â€œYou are hereby summoned and ordered to appear at the Star Valley Magistrate Court – 714 S. Beeline Hwy. #103 Payson, Arizona at the date and times indicated: 12/30/2010 between 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM on a complaint charging you with the offense of: SPEED GREATER THAN REASONABLE AND PRUDENT on 10/14/2010. (signed (or better yet, rubber stamped) by Dorothy A. Little, Justice of the Peace).â€
â€œWARNING TO DEFENDANT
If you waive service or you are served with the Summons and Complaint and you fail to appear as directed, a default judgment may be entered against you, a civil sanction imposed, and your driverâ€™s license suspended. Your driverâ€™s license or non-resident privileges may remain suspended until the sanction is paid in full and you satisfy Motor Vehicle Division requirements.â€
Payson is about an hour and a half from Mesa. I woke up early, dressed nice, prepared my notes, grabbed my jacket and headed north. It was pretty cold on December 30th. As I got closer to Payson (*note* Star Valley has a population of about 1000 people and sends itâ€™s court work to Payson), I started to see the clouds hanging in the mountains. Then it got colder, and darker and thenâ€¦. snow. The roads were not yet plowed, a winter storm was in full effect as I cautiously made the trek for my required court date. They were threatening me with a default judgement and a suspended license if I didnâ€™t show up! I got to the court house right before 9:00 AM, walked in the front door and made my way to the receptionist. I informed her that I was here for the Star Valley Magistrate Court. She took down my name then pointed me towards suite 103 and said, â€œNobodyâ€™s there. I think that theyâ€™re closed.â€
WHAT!?!?! How could this be? It was a pretty tense drive through a snow storm to get here, and Iâ€™m on time, and theyâ€™re CLOSED?!?! SHEESH! So, I walked over to suite 103, pulled on the handle to ensure it was locked, peered in through the dark window, then I took my seat in the waiting area. If I was required to be in court between 9-11 AM, I was going to wait it out. I double checked the complaint documents for any contact phone number, but I didnâ€™t find anything. I couple of court workers came out to check the waiting room and would ask who I was waiting for. Every time I said, â€œStar Valleyâ€, they would reply, â€œoh, um, theyâ€™re closedâ€. So I waited. and waited. Then somebody else came out and gave me a phone number to call to leave a message as further proof that I had showed up. Guess what happened when I called it? â€œThe number you have called in not in serviceâ€¦â€ Really? Wow. So I got another number and left a message saying that I was here, just like I was supposed to be, and they didnâ€™t show up, so I wanted my case dropped.
Another one of the court workers suggested that I call the Justice Court in Globe and talk to them. I thought it was a ridiculous idea, but after the person I spoke with told me it was out of their jurisdiction, she suggested that I have someone in the office sign something as evidence that I had been there. I thought that was a pretty good idea, but nobody would sign anything for me. In fact, they had finished their workload and decided to call it a snow day and asked me to leave so they could lock up the building. *shakes head* At this point, I figured I had done what I could, and I would simply wait around for the court to contact me again.by