Friday, September 3, 2010

More On Recorders Court....

It seems every time we turn around, we are getting hammered by the powers at be. Be it the commission forcing us to work without pay on holidays, the command staff threatening to put us on a 12 hour work schedule, to Recorders Court throwing a wrench into the court schedule without any respect for our personal lives.

The reason for scheduling court dates in advance is obvious. We schedule our court time around off days, leave time, manpower and to save the taxpayers money in reduced court overtime.

Since Judge Withers was appointed by Burrell Ellis as Chief Judge, she has managed to royally screw things up. (Imagine, a Burrell Ellis appointee screwing things up.) She came up with scheduling officers to appear in court at 9;00 AM, 2:00 PM and 5 PM on the same day.

We have complied with this ridiculous scheduling without much fanfare. Well guess what folks, it's time to stop being made fools of.

Someone once said; "The way to shut down this department, is to follow policy to the "t". And that is exactly what we should do. When it comes to Recorders Court, each officer has to appear on their predetermined date. Without question. BUT, beyond that, a subpoena is required.

These ludicrous court times of 9:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM are scheduled by the courts, yet the the court does not issue subpoenas for those times.

Now the court wants to totally disregard the schedules for October, November and December. And our response is: Not without a freaking subpoena!

We will not appear in Recorders Court beyond our scheduled date and time without a subpoena, period. We have the backing of rules and regulations. Some supervisors may scream, yell and threaten to suspend us, but they can't discipline us. We must not be intimidated by the brass. If we are suspended, then we will fight it through the Merit System. We cannot stress the importance of joining the F.O.P. and/or the P.B.A. just for legal representation alone.

Now, this is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to Director Wiz Miller and Chief O'Brien. Will they support us, or will they bow and change policy? Will they stand up for us, or continue with what appears to be deliberate suppression of the uniform officer? Will they kick us in the groin one more time?

Never in the history of DeKalb County has there been such a "boot to the throat" attitude toward the police officer by the commission, court system and command staff. Enough is enough! It is time to make a stand!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I may throw one big monkey wrench in your plan.

Scenario,

Supervisor gets a court list orders you to be in court on such and such a date. This is now considered a duty assignment. Failure to report could be considered AWOL, insubordination, or failure to obey a lawful order.

Sorry you're taking the wrong approach on this one. Your paragraph starting with "We will not appear in Recorders Court" is so wrong and misguided I feel for any officer who follows your suggestion.

Blogmaster: you really need to think before you post crap like this.

Anonymous said...

Or simply attend court as required and call out next shift since you've exceeded your allowable work hours for the day. Don't forget to include travel time. IDIOTS...

Anonymous said...

If they put a subpoena in your mailbox while you are off and call you to tell you about it, that doesn't count as being served with a subpoena. If you don't have a subpoena in your hand, you haven't been served with it. Check your mailboxes at the beginning and end of each shift and you've done your job.

It's very important to keep track of your subpoenas and the "Date Received" stamps on them. We've all received subpoenas several days after the actual court date. You can't get suspended for getting a subpoena in your hand after the court date happened.

Anonymous said...

They are so stupid at Recorder Court. I have been schedule 2 weeks in a row ,not on my scheduled court date. Then I don't have any cases.

I'm standing in the hallway for hours. I have been lucky and not have to come on a off day.

Anonymous said...

Who runs this place? They put a several page list of badge numbers up on a board. Some of the badge numbers are of officer that have been gone for years or in CID.

What a great leadership we have running things.

Anonymous said...

A subpoena system would shut the court down. They can't keep up with my schedule court date. I asked why I'm on the list because I didn't have any cases. They tell me just the way the judge wants everyone schedule.

Anonymous said...

To Anon #1

You're only AWOL if you don't show up for your shift. If you're told you have to be in court tomorrow, your off day, without a subpoena, they can't touch you if you don't show.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 must be on board with forced labor for no pay, commissioners getting paid holidays, giving their own large pay raises, the 12 hours shift.
Hell, I can hear him/her now, "be thankful you just have a job"

Bite me

Anonymous said...

Aside from this just being a totally lack of respect for officers, it's draining department resources. We're short handed as it is. How many officers are being tied up in court waiting for hours only to find out they weren't needed when they could be out patrolling neighborhoods, preventing crime, and responding to 9/11 calls?

It isn't right that Recorder's Court is contributing further to the shortage of officers on the street. Maybe someone with a cellphone camera could take some video next time they are in court and show how many officers are put out of service for hours to accommodate the incompetence in Recorder's Court.

Anonymous said...

Could it be a conspiracy between Recorders Court and the brass who are pushing a 12 hour shift?

Have the court drain manpower, then the brass, in their own minds, can justify the 12 hour shifts.

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine called me the other day said Recorder's Court "found" a ticket he received in July 2007. He called Recorders Court during that year and they told him, there was "no ticket" and "not to worry about it". Well 3 years later the ticket has resurfaced and the fine is now $1000 for an "Expired Tag". Recorder's Court refused to give him a court date and said it's his fault and he should be lucky that his license is not suspended (yet). This is the second case where DeKalb Recorder's Court finding missing tickets. The Academy had one recruit whose ticket was located from 3 years ago and his license was suspended....he was fired.
I think the tickets Recorder's Court lost a couple of years ago has been found, so they can get the money back (since we are not writing tickets) they are over charging.
DeKalb will get the money...no matter what!

Anonymous said...

Usually I agree with the posts on this blog.

First, I am not a supervisor. But, I agree with Anon #1 who sounds like one. And I speak from experience on having to use the Merit System to defend myself.

I would not follow this advice and challenge the system this way. Instead, I would recommend diplomacy on this one from the FOP.

I agree this new system is flawed and inefficient. However, I do like Judge Whithers because I believe she is, when it comes to cases, fair yet tough.

Look, Burrell Ellis is going to have to appoint people while he is in office to certain positions. I do not like him because I find him to be a bad, corrupt, and immorale leader. But, I think his appointment of Judge Whithers as Chief Judge is a good one and she is doing good things for the court. Except I disagree with this current system for the reasons I already pointed out.

Anonymous said...

So to this poster:
"DeKalb will get the money...no matter what!"
Have they found the frickin' 2M yet??

Anonymous said...

Coincidence?
1. Long copies are down 62%.
2. Far fewer officers are having to appear at Recorders Court, allowing them to go home at end of shift, enjoy their off time and off days. As the initial post reads: "The reason for scheduling court dates in advance is obvious. We schedule our court time around off days, leave time..."
3. Judge Withers suddenly revamps the schedule to require officers to appear on their off days, various times of day, or at the end of shift, having them appear even when they do not have a ticket to be heard.

It makes you wonder if there's more to the new Recorders Court schedule. It seems more like a spanking for the reduced number of tickets rather than a coincidence!

Anonymous said...

If you expect me to show up to court on my off day, you better have a subpoena in my hand before the end of shift on my Friday. I've got county policy and state law on my side!

Anonymous said...

Why are we fighting against Recorders Court? They have to follow rules just like everyone else. They can't help that people plead not guilty and then don't show up for court or the fact that our admin. officers don't forward our court dates as requested. They do work with with us if needed. GIVE THEM A BREAK THEY ARE DOING THE BEST THEY CAN WITH WHAT THEY HAVE TO WORK WITH!!!

Anonymous said...

TRUST ME they are suffering from the ticket slow down despite what everyone is told they only had one court today in the am and one at pm and as far as the schedule it has been changed again....YES AGAIN....this time morning watch 830am day watch 1000am and 200pm for evening watch so not only is that insane that is going to cause officers to be there still all day and still have you all messed up....your right this one day plan for officers is insane and half of you asked to come dont even end up with cases and its ridiculous to have you all there. I understand that clerks are doing their job but still doesnt make it sound any better! its still crazy!!