Thursday, November 20, 2008

Constable In Training

I was sworn in as a constable on November 14, 2008. I have quickly found out that there is no "Constable's Manual". Sen. Dan Seum has filed a bill in the Kentucky State Senate

"to require the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council, in cooperation with the Department of Criminal Justice Training and the Kentucky Constable Association, to develop a qualification program for constables and deputy constables and to require the basic forty (40) hour training course to be provided to constables and deputy constables at no cost." However with the current budget crisis I don't have much hope of this bill passing any time soon.

I thought that I would get to serve my first civil summons today. However, since I was also one of the complainants, I was advised that I should not serve it. So I paid $38.48 to have the Circuit Court's office serve it on four people via registered mail. The alternate would have been to have the sheriff serve it for $160.

While at the Circuit Court office I got a quick lesson in issuing citations for say, traffic violations or parking violations. Who knew that for many traffic violations, the fine is only $20 but the court costs are an additional $143? For improper parking there is no court costs. For handicapped parking violations there are also no court costs, but the fine is $250!

There is a uniform citation system in Kentucky but you have to get the forms from someplace in Frankfort and must file a copy of any citation written with the clerk's office.

And so it goes...


Junosmom said...

What an excellent post! Welcome to the blogosphere. I have no doubt, based on our weekly conversations, that you'll have plenty to write about. I think you could also become a restaurant reviewer. Oh, and what about geo-caching? You could let everyone in on that, and the find of the week.

About the serving of summons - you have to pay your own expenses??? Hopefully, this "job" isn't going to cost you money. And as to court costs, someone of us might know (twice) who go a little too fast in town (not that it was me or anything).

pita-woman said...

Yea! Welcome Constable Chuck!

Packsaddle said...

I hope you have already armed yourself by now.

As a sworn Constable, you may be serving warrants, transporting prisoners, etc.

You may even witness a crime in progress, which would require you to quickly intervene and terminate the threat.

This world is a dangerous place, full of dangerous criminals.

Take responsibility for your own safety and carry a handgun....or, better yet, two.

If you need weaponry, I can help.

Good luck in your new career, and be safe.

Robin said...

LOL! Welcome Chuck! Junosmom sent me here, any friend of Juno is a friend of mine! I see Pack already has you packing! As for me? I suit you up with kevlar!

I used to skip trace and be "repo-suave" until they started shooting at me. I have a gun and am excellent on the range...not so good at aiming towards people I went with the kevlar!

Although, the court cost collector people might be easy to put in the crosshairs! Crazy rules in law enforcement! Do you think the criminals have a code of conduct manual? Other than: "use sub machine guns and fire at will?" Hmmm.

Welcome! I'm sure this will be an entertaining blog...just might have to link you there chucky! (don't worry! That's not a come on!)

Sepiru Chris said...

Hello Constable Chuck,

Sepiru Chris checking into your blog a second time. (I simply did not leave a comment last time, bad guest).

I thought I would answer the question over here that you left on Junomom's blog regarding what the heck Sepiru is.

Sepiru is an old Akkadian word for Scribe. My blog is called e-cuneiform scratchings, and cuneiform was a script that the Babylonians, Hittites, Akkadians and others wrote.

I do note that on my absolute first blog entry I define Sepiru. I even show how it would be written in Akkadian. Which would only be a reasonable thing to do, as knowledge of ancient languages is not necessarily common knowledge...

Why would I call myself Sepiru Chris? Well, I try to protect my identity on the web until the first book is actually bought and published and I have decided to use my real name and not a pseudonym.

And, I thought it would be amusing seeing as how my blog is called e-cuneiform scratchings.

In my blog I ardently protest that my cat takes the pictures and that I simply act as an amanuensis for an unknown writer, hence I am the scribe. Mind you, seeing as how my wife only looks at blog entries under duress and protest, I must be claiming to channel my cat.

So there you have it.

Question resolved.

Now I will be completely rude and make two recommendations to you on your new profession. Egad! Presumptuous? Maybe, but meant in a spirit of friendly helpfulness.

First, service; and not in the store. If you have to serve people who do not want to be served, likely registered mail alone won't cut it. Judges have a tendency to want to see that you have been more than reasonable before they give someone else the boot. At least where I used to practice law.

Definitely talk to the good men and women who are clerks of the court. Lawyers talk down to clerks at their peril (not that anybody should ever talk down to anybody else, but some people do).

Clerks usually know their stuff, and will likely be able to help you out in terms of telling you what the most cost-effective ways to serve people will be (cost-effective frequently being different from cheapest).

Clerks may also be able to tell you things to avoid.

Second point.

If you are going to be serving people regularly, go to your nearest law library, there is usually one attached to each courthouse, and ask the librarian to show you the annotated pages for civil court rules and, possibly, criminal court rules.

Specifically ask which rule(s) spells out how litigants get off of being properly served. Know how people "get off" being served properly (in the court's eye), and you will have a better idea how to serve them so that they "stay on".

I do not intend to be presumptuous. I simply write this because you note how your State, while disallowing you from duelling, does not grant you a paid instruction programme. And there is nothing worse than being embarrassed in court.

OK, that is a bit of a long answer.

Take care and welcome to the blogosphere.

Tchuess (German for a friendly goodbye) (ue is the usual transliteration for ΓΌ which does not show up on all screens (u with two dots on top of it))

Oh, and to be sure, Liebe has a few meanings in German, when used as the salutation at the start of a letter or note, it is analogous to "Dear"

Tchuess again,

chuckmccky said...

Thanks or your comments Chris. Thankfully I do not plan on doing much serving of court papers. I actually "stumbled" on the Rules of Civil Procedure when doing a
Goggle search while researching whether or not I should serve the subpoenas. I found a footnote that said that service by a sheriff who was a party to the action was invalid. Iin KY a constable has the same powers as the sheriff. That is why I decided not to serve them.

I have already found out about being friendly with the deputy clerks. The one helping me in this case disagreed with my conclusion that I could not serve the subpoenas. She pointed out that in Family Court for example, spouses serve each other

Another deputy clerk gave me a short lesson on the KY Uniform Citation System. I asked about this because I may start doing parking enforcement. But that is another blog story.