Saturday, April 9, 2011

Don't Believe Everything You See on Court TV

Jeannie had an interesting post the other day about honesty.  She titled it "Crazy" and I understood immediately where she was coming from.

When you are raised to be truthful and honest you start to lose sense of yourself when you realize that the people in this world that lie, cheat and steal actually are the ones winning. Those of us that strive to be truthful are left to wonder if telling the truth is worth the loss benefit to our well being.

What is the benefit to telling the truth when you see an opposing lie win?

Here is a little story of a court  date I had to [yet again] endure with my first husband while trying to recoup over $10,000 in back child support. Having been in court with him 39 times in under 6 years this particular story sticks out because I was stunned at what he got away with when testifying.

We were in Stafford county, VA Juvenile and Domestic Court to decide the matter mentioned above.

After the preliminaries and the "swearing to tell the truth part" the conversation between the judge, SR and me went exactly like this:

judge:  "Have either of you ever been arrested?"

In unison:
SR: "No."
Me: "No"

When I heard his "no" at the same time as mine my head spun around so fast to look at him that the deputy sheriff jumped up to make sure I wasn't going to come out of my chair and grab him.  She stood next to me while I glared at him.


The obviously bored judge sighed and said "Yes Mrs. Skippy HAS your ex husband been arrested?"

Me:  "Yes you honor."
judge:  "Okay. How many times?"
Me:  :I held up 7 fingers: "Seven times."
judge:  "Are you sure?"
Not believing I am being questioned for this, I gasped "Yes. And he was convicted all of them."

judge:  "Well....let's see, then, shall we?"

I thought "Great. He is going to pull up his record."
No such luck.
The judge decided to just question SR instead.

judge:  "Mr. Sr.  have you ever been arrested?"
SR:  "Yes."
[I was waiting for the "Why, then, did you LIE in sworn court" question.  Sadly, no.]
judge: "For what?"
SR:  "Drunk in public."
I looked over and dropped one of my fingers - he had six left.
judge:  "And?"
One more finger went down on my left hand.  My right hand was still up and had 5 fingers showing.
judge:  "And?"
SR: "Drunk in public."
They both looked over to my hand to keep track.
judge:  "And?"
SR: "Failure to pay child support."
Finger down...and it went on until he admitted to two more failures to pay child support and the kidnapping of our daughter.

I sat there, expectantly, waiting for SR to be arrested for contempt of court for lying.
Or reprimanded.
Or spoken to harshly.
This man had been sentenced to over 6 months in jail for these offenses [again, convicted of ALL] and served a good bit of time.

But no.  It didn't matter.  The judge just moved forward.  He completely ignored the fact that my ex-husband hadn't just lied, he had lied SEVEN times and he had to drag it out of him, with MY help.

I was floored.  I reached behind me to hold Pooldad's hand because, really, I couldn't believe it.  And do you know what happened?  The deputy sheriff [that had recently returned to her seat] jumped up to reprimand ME for trying to hold my husband's hand.

I turned forward, placed my hands in my lap and waited.
For nothing.

What was the point ?

I had heard SR lie in court before. I had heard his parents and his girlfriend lie too - but nothing like this [up to this particular day - it did get a lot worse, later] but I was flabbergasted that this was just taken as an "Oh well. Let's move on." sort of thing.

If I had lied that day in court I know, for a fact, I would've been crucified, but not SR.  I saw it so many times I finally gave up and he died owing our children tens of thousands of dollars.

I always wonder if - for all the court dates - if I had been a liar I could've saved my family a lot of angst.

So, yes...I do understand Jeannie's post.  I sometimes wonder what exactly IS the point in telling the truth.


I am me.  And my Father raised a better daughter than that.


Anonymous said...

I agree, the ones who twll the truth are always on the recieving end but then again as Dumbledore said the choice is between chosing what is right and what is easy.

not displayed said...

sadly this happens in our world. Being honest still makes you the better person,no mater who you fool by lying

Southhamsdarling said...

You are you indeed, Skippy, and thank the Lord for it. As I was reading this post, I couldn't believe either that the Judge just decided to completely ignore it. What's that all about?! It does make you wonder sometimes, I agree, but we are who we are, and we must not be dragged down like all the nasty people who are out there!

RVVagabond said...

In the current state of affairs where lying is so common and the sense of self control and personal responsibility is virtually nil, I sometimes despair of humanity. And then you hear of people doing great things, courageous things, sharing things and you realize that most people do have good core values. We just don't make the news much.

Jeannie said...

It's just so frustrating. I can't change me either.

I think they get away with it because they are not ashamed of what they do. They convey the idea that the lie is inconsequential. Your husband didn't think his arrests were any big deal. They weren't for murder or grand theft auto or kidnapping someone else's kid for debauched purposes. And the judge picks up on that - "ordinary" him just being him notion. The judge was probably just jaded enough to know that a reprimand would be useless. On the other hand, the judge knew he couldn't believe a word that came out of your husband's mouth. He probably knew right then that you would never see the money your husband owed and probably, given the right - would have counselled you to forget going after it and save yourself the hassles.

Husbands here are on the hook now - and their pay can be garnisheed to pay back support.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

For some lying is the drug of choice. I know folks who just simply can't tell the truth, can't. I believe it is physically impossible for truth to pass their lips.
Sad too because the only ones that believe the lies are the liars....for the most part. And you can't fix stupid, so there ya go. The Olde Bagg

ellen abbott said...

with so many liars in this world the last thing we need is another one! so glad there are a few people in the world to trust. like you.

BB said...

While I'm sorry you had to endure this crap yourself personally, I do know it goes on every single day. I too wonder if being honest isn't what's holding up the whole process with our disability cases. Liars seem to get to the front of the line first! But I am not made that way.

that guy said...

fuggerbubbles dooddelheads, guzzleknobber dimwitties...

if you have a kid freaking pay for their support you gdturdburgler..

sorry got a bit upset...

and then don't f*ing complain..the support you pay will be a lot less than if you were actually raising the kid like you should have been prepared for when you dropped trou...

seriously, i cannot understand this legal system...

liars and the best arguers go free and truth is not justice...

*bruce walks away* pissed and in need of whiskey

Lisa said...

I am with "thisisme"! I am so glad their are people like you still on the Earth! A personal constitution is worth everything to me and I would risk being the cast off any day to keep it intact. You suffered an indignity at the hands of an unjust legal system but you held on to your constitution Skippy...that speaks louder than any alcoholic ***hole! That judge? must have had something in common with SR to be able to overlook such blatant disrespect for his court...they come from all walks of life...judges, doctors, mechanics...just like us white trash! HEE HEE! I am so thankful to be called "follower" on your blog...

Jennifer said...

That must have been so frusterating!!!...and that "Judge"??? What is up with him? I'm sorry you had to go through that, Skippy. It certainly is frusterating when the liars of the world get away with so much.
Pooldad and the wonderful family you have now are your reward for all the bs you had to go through. If I read that post right, your ex is dead. You are alive and being loved in the right way now. That's the reward, at least that's how I think of it in my situation. My hubby and my son and the love we share in our little family are my reward for all the bs in the past. Sometimes it takes a while to get to the prize and see things come full circle, but I believe the truth does win out in the end.

Lyndylou said...

how is that fair??? I am with you, I was brought up better than that too and telling that kind of lie just goes against the grain.

My ex filed took me to court for our divorce and I had to prove how disabled my child was as he reckoned he wasn't all that bad! As if that wasn't enough, he hired a all singing all dancing advocate who wanted receipts for everything I had spent over the previous 5 years!!! How is a person supposed to do that?

In the end we settled out of court but he put me through the ringer with all his lies.

You are a far better person my friend but you could have done without all of that hell he put you through.

Teresa said...

telling the truth is one of the reasons i'm being crucified on my job. i take responsibility for my actions - even if the end result of my action is a mistake. those i work with... not so much. it's a wicked world we live in and every day i have to smile and pretend like all is well in my world. they would be doing me a favor if they'd just go ahead and lay me off. it would cut down on my stress. i'd rather tell them on my terms when i'm ready to leave, but i'm ready for them to just get it over with.

my ex-husband used to lie in court, too. he'd go every 3 months and pay $50 in back support and then promise to stay current. nothing until the next court date. he owed the kids quite a bit of money when ron adopted them. we wrote it off to get his permission

Rebecca said...

real court isn't anything like TV court things are alot different in real life

Rudee said...

At the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself. My ex was a big fat liar, too. i don't know how he could live with himself, but then maybe that's why he drinks--so he can.

qandlequeen said...

I don't get it either. These are the same people who manage to hang onto their jobs despite multiple write ups and making everyone else's lives miserable for YEARS. I wish I could lie steal and cheat - it has to be easier than being honest.

Anonymous said...

I sorry Skippy :( If my dad heard this he would be outraged because well...He was a Deputy and such. This outrages me!

IdealWasteofTime said...

Okay, I'm only comment off the title. Watching SVU, I will believe ANYTHING ELLLLLLLLLLLLLIOT says. <3 <3 <3 <3