Monday, February 1, 2016

Courtroom Follies, Dropping More Than Balls, and Vera

Hey! Now where in the hell have you been hiding this time around?

Hi, Dear Reader! I'm glad you asked. But, how did you know I was in hiding?

Wait, are you serious?

Yeah, I'm serious.

Holy cow, Vera! What made you go into hiding?

You can file this under "Hollywood Can't Script Real", because even I couldn't believe it.

I had my court hearing on January 14 (yes, my birthday) about getting a new no-contact order against Dingbat. I had filed the paperwork back in December, was given this unholy court date, and showed up with a friend and a victim advocate (to be more or less a blinder so neither party could see each other).  Then I noticed that it was past the start time of the court hearing, and Dingbat still hadn't shown up. Yay! This looks like I'm going to win by default, right?

That's when the prosecuting assistant came out to inform us this gem:

"Hi, Miss Didenko? [The defendant] is not going to show up because the [Cuyahoga County] clerk of courts failed to send out the notices for both parties."

I tilted my head and asked: "Um, so what about my court order that is set to expire on January 20? What happens if he shows up in the neighborhood?"

His brill answer: "Just tell him to leave you alone and call the police."

Well, I thought, that's a great plan for when I have a bullet through my forehead.

My friend jumped in: "Can't the court grant a temporary protection order?"

The prosecuting assistant said no.

The four of us walked down to the clerk of courts office to find out what the fuck was going on.  The lady at one of the desk posts was not happy to see all of us coming up to her, with pissed looks in each of our faces.  "Did the plaintiff come down to court after the hearing was set up and turn in her paperwork?"

(I knew I should have said something about my gender and correct pronouns.)

"Yes, I did." I stated plainly.

The clerk went through my case file to find the paperwork, unfiled, and not entered into the journal. "Where is the ex-parte order?" She snapped.

"There was none because there is already an order in place," I replied.

"Still, there needs to be an ex-parte order in here, even if it was denied," the clerk sighed. "I will have the supervisor look into this."

The supervisor jumped in and was like: "there's not always going to be an ex-parte order filed in each case." That statement caused the clerk to slither back to her cubicle. The prosecuting assistant left the remaining three of us with the supervisor as the paperwork was correctly entered into the journal and filed for notices to be sent.

Which meant, from nightfall January 20 to my new court hearing date, January 26, I had to vacate my current living space and go "hide" over at a friend's residence.  Like, literally, pack up Paddington Bear and a few items, and made the solo trek over to their spot.

Holy shit!

Tell me about it. I couldn't go outside without a buddy because I was paranoid as fuck that Dingbat would plot some scheming revenge on my sorry azz. I refuse to be a got damn statistic.

For example, my friend escorted me to my ultrasound appointment so I could prove to the OB/GYN doctor that this intraovarian cyst is still in there and is probably growing.  Sure enough, when I got the results back, it showed that 1) the functional cyst did pop and go bye bye, and 2) the dermoid cyst is still in there, growing ever so slightly.

By the time January 26 came around, I was ready for this whole thing to be over. Prior to my birthday, I went to both my psychologist and my rabbi for some mental and spiritual cheerleading. After the first court hearing, I was so seriously deflated.  With this new court hearing, I actually didn't feel like going. I was exhausted as all hell.  I just wanted this thing to be over and done with. This time, I had a different victim advocate with me to the court, along with the same friend who stood by me throughout the entire ordeal.  And as I was being my loud azz self with the advocate, Dingbat walked in and took his place at the defendant's table.

The prosecuting assistant came out to address the court: "there is not much the judge can do at this time.  However, would both parties be interested in renewing the no-contact order against each other?"

Wait a second.  "Against each other?"  What is this shit?!

Yeah, I know. In 2015, I wasn't granted an actual civil protection order, only a no-contact order. The difference is that it is against both parties. That means he can't come 1000 feet near my residence and I can't come 1000 feet near his residence. We also can not communicate directly or indirectly to each other.

So back in the court hearing, both Dingbat and I agreed to a new no-contact order.  When the prosecuting assistant came up with the draft for both of us to sign, I noticed that it has similar verbiage from the last one, and it has the same distinction: it was to be sealed (meaning only the judge would be able to look up the order and not the police). I asked the prosecuting assistant if he could remove this designation off the order.  The prosecuting assistant went over to Dingbat to ask him if he understood what this meant.  Dingbat countered with this: ready?

"Can I have it go for two years?"

Both the prosecuting assistant and I looked at each other stunned. "Uh-duh, um, sure, I don't think Miss Didenko would mind that, would you, Miss Didenko?"

"Nope."

Back into the chambers went the prosecuting assistant with the revised no-contact order provisions.  I signed first, and Dingbat signed last.  The prosecuting assistant made copies for each party, as it was entered into the journal.  Finally, the prosecuting assistant had us leave, one party at a time.  So my team left first, giving a 5-minute time lapse before Dingbat was allowed to leave the courtroom.

Get the fuck out of here.  All that hype for that small amount of bullshit?

Hey, like I said: I refuse to be a statistic for some random azz survey of victims who didn't protect themselves against their abusers.

You know what else would help you? A Smith & Wesson.

Yeah, except in the State of Ohio, they won't issue carry permits to individuals who have been identified with a mental illness or a "mental defection." (Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 2923, Section D, Paragraph 1, Subsection i.)

Oh good grief.

Oh well, at least this ordeal is over until January 2018. At that time, I will be hella better than I was in January 2016, because I was hella better than I was in January 2015.

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