20 April 2012

Small Town Officer v. Big City Lawyer

Pitcairn County: Suppresion Hearing

Sometimes it is interesting to see different perceptions of reality clash in the courtroom. Big City Attorney has traveled several hours from Metropolis to the the County of Pitcairn.  He's there to defend a possession charge in which the main argument is over whether the initial stop was constitutionally valid.  Part of the reason for the stop is that the car pulled into the driveway of a residence in the Town of Erehwon which was not the driver's residence.

Me:  Officer, do you know what vehicle belongs to the resident of 123 Plum Street, in the town of Erehwon?

Officee:  Yes, sir.  It is a green VW Thing.

Me: And what type of vehicle did you see pull into that driveway at 3 am on 29 February 2010?

Officer:  It was a blue Jeep Cherokee.


On Cross

Big City Attorney:  So, you knew that the owner of that house had a green Volkswagen Thing?

Officer:  Yes sir.

Big City Attorney, leaning in, sensing a gotcha:  So, what kind if car does the owner of the house to the right of this one have?

Officer:  A yellow Toyota pickup.

Big City Attorney, a little surprised, but still game:  Okay, what type of car does the owner on the other side of house have?

Officer:  A silver Dodge Ram.

Big City Attorney: Okay, are you trying to tell the court that you know what car belongs at every house in Erehwon?

Officer, looking a little confused by the question: Well, yes sir. There are only about 100 houses in town and I patrol for twelve hours every night. I know what cars belong at what houses.

Maybe my sense of humor is a bit askew, but I found it amusing how hard it was for Big City Lawyer to conceive of an officer knowing every car in town and how inconceivable it was to the officer that he wouldn't.

1 comment:

Zachary Shepherd said...

The conversation tells that the lawyer and the town officer have different skills and knowledge: the lawyer being an expert in interrogating and the town officer being an expert in patrolling. The conversation is pretty hilarious!