Today, I had to file a complaint, file affidavits of service and buy a judge (pay for an RJI) so that I can have a motion heard.
I went to the basement of the courthouse and paid for my index number. The clerk laughed at me because I forgot to write "Summons" on the Summons. She made me write in by hand. My bad. I need a secretary.
I asked her if I could pay for an RJI (Request for Judicial Intervention) at this window. She directed me to go to a room on the first floor.
I went to that room. I waited in line, behind a bunch of Chinese-Americans who were there to get their passports. After 15 minutes, I realize that I could have gone around those people and I walk up to the window. She takes a look and says, "you have to go to the room next door to have this RJI form approved before you pay for it."
I go to the room next door and I meet with the motions clerk. He looks over my documents, makes me make a few changes by hand and tells me that I have to go back to the first room (no, the second room) to pay for it, then I need to bring back two copies of the motion and two copies of the RJI. If I don't bring back those documents, my motion won't be on the calendar.
I go and wait in line. This time, it's a real line. I am behind attorneys and clerks. I get within eye shot of the window and I notice that I have to have copies of the RJI before I pay for it. Shit. I step out of line and go to the copiers to make said copies.
They are 35 cents a copy. I have nothing on me besides tens and fives. Ugh. There are two people standing at the copiers looking for change. I leave this room and head down to the record room, where I know there are copiers. I take the stairs because I've already spent too much time at the courthouse and I can't handle waiting for the elevators.
I slip into the record room. I see two copiers. I head towards them and see a sign that says they are not for public use.
I walk around the bend and I see 4 copiers for public use. Once again 35 cents a copy, but these machines are equipped to take bills. There's one catch: it only takes OLD five dollar bills. What?
I open my wallet and take out my three five dollar bills and I notice that they are all NEW five dollar bills. I note to myself that I haven't even had to think about this distinction, ever.
I run upstairs to the convenience store in the courthouse and buy gum. I don't eat gum, but I wanted to break my stinking five so I can make my copies... I need about 12 copies. That's about $4.20.
I go back to the basement to make copies with my new one dollar bills. I stick my document on the glass and the stinking machine says it doesn't have paper to match my document. No letter sized paper? Really?
I open up all of the drawers and the machine only has letter sized paper. I start pressing buttons and finally, the little green light says that it will let me proceed. I make two copies, and another two copies of another document. I bend over to look at them and they are facing the wrong direction and at about 25% of original size. Shit.
So, I'm down about $1.40 and I have no copies. I don't have enough to make the remainder of the copies either. I head back upstairs to buy more gum.
I come back downstairs and I finish making my Godforsaken copies.
I'm not done yet.
I head up to the cashier's office where I pay for the RJI and I pay for it--finally. I run over to the motion clerk's office and give him all of his documentation. I've been in the courthouse about an hour longer than I had planned.
I step to the front of the courthouse and there is a torrential downpour.
What's glamorous about this job again?
This is real life. It's not LA Law and unless you're rolling in dough, this is the shit that you have to do to make it as a solo. My friends tell me I should hire a law school graduate... hire being a loose term because it would be unpaid... to take care of this crap for me. But my morals tell me that's wrong. I blog about the pains of being a new graduate and I would hate to "employ" someone that despised me for not paying them or not paying them adequately. Could I? Should I?
But that doesn't change the premise of this blog. There are plenty of attorneys at the courthouse tending to these matters on their own. It's not pretty. It's not glamorous and it's not aspirational. It's the shit in shit law.
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