The wheels of justice turn slowly.
Margaret took a call in the car. Someone was hoping to serve court papers on her. She explained that we were on our way home and would be there in five minutes. The server elected to post the papers at the gate and continue on with his day.
We felt certain that this related to the nightmare that Margaret endured around a year ago, when an uncontrolled dog attacked her: But what was her role at court? On the advice of lawyers, we had chosen not to pursue a civil case against the owners of the dog. The Police were prosecuting under the criminal code.
The papers turned out to be an un-enveloped docket, half printed and half hand-written. Quite reasonably, it was all Greek to us.
However, we are advised that we are to attend the courts at 9am on the allotted date, with our piece of paper. Somebody will direct us towards a courtroom waiting-area, and at some point, the prosecutor will wish to hear what happened. Then, a date for a hearing will be set and we will be sent home.
I’m planning on taking a book and a packed lunch. The lawyer tells us that the defendant will have been instructed to be there too.
Frankly, I’m mystified as to the purpose of this. The lawyer said that we have been asked to attend because the defendant has not accepted the charges. I assume means that he has denied that he broke any laws. Were we not to turn up, then the case would be dropped.
If I were a cynical man, I might think that obstacles are setup in the hope that the whole thing will simply go away. I daresay it might all go away in the end – but it won’t be because Margaret and I didn’t do our part.
In the year that has passed, the owner of the dog, still living two minutes from our front gate, has made no effort to communicate with us at all. The day that my wife stood screaming and trembling, Nero, our cherished pet of 11 years, dying at her feet, a few scant yards from this man’s front door; he came out, mumbled something about a vet, put a phone to his ear and that was the last that we have seen or heard from him.
Certainly, that failure to engage will make our time on the waiting room a little tense.
The wheels of justice is a paraphrase, thought to originate from Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus.
“The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small.”
I hope so.
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