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No shows in Woodstock court

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

No shows in Woodstock court

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 12, 2012

Yesterday there were at least five no-shows in the Woodstock Administrative Adjudication Court on Vehicle Impoundment cases.

If you go to the trouble to request a hearing, you really ought to show up. If you don't show up, you are giving up without a fight. Why not fight? If you don't fight, you don't have a chance of winning. If you do fight your ticket, at least you have a chance. Maybe only a small one, but at least that small one.

One case in court this morning involved the driver of another person's car who got stopped three hours and ten minutes after the effective date of her driver's license suspension. She told the judge that she "is not good with dates."

So, when she got stopped at 3:10AM, the vehicle she was driving, even if not her own, was subject to being impounded.

But should it have been?

The vehicle may have been parked in a safe spot and didn't require towing. Judge Eterno gave a her chance to get her ducks lined up and to come back in September. He could tell that the car may have been not only safely parked, but legally parked. But, from her statements, he couldn't tell. She is supposed to bring photographs with her to the September court date.

She said the car was parked next to the garage; then she said it was parked in the alley. I felt that what she meant was that it was parked next to the garage alongside the alley, but not in the alley. An alley, of course, is a public way, and the cop could have the car hauled away from an alley.

But if the car was parked on the grass next to the garage or on an "apron", as the judge explained it, then the car should not have been towed. The driver seemed not to understand the distinction being made, and I don't think she understand what the judge meant by "apron". She did say that the car wasn't "in" the alley, but she couldn't get on the same communication wave-length as the judge.

One 17-year-old girl was in court with her mother on an under-age alcohol charge. Ka-ching... $500.00. And even represented by an attorney. There was no hearing; she pled guilty by agreement with the City Prosecutor. What did she need an attorney for, to do that? The only lucky part for the girl is that, because this was in Woodstock's court and not over at the Circuit Court, the violation is not reported to the Secretary of State and she won't lose her driver's license.

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