First, the fun stuff!
My family is silly.
Yesterday, I roasted some chickens for the next few days and, since I had to get up earlier this morning, I had and early supper. I set out a bowl for the “bones and oogy bits” and labelled it before going to bed.
This is what I found this morning.
My younger daughter asked if “oogy” was a technical term, so which my husband said yes, while my older daughter added the headless chicken carcass.
What a great thing to find in the morning, when I was so dreading heading out!
I made sure to feed the cats before I left, but I was gone so long, the outside cats needed a top-op.
They were very appreciative! Another cheerful sight. 🙂
As for my court date… it went as well as could be. It’s on our vandal to respond now, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
The session was booked for 9am. I planned to leave by 7am, if not earlier. I took the time to actually eat breakfast, which I normally never do that early in the day, before heading out, and when I started the van, the clock read exactly 7am. The drive to the town my mother lives in, where I stopped for gas, was not too bad, though there were parts of the highway that had been blown over and covered with ice and snow. Bad enough on their own, but it was starting to melt a bit, too, which added another level of “gotta be careful!”
Once back on the highway after getting gas, I thought things would be better, as that part of the highway is busier, but nope. It was quite a lot worse, which made for slow driving for a while. By the time I reached the divided highway, though, it finally cleared up… just in time to hit the construction zone, where four lanes with a ditch in between bottle necked into two lanes on one side.
Still, by the time I reached the city, I was making good time. While I knew where to go from checking on the map, I had my phone’s map on navigator, so I had a voice telling me when and where to make my turns, just to be on the safe side.
That worked well, right up until I reached the street the court offices were on, and I was to make a left turn. As I reach the lights, I see a sign under them.
No left turn.
Okay, I’ll just go to the next intersection and drive around the block.
As I drive through, the navigator auto adjusts and tells me to make a right turn at the next street. Which I can’t do, because I’m in the left lane during rush hour, and changing lanes was just not an option, never mind trying to move 3 lanes over.
The sign says, no left turn.
No left turn.
No left turn.
No left turn between 7am and 9am.
One way only.
No left turn between 7am and 9am.
One way only.
By this time, I’ve crossed the river and the navigator is telling me to make U turns, which I could not do.
Finally, I found a street I could turn left onto – with my phone telling me to take a U turn again – drove around the block and made my way back. When I got to the street the court offices was on, I saw a parkade just up the block and went straight there, as I no longer had time to search for parking.
By the time I parked, walked back to the street I needed and found the building, it was just before 9am. I also just managed to get into the doors to stand at the back of the line to pass through security.
Thankfully, I had the phone number for our vandal’s lawyer, so I called him and told him where I was, and he said he would pass that on to the judge for me.
Thankfully again, the line moved quickly.
Our province is in an odd situation right now. With the pandemic response, emergency status was lifted a while ago. The mandates, as far as I know, expired as well. But the province is still enforcing mask rules (there were signs for distancing all over, which were being ignored by everyone). Also, as many expected, they brought in more restrictions after Remembrance Day, but most apply only to churches in the south of our province (where not a single case of Schrödinger’s Virus has been traced to) and kids from 12-17 who want to play hockey. There are others as well, that make just as little sense.
I expect them to implement another illegal full lock down before Christmas.
Anyhow, I didn’t have the energy for a hassle, so I wore my Mingle Mask and hoped for the best.
No one said a thing to me while I was in line.
As the line was moving forward, I remembered I had a pocket knife in one of my parka’s pockets, so when I got to the security station and put my things into a bin, I started reaching into my pocket to give it to them. The security guard, who didn’t bat an eye at my Mingle Mask, started to tell me I didn’t need to empty my pockets, my parka would go through Xray, until I pulled out the pocket knife and told him I’d forgotten about it. He was quite happy with that and took it aside while I went through the metal detector (none of this procedure is in the court offices we’d been going to in the smaller city!).
I fully expected to lose the knife. I’ve been through court security in another province before moving here, and they even confiscated the metal travel chopsticks a friend of mine had in her purse. Happily, I was wrong. When I got to the other side, another security guard had a Ziplock baggie with a form on it, got my name and got me to initial it, then told me where to go as I left, to retrieve it! I was quite pleased by this, as my husband gave me that knife, and it is a very good one. It got quite a few admiring glances from the security guards.
After getting directions, I found my way to the courtroom our session was going to be in. Just the lawyer and court clerk was there, and the court clerk left, probably to let the judge know I had arrived. It was about 10 past 9 when I got there, and it took another 5 or 10 minutes before the judge came in, so the lawyer and I had a chance to talk.
The first thing I asked was if our vandal was there. He didn’t actually answer, but started asking me about what conditions I might be willing to agree to.
Smart man, not having our vandal there. He would not have been able to shut up.
I actually feel sorry for the lawyer. Nice guy. Doing his best for our vandal, of course, but I think he’s figured out his client is a problem.
Then the judge came in and things got started.
He wasn’t wearing a mask. I could actually see his expressions! It was wonderful!
I think we spent about an hour in this session, and covered a lot of ground. The judge started by asking the lawyer about where our vandal was, and he explained that he’d told our vandal he could stay home, since the lawyer was there to represent him. The judge then began grilling the lawyer, before having a lot of questions for me. Much time was spent clarifying things like what our role was on the property, who actually owned it, when the ownership was transferred from my mother to my brother, and so on. Our vandal’s civil suit came up, even though it is a federal matter, not a provincial one, but the two files are so connected. The lawyer brought it up briefly and tried to move on, but the judge had a lot of questions. His expression when he clarified that the suit was against me – who doesn’t own anything here on the farm – and not my brother, was something to see. The lawyer is not representing our vandal on this case, but he did make a comment on how this was not the wisest of moves on the part of our vandal. Civil law is not the specialty of either of them, though, so they couldn’t say much else.
After much discussion, what I was willing to accept was a no-contact order, coupled with a restriction on drinking; our vandal (who does not believe he has a problem with booze) can drink all he wants at home, but he can’t leave his property while under the influence. The lawyer got an extra week to have time to bring the proposal to our vandal, so two weeks from now, he will have to show up in court. The lawyer had the option of calling in. If he accepts the conditions, we have a de-facto “peace bond”. A court order that expires in a year. If he does NOT accept it, it will go to trail. The judge made sure to explain that, if it goes to trial, then I take on the role of prosecutor and have to present evidence to justify my application. That would be a year from now, at the earliest. Of course, I have to give copies of any evidence I want to present to our vandal’s lawyer. The only issue is that, if I want to use the phone messages my mother got, my mother has to actually be there in court to confirm that yes, these are from our vandal and yes, these were from her answering machine.
Which my mother is willing to do, but she’d be 91 by then, and who knows how mobile she might be in that time?
I have no doubt the lawyer is going to impress on our vandal, the wisdom of accepting the conditions.
Whether our vandal is smart enough to do it is another thing.
The judge even knew where we live, more or less, so when he started to explain to me how to get a copy of the order (if our vandal accepts), he stopped and said he would just get them to send it to me, and made sure to have my mailing address to do it.
Once an order is in place, things then fall into the jurisdiction of the RCMP.
Which is about the best outcome we could have gotten out of this session.
So that is done for now. The lawyer will inform me of what our vandal decides.
After that, we’ll just have the civil suit to deal with, and the court date for that is in the summer. Unless our vandal is smart enough to drop that one, but I highly doubt it. I don’t know what he thinks he can accomplish. Not only do I not claim ownership of anything he says is his, but I told him long ago that he could take his stuff, if he could prove ownership. He never responded, and didn’t file suit until after he was served in regards to our restraining order application, more than two years later. He has no case, and just doesn’t seem to understand that.
Ah, well. All we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst!
As for me, I’m going to go debone some chickens, so my daughter can make some stock for a nice chicken soup later on. 🙂 Life goes on!