Well, today – after three delays due to pandemic lock downs – I finally went to court for our restraining order application against our vandal.
Only to find it was delayed for a fourth time.
The frustrating part is that I called to confirm, just a couple of days ago. I was even put on hold while the person talked to someone else to be sure. Then she gave me the number for the Crown office, where I could get other questions I had answered, and I spoke to someone there, just yesterday. Though the prosecutor I spoke to had no connection to my specific application, as far as he knew, this courthouse was open.
Worse, my brother booked a day off work to be there for me.
We both came very early (more on why, later) but couldn’t figure out which court room was going to be used. One of them turned out to have a trial in session in it, but I went to the court office nearby and asked.
One of the people there recognized me and remembered my call from a couple of days ago. As far as she knew, I had been told of the date shift. Everything had been delayed again, until April 23rd. Near that date, I’m going to have to call again to find out if it’s been shifted again, or if I have a new court date. While I was there, the person at the counter looked up the file, and it did say today’s date. However, only those files that have legal representatives are going ahead today, virtually, through the big city. Mine is a private prosecution, so even if our vandal lawyered up, it still would have been shifted.
I had actually gotten through to the Crown office, yesterday, so I knew what to expect. There were three possible outcomes, assuming our vandal showed up. The judge would first ask if both parties agreed to the application. In his experience, the person the order is being applied against never accepts that option. Next, we would be offered mediation. For this, we would sit down with a third party, who would try to work out an arrangement between us. I don’t know if our vandal would agree to that, but even if he did, I don’t know that I would. After we pressed charges when he broke our gate, he had to go through some sort of program where he was seeing a psychiatrist (or a psychologist? I don’t know. We were never informed) regularly. Once the program was complete, the charges were stayed. The thing is, even while he was going through the program, he was still making abusive calls to my mother, and actually using it against her. He still hasn’t taking any sort of responsibility for his actions. If that didn’t work, how would mediation be any better? Anyhow. If mediation was not agreed upon, it would then go to a hearing, another court date would be booked, and for that we would be able to file additional evidence, affidavits, bring witnesses, etc.
None of this can happen, though, because everything got shifted again.
This is getting beyond ridiculous. We have been fortunate, in that our vandal has (so far) only engaged in property damage, creeping around the driveway, watching us from the road, and verbal abuse. However, considering the sudden bunch of calls he left on my mother’s answering machine not long ago, he is not all there. For all we know, he might go on a drinking binge after his wife leaves for work, have another “mental break” (as his wife described it), grab one of his many guns and come after us. We may have a crossbow now (and yes, it’s assembled, but the scope isn’t sighted yet), but that isn’t much defense against a gun.
How many other people in similar situations – or worse – are there, whose applications are being repeatedly delayed like ours? In our province alone, likely dozens. And for what? Schrodinger’s virus, where we hadn’t even been part of the pandemic until our provincial government created the very environment that would create an epidemic? Even at the highest rates, our uptick of excess deaths at the end of last year happened after the strictest lock downs, which cannot possibly stop a virus, were enforced, and includes people who died because of the restrictions – and still didn’t reach exceptionally high rates. We’ve had much higher spikes in excess deaths just within the last five years. The increases in suicides and other deaths of despair, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and child abuse is a consequence that is being acknowledged in at least some places. People have been trying to warn for months about the increases in deaths due to lack of timely medical care that are happening now, and which we’re going to be hit with for years, because of the restrictions. Situations like ours isn’t even on anyone’s radar, from what I’ve seen.
Okay. Rant over.
The session was supposed to start at 10am. The smaller city it was to be held in is about 45 minutes away, on the highway. Last night, we started to get a combination of snow, sleet and rain. Not heavy, but enough to make the roads more dangerous. Normally, I would have left and hour + early and taken a particular route, but this morning, I left 2 hours early and took a route that was longer (in time, not distance), but less isolated. I am glad I did, because it took me more than an hour to get there. I was happy to see the plow trucks out, clearing the slush away. It seems the conditions had actually improved by the time I was on the road. I saw one car (empty) far into a large ditch. What was more telling was the tire tracks I could see in the slush on the shoulders. Something happened in that area that had people swerving all over and, in some areas, I could tell people had reversed and pulled over.
When I got to the building the courts and court office is in, it was mostly empty. Not seeing security guards at the door should have been my first warning, but I was so early, I thought they might not have set up yet. After a quick run to the washroom, I came out to find a single person walking down the hall towards the court rooms, and that was it.
That person turned out to be my brother. I didn’t recognize him, because he was masked. *sigh* He recognized me, though. Even with the light from windows behind me, I was the only person with a visible face (I had my Mingle Mask). That and, let’s face it, I have a rather distinctive short, rotund silhouette. 😉
We were trying to figure out which court room was going to be used when I saw a lawyer looking dude come around, so I asked if he knew which room was being used for general session. He only knew of a trial that was happening in one room, already started, and suggested we try the court office. Only one person was allowed in at a time, so my brother waited in the lobby while I went in, and that’s when I found out about the shift.
So my brother and I headed out – he happened to park right next to my van – and talked along the way, but there’s nowhere to even sit over a hot non-denominational beverage (I don’t drink coffee… LOL) and talk. He booked a day off work, drove all the way over to the courthouse – about the same distance as my drive – and it turned out to be for nothing. Watching my gas gauge on the way home, I figure it cost us about $30 in gas for this trip. Each.
At least I was able to take advantage of it and make a quick Walmart run. My brother just headed home.
Once I was safety parked, I made a point of calling my mother to update her on what happened. Or, should I say, what didn’t happen. She was frustrated, too. She is really worried about our safety.
But what can we do? Apparently, nothing at all.
I’m not going to waste my time or energy worrying about it, and will just do what we can for now.
So I promptly let it go and did my shopping.
Walmart is getting their Easter inventory in. There were so many eggs, they were on pallets in the aisles, rather than in the fridges! (For those outside of North America, our eggs get washed before they get packed in cartons, which removes their coating, so we have to keep our eggs in the fridge to keep them from spoiling). I don’t think it was much of a concern, though, considering how fast people were already grabbing eggs from the pallets. I’d actually forgotten about Easter preparations. It’s still too early for that, isn’t it??
They did get more canning supplies in, but I didn’t see more 750ml jars. I didn’t see a lot of snap lids or rings, either. Thankfully, I don’t need more rings or lids right now. I got another case of 500ml jars. We will continue to stock up on the jars throughout the summer, little by little. They sell out fast, but I don’t think there is currently any shortage of canning jars at the moment. I imagine there will be, later in the year. A lot of people will be gardening for the first time this year.
Speaking of which…
I decided to pick up some Jiffy pots. I’ll talk about why in another post, but as I was going through the till, the cashier asked me about them. She wondered if you had to somehow use the Jiffy pellets in them, and I told her that she could use whatever soil mix she wanted, and that they were designed to be buried with the transplants. It turned out that she was going to try growing a garden this year, but she is in an apartment and would be growing indoors. I told her that, if she were growing in containers, she could still bury the pot with the transplants in her containers.
I hope her indoor gardening attempts work out well for her. 🙂
I hope the same for all the people who are going to try growing their own food for the first time this year!
For us, if nothing else, focusing on the gardening and taking care of this place helps relieve the frustration of dealing with our vandal. Very good for mental health! 🙂