As the old Dragnet TV show would go. “The story you are about to hear is true but the names have been changed to protect the innocent”Ok maybe the names won’t be changed and I was definitely not innocent. Being a Village resident you sometimes think you have diplomatic immunity because you have a PJ Village parking sticker on your mirror. One rainy night last fall I zoomed my creaky 1982 Mercedes 300D into a space in the Chandler Square parking lot. Not paying attention to the handicapped parking only sign. When I came back many hours later I found a lovely Port Jeff Code Enforcement parking ticket. Being one of the world’s biggest “take care of it later” people I brushed it to the side for another time. As with most legal matters it just didn’t go away. When I got my updated ticket with all the late charges and fees, I was ready for the Heimlich Maneuver. Not wanting to pay parking ticket that equalled a down payment for a boat, last Tuesday I headed down to the Port Jeff Village Court. Expecting to be one of only a few people in the court I was shocked when close to a 100 people were in attendance. Kind of a cross between The Supreme Court and Mayberry the PJ Court was bright and almost pleasant.
My plan was simple. Plead insanity or pull the ole Al Pacino from And Justice for All movie “Your out of order..the whole courts out of order!!” Perhaps not the best plan. The stern buy nice court officer explained the judge would be out soon and the rules of the house. It was simple. The Judge would call your name. You wouild plead not guilty then wait for a conference. The names were called rather swiftly. Kind of like home room in High School. If you had a vehicle violation you went to right and spoke with the DA. If you had a PJ Village matter you went to the left and spoke with the pretty and helpful Port Jeff prosocutor.
Most of the PJ Village matter were parking tickets, open beers and urinating in public. More than likely most of the urinating charges stemed from too many open beers in ones system. Hence the Lord giveth and taketh away all at the same time. Again things moved briskly. It was my turn to plead my case to the prosocutor. After a few minutes of my best Perry Mason blah blah blah and dumb excuses the prosocutor gave me a good deal. Still moving along fast like the drive thru at a late night Burger King. The judge John F Reilly was also fair and swift. We all got laugh when he had to explain to a very dumb young man the meaning of public urination. “It means peeing outside son“ Maybe the big dummy should spend less time texting and pick up a book sometime. My turn with judge was fast and exact. We agreed on my plea deal and a much reduced fine. Next a step to the left and payment time. All the multi lines and people moving to the right and left made me think of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. “No Parking for you !!”
Hate to admit it but even though I did not want to pay a fine, the Port Jefferson Village Court was not a bad experience. Fair and swift. Maybe they could make a deal with McDonald’s next door and install a PJ Village court, drive thru! What a great way for PJ Village to make some extra cash. “Would you like a large fries with that parking ticket??”