Tuesday, November 27, 2007

adventures at metro court

yesterday sophie and i went on a BIG adventure to bernalillo county metropolitan court. after some serious help from my friend cindy, i finally got up the nerve to file a complaint against delta air lines and alitalia for their refusal to let us board the plane from venice to albuquerque after our trip (it was an ugly scene for all involved--i'm fairly certain that i have never acted that badly in public in my life). anyway, very long story short, delta/alitalia claimed we were too late to board, we disagreed, and we ended up staying an extra day in venice mestre--which is pretty much the equivalent of staying in east orange, new jersey when you are supposed to be in manhattan. and we were forced to rent a hotel room (that took us two hours to find--everything was booked), and pay a fortune to change our tickets, and all that good stuff. so i finally filed a complaint in metro court (it's like small claims court). but before it was filed...

sophie and i got to the courthouse and were stuffed into a claustrophobia-inducing vestibule with about 100 other people trying to get through the metal detectors. it took 20 minutes. i was being paranoid and worried that someone was going to cough on/steal/look at sophie; sophie just sat there in stunned silence. the guy in front of me was there to reschedule his court-mandated DWI education class (third offense); the guy behind me was talking to his friend about the newest restraining order his girlfriend had put on him and together they decided that that bitch was crazy. i stopped listening to conversations after that. i learned a lot about non-trendy tattoos. i totally looked like i fit in with them, though, because i have this giant bruise on my jaw from where i had to have a permanent crown removed and i was clutching onto sophie--i'm guessing i most resembled a domestic-abuse victim with a pending custody issue. anyway, when we finally got through the metal detector, which i set off over and over again (bra wires?), a guard started yelling "whose purse is this?" of course it was mine. she was holding it up (sideways) and i watched as all of my stuff gradually fell out of it. then she bellows "you gotta cell phone in here. you can't have that in here. go put it in your car and go through the line again. you must exit the building now." and i'm just shooting this woman daggers but she's obviously seen far worse than me so i gather my junk, sophie, and what's left of my patience and i leave.

so we do the line again. this time sophie is not so complacent or stunned or silent (she can't believe we're there again either). we get through much faster largely due to sophie's volume. i get to the clerk's area and they get everything done and the complaint filed for me in about 20 minutes as well (maybe there's a target time quota for everything at the courthouse?) and before leaving i mention that i received a parking warrant in the mail that i need to take care of. she hesitates for a moment and points to the most congested area yet and says that that is where we need to go. even including the DMV, i have never seen so many pissed-off looking people wringing their hands and grumbling in such a densely-packed place ever. it is like a two-hour wait. the clerk kinda looks at me a little longer and asks if i still have the little piece of paper with my number on it, i tell her i do, and she bypasses that line entirely and puts my number back in the system! we get called next. so i walk from her window to the next window and start working on my parking warrant.

once the next woman pulls up my record, she says "you don't have one parking warrant." and i'm like "yeah, i think i do, it would have been about october 26th..." and she just looks at me and, rather flatly, says, "you have four." okay, that actually did surprise me a bit. they were from like 2003 (when we lived here last time...and i do vaguely remember getting lots of tickets before we left and not being sure that we would ever come back so i didn't worry about them...). she kept saying "you shoulda been booted by now. you got lucky. i can't believe they didn't boot you." and i'm like "yes, thank you, i'll pay them all, let's just get this over with (so i can leave this god-forsaken place)." so i paid them, and now i'm all squeaky clean again. and i didn't even get shanked on the way out for bypassing the two-hour wait-a-thon. yay me!

so today i spent the day poring over the internet, trying to figure out how the hell to serve delta and alitalia with these complaints, and most importantly who to serve them to. i figured out delta but alitalia is a toss-up between a registered agent and an office that accepts processes, both in new york city. i hired a really nice process server in manhattan who is going to do it for me for the alitalia one--new york state requires that a process server be registered and all this other professional stuff; in new mexico a process server just has to be over 18 and not a party to the lawsuit. my friend julia is going to go with me on friday to santa fe and do the honors then we're going to cafe pasqual's for lunch. doesn't that sound like fun? and isn't julia amazing for serving papers for me? i have wonderful friends.

pretty, pretty bruise (FYI: rich is right-handed)

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