Sarasota News Leader

08/09/2013 & 08/16/2013

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Sarasota News Leader August 9 & 16, 2013 OPINION Page 92 MY FIRST AND LAST (FINGERS CROSSED) DAY IN COURT By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer COMMENTARY I know!! I cannot believe it either!! After living a crime-free life all these decades, and never once entering a courtroom, I am no longer a virgin. I have been deflowered, thanks to the 12th Judicial Circuit in Sarasota (aka, the Sarasota Charitable Trust Foundation). Main Street in his shiny red car, and when he got to within an inch of my car, he snapped a photo of me with his camera phone. He then proceeded to deliver my license information — with a note — to the driver of the aforementioned car that I deny having sideswiped. If I had my way, I would immediately sue Mr. X for harassing me while I was stopped at a light … but, then again, I am not a My presence at court on Monday, July 29, was vengeful person. required because I allegedly committed an offense called "Leaving the Scene Unattended." I Nonetheless, the police decided that I needed to am still not sure whether the court system de- learn some kind of lesson for my evil ways, which fines that as a traffic misdemeanor or a crim- is how I ended up with the citation to make an inal offense, but as the day arrived, I thought appearance in Courtroom 2-A on July 29. I was scheduled to appear in the Courtroom About 8:50 a.m. that day, the doors opened of Traffic Offenders. and we all filed in quietly and obediently, just Evidently, I received this citation as a result like first-graders do. We took our seats, and of a "witness," who claims he saw me backing suddenly it was, "All rise for the honorable out of an angled parking space on Main Street Judge Galen," who was followed by her asand side-swiping the car next to me. (I will go sistants. We then sat down and waited for our to my grave denying any knowledge of this names to be called as court staff took atten"offense.") But I will admit to tapping the car dance — reminiscent, again, of first grade. waiting for my space with my rear bumper. I was 100 percent ready to plead, "NOT This tap was so inconsequential I ignored it GUILTY, YOUR HONOR," but when the judge and continued maneuvering my car out onto called me up to the podium and carefully deMain Street and driving home. fined my options of "Guilty," "Not guilty" or Unbeknownst to me, and according to another "No contest," I chose the last one, deciding to witness, a person was observed zooming down let the judge be the judge and resolve my case

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