If you’ve ever dealt with governments, either as an ordinary citizen or working for a government is some capacity, you probably know governments tend to place a value of zero on your time and routinely fail to communicate timely or at all. So I recently filed for Summary Ejectment in District Court against my tenant who had fallen months behind on rent. I took off work the morning of the trial to prepare and to try again to contact the tenant’s aide program. As luck would have it, I finally got through to someone in the aide program after a couple months of being ignored, and they informed me they intended to pay the back rent if I sent some additional paperwork. Fantastic! I really did not want to go to court.
After sending in the paperwork, I spent the next hour trying to get the District Court on the phone. Then I continued to call them throughout the day. No response. I also tried emailing, though it wasn’t easy to find email addresses. The court website said there were no closures due to weather. I finally found out that night that the governor had given state employees the day off sometime during the week. The court rescheduled all the trials for that day but didn’t bother to tell anyone. There wasn’t even recorded message when you dialed in stating that the court was closed. Nothing. I took off of work for this. My tenant may have taken off of work too, and she already isn’t paying her bills. But I guess it’s too much of a hassle for the court to call people and let them know of new, critical information.
When the court reopened, I called them to let them know I wanted to dismiss the case. You can’t do this over the phone. They told me I had to either send them some paperwork or call the day of the trial and send a court room message to dismiss. Well, I was out of town now, so I decided I would call the day of. I got up early since they rescheduled for the morning. And when I called in, they told me something different, that there is no need to do anything. If you’re the plaintiff, and you want to dismiss, just don’t show up. Wonderful. If I had know that a week earlier, I could have simply done nothing and saved about five hours.