I am getting so good at this uh- ‘law’ stuff. I’ve got a good bit of law lingo now under my belt. Defendant (that’s me, Suzanne H. Gero), judge, police officer, courtroom, plaintiff (who am I kidding – I don’t know what this means), bailiff (also a word I ‘think’ I know but like “tarmac’- what actually is the bailiff and a tarmac? I know what they are associated with but if you tested me with close but not actual examples or pictures of the previously mentioned words, I don’t know if I would get these correct. Like, where does the tarmac start and end? It is somewhere at an airport, but can it be the area around a plane NOT at an airport? Is it associated with the aircraft per se or the airport? I actually have googled searched this word because it drives me bananas to hear the word used in the news and not know the accurate definition. And still confused on that one. Please email the clearest definition of tarmac. The interwebs are lacking in clarity. Or maybe that’s me. Any who.
Back to today’s Pre-Trial Hearing before the County Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida – Criminal Division:
In the State of Florida vs. Defendant: Suzanne H Gero, after a tedious three minutes of interrogation by Judge Frank S Castor, in which answers were sought to the confuddlement of ‘what happened?’, ‘how long was the improper confinement?’, and ‘did you realize your dog was missing?’…
…the facts given to this grueling courtroom drama were as follows:
My dog got out while we were moving out of a condo and ran 600 feet to the beach.
The duration of the entire incident (in my head, I wanted to add “in question” but kept my answers short and direct for fear of laughing and mocking the absurdity in which I found myself today) was 20-25 minutes.
Yes, we all realized Amber was missing. At about minute 15, I walked 15 feet to Carlin Park, called out to park joggers “Has anyone seen a white shepherd?”, and was told, “Yeah, the lifeguards have her at the beach.” 600 feet – 15 feet from our door making her 585 feet away.
Lifeguards had called Animal Care and Control to scan her, found her microchipped and called me as I walked- I mean trudged, the taxing, laborious, and punishing distance between me and my bitch – /biCH/ noun. 1. a female dog, wolf, fox or otter. You know, in judicial preceedings, it is important, no, vital, to uses precise language or jargon.
Since the alleged incident on December 31, 2019, I have been to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League on 3200 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33409, to vaccinate and license canine felon Amber (This is probably not the accurate use of aforementioned criminal vocab but I am using poetic ‘license’ here in conjunction with and due to the nature of the crime – lack of ‘license’.)
I have also traveled to the Division of Animal Care and Control, Palm Beach County Department of Public Safety, 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33411-3306 to obtain a License and Rabies Vaccination Certificate… though not for Breeding.
Tertiary, (that’s defined as ‘third in order or level’) I rode my yellow beach cruiser to the Courthouse, North Branch, 3188 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 TWICE to schedule a court date.
I don’t really know, all they told me was that I was suppose to do this next “In order to avoid to avoid additional citations that will increase in fines ranging up to $750.00 dollars or more not including court cost.” County Ordinance 98-22: Chapter 4 Section 10.
Wait, hold up here just a minute… I just re-typed what was mailed to me in a correspondence on 01/16/2020. On one hand, the middle of the sentence asserts ‘fines ranging up to…’ (cash amount) followed by the phrase ‘or more’. So, which is it compliance po-po? Is there a cap on the fines I could potentially face as an offending party as stated by ‘up to’ OR (dun,dun, duuun) is there ‘or more’ amount in the punitive aspect of the law here? People, I think, I have stumbled onto grounds for dismissal. (Sadly, I am writing this post-dismissal of said Case No: 50-2020-CO-000643-AXXX-NB. We will never know if the conundrum uncovered here in legal documents would have been successfully litigated by me, proceeding pro se litigant, which in modern law means to argue on one’s behalf in a legal proceeding as a defendant or plaintiff in civil cases or as a defendant in criminal cases, mine being the later as this is a criminal case. I think I would have prevailed!)
Back to the timeline of MY LIFE/ GOD’S BELLY LAUGH, the first time at the Clerk of the Courts office to schedule hearing date, the attendant/ receptionist could not pull up the citation. She said, “Check back in a week or two.” Second trip on bike to courthouse, I remembered to leave my hot pink tazer at home because first trip left me hiding my tazer in the cup holder of my bicycle under a Publix receipt when they would not allow me entrance into government building with the hot pink tazer. People, it was a simple mistake we all could have made. Also on this second trip to the Clerk of the Courts on 2/11/2020, I was able to secure a Pre-Trial Hearing at 10:00 AM 2/20/2020.
I keep thinking there is a lot to be unpacked here about 20/20. Like a life lesson hidden here on ‘Hindsight is 2020’ or maybe ‘2020 Vision’ or ‘Have Your Eyes Checked?’ (I can revisit this later.)
Today’s events unfolded as follows: Hubbie woke me up as he prepared for work. I made myself a concoction of Zipfizz and water. I signed onto Spotify to see today’s bible reading as outlined in The Bible Recap podcast and to listen to Contemporary Christian music. I read the prescribed chapters in Leviticus 22-23… and because in Leviticus 23:33 it describes the Festival of Booths or Sukkot, I wondered if some Jews still live outside in little shelters for seven days today. Sure enough, some do. As seen on YouTube. Which led to watching another YouTube video about the close proximity of the three faith groups that occupy The Old City section in Jerusalem. Then I googled a current map of the Old City section of Jerusalem to see the close proximity of Jews, Christians, and Muslims living in that 1 square mile today. Some say ‘Squirrel!’… I say curious and slightly distractible researcher.
I closely watched the time because I know my shortcomings of being late or altogether forgetting about an event or my expected appearance at an event that I had previously spoken about less that 4 hours prior. At 9:15 AM, 2/20/2020, I considered, “What does one wear to Court to represent their dog and self?” I immediately threw out the idea of wearing my most common apparel for my lower half, shorts, and grabbed the pants I wore to Bible Study last night. There I had donned a pink V-neck t-shirt and flip flops matching my pants. I found flip flops to be irreverent (true and actual thoughts) of my destination so I changed my top and put on closed-toed mauve pointy toe flats. Just the facts. I then removed the hot pink tazer from my purse. At 9:21 AM, I departed my designated parking spot. I arrived at the Courthouse two minutes later. I successfully navigated security (sans weapon/s) and entered the courtroom at 9:27. There was small talk with a police officer inside the courtroom who I am assuming is the bailiff. He, as do I, found the reason for my day in court, amusing and rather odd.
At 9:43, the judge entered the courtroom and someone actually said, “Court is now in session.” I wasn’t looking up to see who. At 9:44, I was escorted to the area in between the attorney’s desks and in front of the judge where a music stand and a microphone was positioned by a uniformed policeman AKA Bailiff. Looking back, I should have sung.
The judge then stated that there were three Counts against me. That is when the shiz got real. The judge just said, I, Suzanne Gero, had 3 Counts against me. (Is that anything close to baseball? Three strikes and you are out. I don’t know.) Also, I never read the fine print on the Notice of Hearing that reads: “For Criminal Charges: Failure to Appear will result in a Bond Forfeiture of own recognizance (O.R.) and a Capias/ Warrant being issued for your arrest. until NOW upon typing this. Also, what the heck kinda mess have I ended up in? And what is Bond Forfeiture of own recognizance (O.R.)? Not sure what a bond is except a savings bond which I don’t have. To forfeit is to not show up for a soccer game. That doesn’t apply here at all. and ‘my own recognizance’ – folks, I got nothing. No idea what any of this means but a few more words past something called Capias (I have seen a capybara at the zoo – large member of the rodent family – probably not related.) it says warrant for your arrest. That sounds bad and scary.
Another day in the life of Suzanne on The Truman Show. This is a reference to a Jim Carey movie in which he lives his life as the central character on a reality show in a world of actors thinking his life is real but actually there is a false sky, his wife auditioned for the role, and everything is scripted.
Today I am trying to get to the moment where I touch the screen at the edge of the movie lot and realize my life is also one big prank. Specifically, the last decade. 2010-2020. This is other-level crazy. It’s all because our dog got out for a few minutes while my family was busy moving boxes. The time wasted in government man hours over this foolishness is preposterous… as well as all-together HYSTERICAL.
On a related side-note, I spent part of my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, A QUARTER OF A CENTURY, in a courtroom. That is right folks. You read it here. In the also preposterous court case in which I was a defendant being charged with abandonment of a child, I often searched for hidden cameras and microphones on the people involved in the case/actors. It has to be a reality show I am living. It makes no sense to sit shoulder-to- shoulder with men in orange jumpsuits and shackles, guarded by 2 policemen, half-clothed shorts and camisole wearing mommas, meth addicts, etc. and NONE of them were married. So on November 21, 2017, to the Department of Children and Family staffers, lawyers, bailiff, and guardium ad litem, I boldly asked the room, before the judge arrived, “Did anyone bring us flowers because it is our 25th wedding anniversary today?” Silence. Yes, I actually asked this out loud in the courtroom.
One time, I went to court with a stack two foot high of the 20+ books I owned on parenting kids from hard places, items not usually found in the homes of child abandoners to give reasonable doubt to the baffoons arguing against us. But I never found the court case of child abandonment wholly laughable. It was terrifying. The only way I made it through without being committed to a mental facility was prayer, reciting Scriptures in and on the way to court, and being just a little bit humored by every hand grenade Satan has lobbed my way. After all, crazy is my coping skill. And it is the name of this site.
And once again, back to the Court case of 2/20/2020. The judge asked a few other questions like, “Does your dog routinely get out?” Simple answer. No, Sir. And closing comments said by judge to courtroom staff and me, “I don’t get it. Usually these cases are when a dog regularly bothers joggers or runs away a lot… DISMISSED.”
I left after receiving a Court Event Form that has the START TIME: 9:44 AM and the END TIME: 9:47 AM. And that was all before the NOTICE OF HEARING TIME 10:00 AM.
DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN?
Yes, I am a Gero and this totally just happened. Story of my life Chapter 851.