Sunday, May 10, 2009

No Court of Appeals for Automobiles...

This particular post has been a long time coming. I've been planning it in my head for quite some time, but have not had the time to sit and actually get it written...

Since today is Mother's Day, I've let all responsibilities go out the window, and I've spent the day doing whatever I have wanted to do: church this morning, take out from KFC for lunch, catching up on my DVR recordings, reading my email and cleaning out my inbox, and catching up with some of my favorite blogs! And now, I plan to take a break from reading blogs to actually WRITE SOMETHING on my OWN blog!

This story actually started several years ago...

When I met my husband, he spent his weekends racing his Honda CRX in local Autocross races. During one of these races, he spun out and did something to his clutch which made the car not very competitive for future races. Since he'd just met me, and we'd just started dating, the racing kind of went by the wayside as we were spending every free moment getting to know each other better, and the CRX went back to being just a regular car that took him to and from work, took me out on dates, and drove us away from the church after our wedding. :)

My husband held on to that car long after it stopped running. I think it was always in the back of his mind to get it running again and for us to be able to use it to go out on dates just for fun. Our 2nd born son had also claimed that he wanted to fix it up and let it be his car someday. But time and money didn't allow for any of these scenarios, so the car sat....

A few years ago, we got a notice that we could not have a "junk car" in our driveway, and we were given a date to appear in court to address the situation. Ben went to the court with pictures of the car to show that it wasn't a broken down "junk" car, and to explain that it wasn't registered because it wasn't being used. The judge agreed that it was not a junk car, and it didn't need to be registered if it wasn't being driven on the street, but apparently the law states that an unregistered vehicle cannot be visible from the street, so it needed to be put in the garage. She then gave him three days to make room in the garage and get the car moved into it. Her final ruling stated that the car needed to be moved by that date, or the car would be "towed and abated".

Now, right about the time that all this was going on, we discovered that we were quite unexpectedly expecting another baby! During those 3 days, I miscarried that baby, and consequently, moving the car out of the driveway became the least of our worries. The day, I had to have my D&C, a policeman came to the house with a tow truck driver to take the car away. He felt really bad about the situation, and gave me the information of where they were towing the car, so Ben could get it back when he got home from work.

Ben came home, went to the towing place, paid the fee, and they towed the car back to our house...where it was promptly put in the garage.

There it stayed until a couple of months ago when our growing collection of motorcycles forced it back out to the driveway. We had decided to go ahead and sell it despite it's sentimental value. So, we got a "For Sale" sign and put it out on the driveway. About a week or so later, a policeman came by to let us know that it would have to be moved, but we had 30 days to sell it, or move it back into the garage...

Two weeks later, another policeman came by to inquire as to where we got that car since his records showed that the car was supposed to have been destroyed....

Um, I'm sorry, WHAT????

Apparently, when the first policeman had filed his paperwork to start the 30 day process, that whole "towed and abated" thing popped up. Did you know that abated means crushed??? Yeah, neither did we. I asked the officer exactly what type of a crime a car could possibly commit to warrant the death penalty? He told me he didn't really understand it himself, but apparently when it was towed, it was supposed to be crushed and we weren't supposed to be able to get it back!

Are you kidding me???

Seriously. Mr. Policeman was very nice and tried to help us out since he couldn't figure out why it was to be destroyed either. (I'm thinking the judge didn't know what abated meant any more than we did, and was just trying to sound official!)

Through a series of phone calls and visits to the courthouse, we were eventually told that the current judge would have to rescind the original order for abatement, or they were going to have to take the car and crush it. After several MORE phone calls and visits to the courthouse, we were finally told that the current judge couldn't overrule the previous judge's decision.

Again, are you kidding me???

I made the point that even murderers had the right to appeal their fell on deaf ears.

Deeply saddened, we stood by and watched as Mr. Policeman and his tow truck driver took away a piece of our past. While we had already resigned ourselves that we were going to have to part with it, this was not what we had in mind.

I personally think the whole thing was terribly unfair, and if my daughter is ever in the running for Miss America and is asked what she would most like to change in the world, I hope her answer will be that she will call for the rights of cars that have been unjustly sentenced to the death penalty to have the right to appeal to a higher, more understanding court! Because the cars can obviously not speak for themselves...and they need a voice in this unjust court system of ours!

And just for the record, we did look up the definition of the word abate:


a⋅bat⋅ed, a⋅bat⋅ing.
–verb (used with object)
1. to reduce in amount, degree, intensity, etc.; lessen; diminish: .
a. to put an end to or suppress (a nuisance).
b. to suspend or extinguish (an action).
c. to annul (a writ).
3. to deduct or subtract: to abate part of the cost.
4. to omit: to abate all mention of names.
5. to remove, as in stone carving, or hammer down, as in metalwork, (a portion of a surface) in order to produce a figure or pattern in low relief.

–verb (used without object)
6. to diminish in intensity, violence, amount, etc.: The storm has abated. The pain in his shoulder finally abated.
7. Law. to end; become null and void.

Still don't see how that means We are going to crush your car....hhmmmmph!!

No comments: