Thursday, 11 November 2010


I married into a family who all seemed to suffer from the same flaw---basic stupidity.
But that is in my past and I am well out of it.
Well, I have been divorced for some years but I still get phone calls from various members of the family looking for some sort of assistance with their problems.
It was egotistical of me to think that I am smarter or more logical than them but they keep feeding my ego by phoning me.

My ex sister in law phoned me to see if I could do anything to help her husband (my ex wife's brother). He had been arrested and charged with larceny (stealing) and with a previous indiscretion, had been told by his lawyer that he would probably go to gaol.
OK, I do not have a law degree but have worked in the law all of my life---I do know a fair bit about the laws of my state.
I really didn't want to get involved but I always liked my ex sister in law and they do have a young family----so I told her to get my ex brother in law to phone me.

Of course, straight away, he thought I could use some sort of favour or leverage to get him out of his predicament----told you that they weren't too bright.
His story was that he had taken two shock absorbers from a car on the side of the road and had been caught by a police patrol staking out the car.
OK, that's all pretty simple---he did it---he's guilty---and that's what he thought and that's what his lawyer thought----simple, she is a public defender--free lawyer--and she will help him explain his circumstances to the court and try for the best sentence.
So G, tell me about this car---was this the first time you had seen it---did you have tools with you or did you break the pieces off it ?
"No Clyde, the car was almost a shell---been dumped on it's roof on the side of the road---I had ridden past it for four days going to and from work and only stopped to look on the fourth day---went home, got tools, went back and got the shockers---the cops came from nowhere and grabbed me."
OK, so what did the cops tell you---"They told me it was a stolen car and that I was stealing from it and I was going to be charged---and I wasn't the first one that they had caught."
So G, you saw the car there for four days, who did you think had dumped it there--
"Clyde, I thought the owner had stripped it and dumped it---all of the ID plates were gone so no one could trace the owner"
OK, so when are you due in court---"Tomorrow"
Alright, I will see you there.

I met G at the court and wanted to see his lawyer----she was in the courtroom representing another six people ---she would see him just before his case was called on----G, this is the first time you have been to court on this---"No, I've been twice before, pleaded guilty and I am getting sentenced today"---Shit G, you could have told me that before--I can see this all going wrong but wait here, I'll be back and don't go into court without me.
Knowing a few people in the court office, I got access to a computer, looked up a form, filled it in and printed it off, went back to G and got him to sign it---typical, he signed it and then asked what it was for.
Well G, you are going to sack your lawyer and you are going to seek the leave of the court to have me as a McKenzie Friend---an unqualified friend to speak on your behalf----G is dumb and very trusting, so he decided to go with the flow but sacked why sack the lawyer----well mate, I can't trust her to do what I need her to do--and by the way, you are not guilty of any offence in this case.
The lawyer, being very busy in court or not really caring, did not come outside to speak to G before his matter was called on for hearing----I had to urge him to talk to the Magistrate and to hand up his signed McKenzie Friend notice----the Magistrate was not impressed, asked G if he understood what he was doing and released to lawyer from the case.

The Magistrate was less impressed when I made an application to withdraw the guilty plea and plead not guilty----he insisted that any change of circumstances and admissible facts be presented to the Court before he would even think about allowing a change of plea.

Well your honor, the elements of the offence of larceny include that the offender knew that he had no right to take the goods, that he took the goods without permission of the owner, that he meant to permanently deprive the owner of the goods, and that the offender knew that the goods were owned by another person-----the problem with this case is that the car was dumped on the side of the road, had been there for four days and that my friend thought that the owner had dumped it there and relinquished all rights to it---he thought that the goods had no owner---so you cannot knowingly steal something which you believe does not have an owner or that the owner has relinquished all rights of ownership..

The magistrate allowed the change of plea and set the matter down for a trial.

Two weeks later my G received a letter from the prosecutions branch that the matter had been withdrawn and that the matter would be dismissed in court on the trial date.
Just to make sure that there were no loose ends, we had the matter called on in court later that week and it was dismissed.

I knew what my result would be---within a week, my ex in laws didn't want to know me again----but of course, they will call when they need me---and I can decide if I should help----I'm getting less inclined.
The one thing I didn't tell G or any of his family was that we could have applied for costs against the prosecution and got his four days of lost wages paid---but just for completeness, I did tell the prosecutor -----he roared with laughter and he did tell the public defender lawyer, who actually learned a lesson on the law.


-eve- said...

very interesting! congrats to you :-)

Macy said...

RESULT!! Does this mean you're coming out of retirement as a pro bono lawyer???

mapstew said...

It's amazing the amount of people who 'have known Stew since he was a kid' when they are trying to get a discount on a gig booking! People will really take advantage when they can, but you are a good man and I think you did the right thing. That's another pint for you when I get there pal! :¬)

(And aren't you a clever chap?!)

Clyde said...


It is funny how simple the law is and how complicated people try to make it---especially lawyers

Clyde said...


I don't know how many jobs I have been offered over the years within legal circles.
I I must admit that I like to get into court and do battle.
Even talked a Magistrate and a police prosecutor into a deal that looked so good that they had no idea that they had let someone back on the road 12 months earlier than she should have been.
Maybe I'll go and play one day

Clyde said...


They just can't help themselves
I try never to use people but if I do, I make sure that I pay a fair tariff.
I have always said that I will never get even--I'll always get in front--they may never know, but I do

JennAventures said...

I'm ever so slightly glad he didn't get his lost wages back-that's what he gets for not appreciating you/using you as a B-I-L of convenience.

Anonymous said...

What a nice gesture to help G out.

I wish he would've appreciated you for doing it, though.

Right from the start - I taught my children that sincere thanks goes a long way.

Clyde, you're a real honey!

Spiky Zora Jones said...

I know you did it because you have a kind heart. And I know that you are there for anyone that comes to you for advice as to what to do.

yeah maybe they won't call you till next timee they need you...but you did something wonderful anyway mister...and I'm sure help out a family in need.

later sweetie. xxx

Clyde said...


If it wasn't for his wife, I may not have helped him---
But once he told me the story, it was more about the justice of it all----and I did think it was justice that he didn't get costs

Clyde said...


I guess I cant help myself---I do like to help people if I can--but I was tempted not to
Things that have been done and things that have been said should really make me distance myself from these people

Clyde said...

Miss Jones

They only call when they are in need---maybe I will help again.
Maybe it was just the injustice that made me do it

fingers said...

Excellent police work staking out an abandoned car for 4 days to catch a seagull nicking the shocks.
There's money well spent.
No doubt they assumed the original thief would change his mind about leaving the car stripped, on its roof and return to collect the rest of his treasure...

Clyde said...

I couldn't agree more and found out that 4 others had been prosecuted.
Actually should have had it removed as a traffic danger--young cops----doubt that they thought of anything

Venom said...

Okay, sorry if I'm being bad, but am I the only gal who thinks this is hot? The whole Clyde in a nice suit up before the bench, arguing for justice thing?

And kind hearted too.

But mostly hot.

Clyde said...


Ha ha ha---no, not a suit---dark grey trousers, white shirt, black jacket and tie
I dont know why, but it's called court attire-----and I do love to argue the law----and it is some sort of attraction for the ladies---bonus

♥ The Lyrical Designer ♥ said...

you were really kind to help him out. Shows youre the bigger man here.

Clyde said...

Lyrical Lady

I'm am bigger than him but I know what you are saying.
But that doesn't take much---he used to service our cars when I was married---I used to buy enough oil for our cars and his and buy all of the filters for all cars and throw in a carton of beer---I thought it was a fair deal til I found out that his sister (my wife) was paying him at mechanics rates----and he was using the oil supplies to service a neighbours car and was charging him----a great guy

♥ The Lyrical Designer ♥ said...

ok, youre a certified angel now. and im throwing in a good ol' Southern UHHHHUH in there too!

Clyde said...

Lyrical Lady

Is that a Southern USA or a Southern Indian UHHHHUH
Thank you

♥ The Lyrical Designer ♥ said...

oh no honey chile. That there is a Southern UUHHUHHH as sho as cornbread and grits!

Clyde said...

Lyrical lady

Mkay, either would be good---but a great combination---southern accent and beautiful Indian complexion

Just telling it like it is said...

Aw3e..remind me to call you when ever I get arrested...and I still will talk to you afterward...hugs..
You have a soft heart admit it?

Clyde said...


That will be fine but I don't know the laws of your State.
And you'll still talk to me after what ?
OK, I'm a softy---well mostly

Anonymous said...

I've just displayed in my mind all the process and the outcome of the same case here where I live and... :S damn! it'd be a complete disaster! lol (sad laugh)

Thank you for being a good human being by doing your part in changing this world (I'm telling you this 'cause you din't like the 'unique' compliment hehehehe) :)

♥ The Lyrical Designer ♥ said...

where is you? its been too long .ok just 7 days. but still.Hmmpff
any more law-y stories?

Clyde said...

That is one of the hardest things about travel---knowing the laws of a country and how they operate.
I know that in Malaysia, the police are so badly paid that they are open to "coffee money"--pay offs for minor crimes.
It is kind of sad that the laws of some countries dont protect the people that they should.
Ha ha ha---yep, unique---I was unique in that family

Clyde said...

Lyrical Lady
Come on--some times I have something to say---other times not-
I notice you have gone beserk on posting.
But just for you

Just telling it like it is said...

I still talk to you after we have sex and you fix my legal problems...allegedly law problems


Love it!
I have been a Mackenzie friend on more than one occasion. There's something exhilerating about the courtroom,isn't there?

I think it deplorable how your former family treat you though.

Clyde said...


It sounds like a great deal to be---now I have to get to it and study all of the statutes of the State of Texas---what a bloke will do for a good night or two, or three, or four, or five or----

Clyde said...


The only thing that really pisses me off in court is when the learned people in the court take you cheap
As far as the former in-laws are concerned, they dont bother me---there has been plenty of times where I could have saved them money, stress and pain but I have not offered