From: Jennifer DeArmitt
I am writing to endorse Greg Long for judge of Superior Court 2 in the upcoming Republican primary election.
In June 2010, I was driving my son to his Little League baseball game when another driver ran a stop sign and crashed into my van. A sheriff’s deputy came to the scene and discovered that the other driver had a suspended driver’s license. As a result, the driver was charged with a crime, and since I was the only person who actually saw him driving, I was called to court as a witness in Superior Court 2.
My court appearance was scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 6, 2010. I am an elementary school teacher, and school was in session that day. I therefore had to take a half day off work, depriving my students of their normal classroom instruction and routine. I also had to spend valued family time preparing lesson plans for my substitute teacher.
On the date of my court hearing, I entered the courtroom and recognized the man who had crashed into me. I also recognized the sheriff’s deputy who had been at the scene of the crash. He was there to testify, too. However, when the judge called my case, neither I nor the deputy got the chance to testify. Instead, before the trial even started, the defendant asked the judge to delay the trial so he could have more time to hire a lawyer. The judge granted his request, and the trial was rescheduled for a different day.
Don’t get me wrong: I very much appreciate my civic duty to testify in court, and I have no problem with experiencing some personal sacrifice to fulfill that duty. However, I do take issue with the fact that the trial was delayed after I was already in the courtroom. If the judge wasn’t going to proceed with the trial unless the defendant had a lawyer, why couldn’t the judge have made sure he had a lawyer before the day of trial (before I had to take several hours out of my schedule to appear in court)? And what about the time of the sheriff’s deputy?
I’ve spoken to Greg Long about my experience in Superior Court 2, and I learned that my experience was anything but unique. There have been many times that Superior Court 2 has delayed a trial, even though witnesses were in the courtroom. And to my understanding, if one of those witnesses is an off-duty law enforcement officer, that officer gets paid overtime to appear in court, regardless of whether he/she actually testifies.
Greg Long has a solution to this problem. If elected, he will change Superior Court 2 procedures in criminal cases so that all attorney representation issues are resolved before the trial date. This will stop the needless waste of tax dollars that is currently occurring, and it will prevent another citizen from having to suffer through the needless waste of time that I experienced on Oct. 6, 2010.