Photo Enforcement P4: Fight!

“You 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).”

“WARNING 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 driver’s license suspended. Your driver’s license or non-resident privileges may remain suspended until the sanction is paid in full and you satisfy Motor Vehicle Division requirements.”

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 it’s court work to Payson), I started to see the clouds hanging in the mountains. Then it got colder, and darker and then…. 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 didn’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, “Nobody’s there. I think that they’re closed.”

WHAT!?!?! How could this be? It was a pretty tense drive through a snow storm to get here, and I’m on time, and they’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 didn’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, “Star Valley”, they would reply, “oh, um, they’re closed”. 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? “The number you have called in not in service…” 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 didn’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.

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