March 29, 2005
People's Court
Today, my niece got her day in court. Small claims court, that is.

Last August, a very strange and alarming incident happened. It was a hot evening, and Hayley wouldn't settle for anything. Finally, exasperated, she and her sister decided to pack her into the truck and go for a drive hoping the little one would finally fall asleep. She had just got the new vehicle about 2 weeks before, and the newness of driving it was still exciting.

Shan drove around for a while, as Hayley nodded off, when Jamie mentioned that a new subdivision was being built nearby and that my brother had mentioned that he was interested in it. Ya gotta know my brother for this part...every time something's new, he wants it. He loves to dream. So they decided to drive up and see what it looked like.

They drove onto the construction site and parked in front of the show house to take a peek. Shan opened the door of the truck and suddenly, from nowhere this very scruffy looking man appeared running at them with a piece of plywood! She screamed, as expected, and retreated to the truck. The man came at the truck screaming obscenities and smashed the hood of the truck with the 2x4.

While Jamie phoned 911, Shan started to drive away. They left the subdivision, and parked on the side of the road while they told the police what had happened. Then, again, from nowhere, the man was back. Still brandishing the plank, he went to town on the back end of the vehicle! The police told them to stay where they were and they would be there shortly, but obviously Shannon was more concerned about safety. She told the police her name and number and said she was going home, to safety.

By the time, she got home, she was a shaking, hysterical mess. The only good thing was that Hayley had slept through the whole thing (no idea how!) but the truck was damaged on the hood, front fender and rear tailgate. She was understandably terrified and still has nightmares about it, as she said it felt like she was in a slasher-flick.

The police arrived some time later with a different version of events. The person at the site had identified himself as the security guard and that they had attacked HIM! A little difficult, considering they were two young girls and Shan was fairly heavily pregnant at the time. So with nothing to go on other than conflicting stories, the police decided to close the case against any criminal charges.

A little investigation later found out that this particular company finds homeless people to stay overnight in their construction sites, for free shelter. Cheaper than real security guards, I guess.

Granted, the girls should not have been on the site. It wasn't the smartest move, but at the same time, they certainly weren't being destructive or anything malicious.

The damage to the truck was $1500. My brother visited the site contractor to request damages. He was met with resistance, not surprisingly and was told 'Take me to court, then!'

Well, they did. Today was the day. Shannon has been so nervous this past week. She knew she was in the right, but having to tell her side of the story to the judge was really preying on her mind.

They walked in and the Wapner-esque judge looked at Shannon sternly and said, 'What makes you think you're entitled to this money?'

She calmly told the judge what had happened, and that she felt while she made an error in judgment, and that there were no signs stating it was on private property. If there were, she certainly wouldn't have gone.

The judge then turned to the site contractor and asked his side of the story.

'Well, I don't think we should be responsible for the actions of our employees', he stated.

The judge's mouth apparently fell open. He sternly intoned that he disagreed. That the contractor, indeed, is responsible for his employees and that if they can't afford to be more careful in who they pick for their security guards (the police had provided some reports on the incident), then to expect further judgments against them.

He then turned to Shan, chided her a little in her choice of driving destinations and then awarded her 100% in damages and court costs.

Case closed. The truck will now be fixed and we have spending money for Seattle. Which by the way, we leave Thursday!

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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