Inthis paper, I will discuss my observations and thoughts on the courtprocesses that transpired during my four-hour court session inIsabella County Law courts. I was lucky enough to secure a seat onthe third bench from the legal counsel`s worktable, so I managed tolisten audibly to and follow all the court procedures meticulously. Iselected Judge Judy’s trial court from www.isabellacounty.organd attended her 9.00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. session. I went to thesecond floor where I observed closely how Judge Judy carried on withthe proceedings in her courtroom.
Thefirst case of the day was about a free from care mother of three bythe name Mirabel (names are changed to safeguard the identity of theparties involved). According to the many witnesses that took thestand, Mirabel had absolutely no motherly instincts at all. Mirabeldid not care about her children`s welfare to a point that she wasn`tfeeding them well. In addition to this, some witnesses mentioned thatMirabel wasn`t bathing and changing her baby`s diaper. I remember oneparticular witness, a blonde lady in her 50`s, who happened to be aretired social worker. Susan gave an account of a time, five yearsearlier, when she reported Mirabel to the Child Welfare Services forneglecting her children. Mirabel was on the brink of losing thecustody of her kids but firmly pledged that she would improve on hermotherly duties. However, it got worse. All the while, Mirabel wasdenying everything. The final judgment was that the children go tolive with their grandparents for a couple of months before Mirabelcould get herself together. However, Judge Judy was reasonable enoughto grant her visitation four times every week.
Thesecond case was about a 28-year-old guy that was caught driving hiscar while his license was suspended. When asked by the state counselswhy he was driving without a permit, Martin, in his defense, saidthat he was responding to an urgent call from his daughter`skindergarten principal regarding his daughter`s health. According toMartin, Hailey had a slight fever when her mother dropped her off atschool early in the morning as she was work bound. Therefore, hebecame terrified the moment he received a call from Hailey`sprincipal and overlooked other alternative means of going to Hailey`skindergarten. Under this tense situation, Martin took his car keysand hastily drove towards Hailey`s kindergarten. It was while he wasrushing to see his daughter that Martin was stopped by police onpatrol for over speeding in a residential area. A routine backgroundcheck on Martin is the one that led to the realization of the factthat Martin was driving on a suspended license. Martin`s history ofdrunk driving that resulted in the suspension of his license worriedthe police that Martin would have been lying to them about going tosee his daughter and, therefore, arrested him. The judge was troubledand inquired whether Hailey had recuperated, and on Max saying thatshe was still unwell, decided to postpone his hearing to a later datewhen Hailey was completely recovered.
Thethird and final case I saw during my session was about a collegefreshman arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct. According to hisrecords, Max, while attending a freshman welcoming party, drunk somuch beer that he lost control of himself. Before he left the grooveparty, Max had already lost his balance and fallen on five tablesfull of partier`s drinks and broken more than twenty-four glasses.When he got to his friend`s hostel, Max became so disruptive to apoint that his friend`s roommates tried to calm him down. Maxupturned his voice as he was hurling insults at them, prompting themto call campus security who in turn handed him over to state troopersbecause Max was so uncontrollable. Max acknowledged responsibilityfor all his actions, and he defended himself saying it was his firstday consuming alcohol.
Ultimately,the judge ordered Max to pay a penalty for all the broken glasses anddecided not to factor in the issue of disturbing the peace. True tosay, I carefully observed and noticed that the court processes inIsabella County Courts were efficient, streamlined and appropriatelysystematized. Mirabel, Martin and Max, after being arrested undersuspicion of committing crimes, had charges filed against them by theprosecutor. I met them all on their arraignment day, althoughMartin’s case was at the pre-trial hearing stage of the court’sprocess. Mirabel and Max pleaded guilty to their offenses.
Thejudge, closing their cases, bequeathed polite rulings. Martin’scase, being at the pretrial hearing stage of the court process, waspostponed to a later date. Had they been found guilty by a jury, theywould have experienced the trial and sentencing stages as the finaltwo stages of Isabella’s County Court processes. The efficiency ofa case’s progression from one stage to another at the IsabellaCounty Court is swift, aiding in the prompt closure of cases,potentially reducing the chances of there being a pile up of pendingcases in the court’s registry.. It is my thought that other courtsemulate the efficient court processes of the Isabella County LawCourts.