On January 13, 2009
I went to probate court for the arraignment. Judge #2 asked if there was anything I wanted to say? I said yes, I want to say this, showing him a copy of the Bell vs. Burson 1972 case and the United States Supreme Court decision. The judge read it and said “the laws have changed since then”, I replied “The Constitution?”! He asked how I plead, I said “Not guilty”. He told me to go out front so they could schedule me a hearing date. Ms., the court clerk, asked when I wanted to schedule my hearing, I replied ‘yesterday’. She said well, that trooper is coming in for a hearing later this afternoon, let’s schedule it then, I’ll call him now so he can bring the video and ya’ll can get this over with. I said “Great”.
Later that afternoon, when I went for my hearing, the judge called Trooper #1 into the courtroom alone and told me and Mr. Passenger to wait out in the hall while he discussed with the trooper what happened earlier with my case. The door was closed. When the judge and the trooper emerged from the courtroom the judge stated that the state wasn’t ready. The judge told me that if I didn’t give the state time to prepare its case that they could appeal it. In trying to be fair, I reluctantly agreed but protested about the amount of time that I’d been without a driver’s license. I asked the trooper if that was my video? Trooper #1 stated “Yes, I can let you “watch the video now” but I can’t let you have a copy of it”. I said that I would wait until court, thinking that it would help prove my case from memory as opposed to from watching a video to refresh my memory. (Later to find that was a huge mistake.) I went back to the front office to schedule another court date, this time Ms. Court Clerk wasn’t so friendly. In fact she allowed the trooper to select a court date. He selected February 24, another month and a half for me without a license. After Trooper #1 left I was talking to Ms. Court Clerk a little and she made a comment about she couldn’t say anything because her husband was also a trooper. (This sounds like a fair trial in the making… especially in a small town like XTown, Georgia. But I gave the judge the benefit of a doubt since he was new and surely he would remove himself if there were a conflict…Right)