps the country’s most venerable litigators finally couldn’t stand it . The indomitable former District Attorney has fired a shot heard throughout the country’s legal community of squealing sophistry.
In what legal experts are calling an extraordinary legal gambit, the Philadelphia lawyer is seeking that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court yank a case older than dog-years from the hands of the state Superior court judges for taking too damn long to rule.
Using language usually reserved for an opposing lawyer in a hotly contested trial, the ancient pugnacious mariner Richard Sprague has filed a motion claiming that this “inexcusable” delay by the three-judge Superior Court panel in a defamation case “reflects a deliberate indifference to their judicial duties.”
Oh, really. With a reputation for putting in work days shorter than the winter daylight in Siberia what took so long for the outrage to manifest beyond whining and complaining. Anyone who has had any dealings with the constipation of our courts well knows the primal scream of ‘shit or get off the pot!’
The Sprague libel case has lingered since 2005. It involves a defamation suit filed by some County commissioners against the manner a newspaper described their testimony before a state investigating grand jury.
The original suit has yet to reach trial and has been through several pretrial appeals to the Superior and Supreme Courts.
Now, more than a year since the Superior Court panel heard oral arguments in the appeal and almost three years after the Supreme Court ordered the Superior Court to take up the appeal, Sprague’s motion says, enough is enough:
“This court should remove the three [Superior Court] panel members from deciding this matter, assume plenary jurisdiction, and decide the merits of this appeal on the briefs submitted or with oral argument on the briefs submitted.”
Sprague wrote that by taking such an action, the Supreme Court, which oversees the state’s judiciary, “will send an unambiguous directive to all commonwealth appellate and trial court judges that delays of this magnitude are unacceptable, bring the entire judiciary into disrepute, and deprive litigants of due process and their constitutional right to have their cases decided without undue delay.”
Allow me a moment to get a few things off my hairless chest – beneath which thumps the heart of a man who discovers every day why… I… don’t… own… a… gun.
desire for respect for the law, we must first make the law and its courts respectable.
And I don’t care if our slaughterhouse lawyers overcharge $400 or $800 or even $1,000 an hour for doing what most anybody could do if he had the spare time. The power of the lawyer is merely in the uncertainty of the law. In other words, in law the only thing that is certain is the expense. So make the laws less vague.
Nonetheless, what I just want to see are these bloody venal, vapid legal vermin do more than pretend to expedite justice and cease acting like they are merely the consequences of an uncommitted abortion.
And meanwhile I’ll do more than pretend to allow them to inhale oxygen.
It took seven U.S. Presidents who tried and failed, before Obama finally dug a colonoscopy into the trench-mouth warfare against the unscrupulous medical business industry. Now it is time we had someone who kicks the ass of the overpriced, self-serving legal system in a country where our right to a speedy trial can – and often does — take years.
The grand illusion may be that a
If the Pennsylvania Superior Court has too many appeals – reportedly as many as 8,000 cases a year – than speak up, put up or stand up to the task. You wanted the job, now do what you are getting well-paid to do. Either do your job in a certain amount of respectable time or your future becomes very uncertain.
Hmm… Truth may be the daughter of time, but for all of us, time is limited.
Meanwhile Mike at the telephone shop is thinking of just dropping his charges in his case. He’s had enough from his end. He is being treated like a culprit. He knows he’ll never get his money back. His time away from work is costing him even more money.
And Mike just feels like no one is working for him. The law’s not working for him. The insurance isn’t working for him. The security company didn’t work for him. And with a heart transplant time isn’t working for him.
“I’ve had enough of this bull. I call them, and they don’t call me back. The lawyers, the cops all get paid for their time. Who pays me for mine?”
In other words he is sick and tired of being sick and tired. To Mike a judge ain’t nothing but a law student who marks his own examination papers.
It’s time for the American Bar Association – the lawyers, the judges and all the rest — to kick ass and quick chewing gum.
And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…