Friday, October 01, 2010

A couple of questions about court in Sarasota:

A few weeks ago a client came to see me and asked if I could represent him. He was homeless and charged with a minor offense and the judge had been giving him a hard time because he wore shorts to court. His possessions were limited to those he could carry and he didn’t own long pants.

I agreed to take the case. Yesterday I bought him some pants at Goodwill. This morning I met him outside the courthouse. He had his duffle bag that contained all of his possessions. We got in the long security line to enter the courthouse. My client’s bag was put through the x-ray system and rejected. He had can openers and utensils and other odd objects. The bailiffs didn’t want to take the time for him to unpack and go through each compartment, not with a hundred people in line behind us They told him he had to take it away, that he couldn’t leave it there and he couldn’t bring it inside.

Now this story ended without problem. I took his bag and walked out and locked it in my trunk and we went to court. But what about everyone else with all that they own in their possession and a date with a judge? What are they supposed to do with their duffle bags and knapsacks?

And how are they supposed to pay their court costs? But at least he was wearing long pants.

I was very active in the homeless issue in Georgia and California. Would like to be come more active again in the SRQ area. Right now I am looking for a soup kitchen to vollunteer at on a regular basis.
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