I filed a law suit in small claims court yesterday. Cost me $85 filing fee plus $15 which will be billed to us by the County Sheriff for service of the suit to the defendant. Good grief, I love all these legal terms. My countless hours watching Judge Judy are REALLY paying off here.
Back in February, an IDIOT adult in our small town rear ended our 18 year old. Who was driving the old Subaru (think small car) with his full sized pickup sporting a ‘cow catcher’ bumper guard. You’ve seen them – big chrome tubes that are mounted on the front bumper. They don’t serve much of any purpose – mostly to make the truck look extra manly.
A little back story – this IDIOT hates our kids. He’s had opportunities (via 4-H and other activities that his wife and he are involved in) over the years to harass and bully the boys. You know this kind of IDIOT. He calls a kid out, loudly, in a crowd for some kind of infraction – real or imagined. Makes snide comments, excludes them from stuff going on in meetings and generally acts like an ass. He went to school with the husband, but was 5 or 6 years younger and showed IDIOT tendencies even then.
Anyway, we told both boys to just ignore him. Don’t respond, don’t talk back, and certainly don’t do anything physical (that included the plan we thwarted re: letting the air out of his tires every chance they got). He is an IDIOT and they would encounter IDIOTS like him all through their life. This meshed perfectly with the ongoing message of ‘at least half of all the idiot kids you know now will grow up to be idiot adults – they’ll be your co-workers, teachers, bosses, etc. You have to learn how to ignore them/deal with them because you can’t change them.’
That worked fairly well until one night in February. Thing 2 had to attend a city council meeting to fulfill a graduation requirement. It had rained and the gravels were sloppy (remember this – it’s important later) so he drove the old Subaru. He parked in the ‘lot’ (all of 10 spaces) across from city hall in the first space next to a handicapped space. He’s sitting in the hall, waiting for meeting to begin and it’s a full house – lots of students, citizens and the regular crowd including the chief of police. IDIOT works for the city as a maintenance guy. Just as the meeting is ready to start, IDIOT comes into the meeting and announces in a loud voice ‘THING 2 (of course, he used his name) PARKED IN A HANDICAPPED SPOT! HE SHOULD GET A TICKET FOR THAT! CHIEF, GO OUT THERE AND WRITE HIM A TICKET!’
More backstory – Thing 2’s beloved aunt who passed away a few years ago was a polio survivor, wore crutches for 60 years and eventually ended up in a wheel chair. He’s EXTREMELY conscious of those with physical limitations and would never, ever park in a Handicapped spot.
T2 is mortified. He follows the chief out, with IDIOT going out with them, for some reason. Of course, he has NOT parked in the spot, but the back passenger tire is on the line. The chief asks T2 to straighten the car out and get the tire off the line. No ticket, of course. Chief and IDIOT go back into the hall. T2 re-parks the car and manages to get (passenger side) within about 1” of the driver side of the vehicle next to him – IDIOT’S truck. A little passive aggressive? Yup. Clever? Yup.
Meeting concludes and T2 leaves the meeting, followed closely by IDIOT. IDIOT is incensed at the parking situation and is forced to go into his vehicle from the passenger side, while T2 sits in the car. HA! I’m laughing at his bravery. T2 is a kind, compassionate kid that had reached his limit with this IDIOT.
Here’s where T2 makes a bad choice. He leaves the lot and is followed very, very closely – like less than 5 ft – by IDIOT. He gets to the corner where he should turn to come home. Instead, he proceeds south with the plan of driving extremely slow to further aggravate IDIOT, then turn on the gravel road that leads to IDIOT’S house and drive even slower. Which he did. Keep in mind, IDIOT could have passed him any time in the ¾ mile of pavement, but didn’t.
T2 turns on the gravel – which is soft and sloppy from the rain – and proceeds to drive down the center of the gravel road (not uncommon – the shoulders get dangerously soft) and slows down to 5 mph. Yes, he is intending to piss IDIOT off. Yes, he should have just turned and come home the regular route. But I get it.
IDIOT tails him, inches from the back of the Subaru and then – about ¼ of a mile down the road and ¼ of a mile from IDIOTS driveway, bumps the back of the Subaru. T2 is stunned. He drives about 50 more feet and stops. Looks in his rearview and sees IDIOT making a 3 point turn in the road and fleeing the scene. T2 turns around in a field drive and heads back to town (IDIOT is already nowhere to be seen) and goes to Thing 1s house to ask for advice, which was to go home immediately and tell us every single detail of what happened. Which he does.
The husband is beyond furious and calls IDIOT (after a few calls to get his cell phone #). IDIOT is back on the scene with the Count Sheriff. We head over. IDIOT is in his truck and never gets out. He’s told the sheriff that T2 was swerving all over the road (not true – as verified by the tracks on the road) and not allowing him to pass. All while driving 5 mph (true). IDIOT clipped the Subaru while tryignt o pass (not true). And T2 is the one that fled the scene (not true – tracks showed his turn around in the drive and the 3pt turn the truck made). Damage to the Subaru is on the back driver side – paint transfer on the cow catcher of the truck is on the driver side. Please explain how you’d clip driver side to driver side if you were trying to pass?
T2 explains to the sheriff. Sheriff asks if we have problems between the families. Husband explains that IDIOT is a douche bag and this is just the latest in his harassment of our kids. No tickets are issued – which I found odd, since the person that causes the impact and therefore at fault. Sheriff advised Husband to not engage IDIOT in conversation. While the sheriff was in his vehicle writing up the report, Husband walks down the road, under the guise of checking the tracks. On the way back, he stops at IDIOTS truck and proceeds to use some very salty language to tell him that he is never, ever to speak a word to either of our kids ever again. Oh, and if he did, Husband would kick his ass. Did he understand, salty language????!! Husband said he never turned his head to look at him, just nodded.
The next morning, I get a call from the principal at the high school. IDIOT has a daughter in T2s grade. He’s called the principal to say that his daughter is afraid to go to school today because T2′s father has threatened to kill his entire family. Untrue. He only threatened to kick IDIOTS ass. WHO DOES THIS SHIT??? I explained the situation to the principal and he said he’d chat with the daughter – who had somehow overcome her fear and did go to school. It was the buzz for a day or two, but it was mostly a non-event.
Fast forward to a week or so later – IDIOTS insurance company – Progressive – calls and tells Husband that based on IDIOTS story and no citation issued, they have determined that both parties were equally at fault, so no payment will be made. We carry only liability on the Subaru.
We got an estimate for repairs – $955. We sent IDIOT the estimate and a letter via certified mail, advising him that he had until April 15 to either send us or the body shop a check in full to cover the repairs or contact Husband to make arrangement for payments. If we did not hear from him, we would file suit in Small Claims.
So that’s what I did. If he doesn’t respond within 20 days, judgment is entered against him to include all court costs and interest. If he responds and takes responsibility, he has 30 days to make payment. If he denies the suit, a court date will be set. When he’s found liable (and I have every confidence that he will), we assumed we’d have to file a lien on his property if he didn’t pay. But I found out that since he’s a city employee, we could move directly to garnishment.
Doesn’t that have a lovely ring? It’s almost sick how much I am enjoying this. Tell me what adult in their right mind REAR ENDS a kids car, flees the scene then lies about the event? An IDIOT. I’ve had the opportunity to see him around town a couple of times since all this started. When we made eye contact, I did the two finger point at my eyes then at him. I’m watching you, asshole. Oh, how I would love to take this case to the Judge Judy show….