Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Back in court...

After the adventures with Licenciado Luis, I found myself in court again this week, as a witness for my husband who was seeking a new protection order against The Neighbour, the old order having expired.

A different court....the family court...and a different judge, a young man newly in post.

We had been walking up the road from our house to meet the telecoms engineers who were rerouting the telephone lines after the storms when The Neighbour's car appeared, heading towards us with a woman in the passenger seat.
We moved to the side of the road to let him pass...always a good idea with The Neighbour whose driving is erratic at the best of times....only to find that he was aiming his car at us...swerving away at the very last moment, laughing.
His passenger was white in the face with shock.

The old protection order having lapsed, my husband sought new measures of protection and, accordingly, we arrived at court this morning , as did The Neighbour and his lawyer.

He might have done better without his lawyer, because left to himself he would just have denied the whole thing, but his lawyer presented photographs of the scene which clearly showed that there was ample room to manoeuvre on that section of the road while the lawyer claimed that The Neighbour was obliged to pass within an inch of our bodies in order to advance and also because the lawyer saw fit to bring up the judgement against The Neighbour in the matter of trying to hit me with a riding crop through the window of the car as being totally unfounded...when it might have been better to remain silent on his client's violent ways.

The judge delivered his decision.
Protection Order granted for one year.
The Neighbour should be ashamed of himself, attacking someone old and ill and, furthermore, The Neighbour should be warned that this was not someone who could be cowed.
The British, said the judge, had a respect for the law....and any and every time The Neighbour overstepped the mark, the British would come to court for a remedy which the judge would be only too pleased to grant, the Scots phrase, The Neighbour should ca' canny.

Silent throughout proceedings, The Neighbour rose in his wrath.

He had witnesses.

Where were they?

He didn't know he was coming to court.

Yes he did. He had had the proper notice.

I never! And, anyway, the foreigner buys my witnesses! He buys them up!

Who were they?

My daughter who was in the car with her baby! As if I'd drive like a madman with my grandchild in the car!

You had proper notice...and are you suggesting that your daughter could be bought by the complainant?

No I did not know....(turning on his lawyer) You must have known and did not tell me!

An empassioned dialogue between lawyer and client ensued while we rose to leave.

The Neighbour and lawyer rose to leave as well, but the judge put up his hand.

No, stay here.

Why? What for? I've work to do, I have to earn money to pay this useless lawyer...

That's your problem, senor.....but there are another six cases of protection orders  to be heard against you today and ten more you would do well to sit down and wait for the next complainant.

In the waiting area, chairs under the porch of the court building, we met up with Dona Mery, very fine in a new flowered pinny.
The next complainant.

Don't you have a lawyer, Dona Mery?

No need....The Neighbour hasn't paid his guy, which is why he didn't tell him he was coming to court......


  1. That young judge sounds an eminently sensible young man. Good for him.

    Was the water case heard the same day? Your neighbour is certainly keeping you, your other neighbours and the legal establishment pretty busy at the moment!

  2. Sarah, there are a whole raft of renewal of protection orders coming up against The Neighbour so this new young judge is getting a pretty good picture of his general behaviour!

    I still can't make up my mind whether his lawyer stuffed him on purpose, or whether he thought it best not to give him much warning of coming to court in case he started threatening people seeking renewals.

    Oh, and it wasn't his daughter in the was a lady of a certain age he was trying to impress by giving her a tour of 'his' property....

  3. I'm amazed. The lack of payment seems to have engendered a weird kind of justice. I thought the wheels had to be greased?

  4. Steve, while I was in court I just wondered how his lawyer could be so incompetent....and I'm still wondering whether he just didn't pass on the summons until very late in the day or whether he set out to deliberately stuff his client.
    But what a relief to have a normal judge after Licenciado Luis!

  5. Crikey, life's never dull is it?

    I bet you could do with about six months of hum drum.


  6. SP, it's odd isn't it. Nothing happens for months...just the shopping, the gardening, the daily round and all goes into fast frame!
    Soon back to the humdrum, though!

  7. So you've been getting results too. How many protection notices does someone need against them before they are considered a danger to their neighbours and removed?

  8. All this must be a constant strain on you. Hope it resolves itself soon.

  9. Pueblo girl, the process is supposed to deter the nuisance from annoying people....if he carries on he gets three months in jug.

    Dumdad, no worse than a planning appeal in the U.K. and a damn sight better than anything in a French court!
    But, yes, it will be a relief when it is resolved.

  10. It is cruel of me - I know - but I lived reading this post. Courts are clearly the same the world over... certainly chimes with my own professional experience and I'm in Scotland!
    So well written.

  11. la mujer libre, have a look at he last post and see what you think of this judge's colleague!
    Glad you enjoyed it.

  12. Think this is one where 'Huurah for the Judge' is in order. Just hope he doesn't succumb to protection order fatigue!

  13. Niall and Antoinette, he has been spared!
    Apparently The Neighbour refused to stay to listen to any more 'lies' so all the orders went through on the nod!

  14. Great to know that all judges aren't tarred with the same brush, Fly. Here's hoping that The Neighbour will comply with the orders - or would it be too nasty to hope he doesn't and gets banged up as a salutary warning?

  15. Perpetua,there are sum rum judges about in Costa Rica...but there are also organisms for controlling them.
    I don't know which to hope for....but he's disappeared again and a policeman on a motorbike has been haunting his house all day....

  16. Let's hope wherever he's gone that he stays there...At least he isn't bothering you or others. Good for that judge.

  17. e, the problem is that under normal circumstances he is just a pest, but becoming front man for the banker and now the chop suey merchant has gone to his head.
    I have a feeling that our problem is not the only little job he is doing and I just wonder if he is getting involved in things way beyond his control.

  18. Oh wow! Result!!!
    What an a***hole the Neighbour is..and what a brilliant judge.

  19. How odd - I was able to put this in the sidebar - no problem. I just don't have time to read it now - to be continued...


  20. Only been in court once and that was when I've done something wrong (parking tickets, stupid really because my employer usually paid them). It was struck off because they, like me, weren’t sure that I actually got the ticket, but it was still a pretty intimidating experience. But that Neighbour seems like a true regular; I feel sorry for you because he obviously has no regard for neither law nor courts, but people like that will eventually get what they deserve.

  21. The Banker, in way does he get his Costa Rica...eventually he does.