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Quote of the Day - She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman. - Oscar Wilde
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Fluorescent Justice Shines A Cool Light On New York's Night Life

Some people have all the luck.  Imagine the ultimate writing assignment for a legal reporter.  If you're a regular reader of MIPTC, you've likely guessed by now that it's a court beat, but think harder.  Let me give you a small clue.  You've seen the TV show Night Court, but it doesn't compare with the real thing.  That's right.   It's "Defendants Gone Wild."

There's more juice than one person can write about, but Court TV is giving it a try.  Back in February, they started a feature called "Fluorescent Justice."  Just the name sends shivers of possibilities down my spine.  They're covering real night court in New York. 

It just doesn't get any better than that.  Think ... "it's a dark and stormy night.  The judge was wearing black, but it wasn't the only thing you couldn't see.  Dark justice dispensed as fast as lightning from behind the bench.  It was going to be a long, hot night."  Mickey Spillane would probably write it a bit better, I'm sure, but you get the idea.

Here's a sampling from the website:  Wife seeks protective order against husband who threatened her with a gun.  The police arrive several days later (don't ask me, it's New York), but find only the bullets and gun case, not the gun.  His defense?  He mailed the gun to Belize weeks earlier, so how could he have threatened her with it?  The judge gives him an A+ for creativity, but gives the wife the protective order.

The night court judge isn't a hanging judge, though.  A 42-year old woman got busted two years ago for scamming unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor.  She was employed at the time.  She agreed to repay the $5,000 and started to do so, but didn't continue.  The DOL was so agreeable the first time, she figured it might work again, and reapplied for unemployment benefits.  She was still employed, though, which earned her a second visit with the judge.  After a plea by her attorney, she got a second chance.

Sometimes, it's the most minor of crimes that get you into trouble, and this story tells us more about the writer than the defendant.   The writer alerts us that Manhattanites get confused when leaving the island.  A woman who lost her job and her home couldn't bear to leave the island either, so she slept on a roof top.  Although the judge didn't ship her off the island, the defendant got five days.  In a Manhattan jail, thank God.

Florescent Justice shines. 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 at 00:00 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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