Overheard in Portland, Traffic Court Edition: “Someone else is drivin’ my car.”

Multnomah County Courthouse, Traffic Court Window | Portland, Oregon

3/6/2014 1:30 p.m.

Can I just say: traffic court in Portland is hee-la-rious! And not just the part where you sit in the actual courtroom and giggle as a credulous judge picks apart the incredibly lame cover stories and alibies and apologies of the citizenry cowering and glowering before him.

Although that part is pretty wonderful, too. No, the even better part is when you get to wait in line for an hour to explain your “situation” to either the person behind the traffic ticket or parking ticket window, who decides whether or not you should state your case before the judge. And before you get to do that, you get to listen to everyone in line in front of you loudly airing their personal parking laundry. Fantastic. A cross-section of overheards.

Portland Parking Ticket - Erin J. Bernard

Portland Parking Ticket – Erin J. Bernard

Multnomah County Courthouse, Traffic Court Window | Portland, Oregon

3/6/2014 1:30 p.m.

Can I just say: traffic court in Portland is hee-la-rious! And not just the part where you sit in the actual courtroom and giggle as a credulous judge picks apart the incredibly lame cover stories and alibies and apologies of the citizenry cowering and glowering before him. Although that part is pretty wonderful, too. No, the even better part is when you get to wait in line for an hour to explain your “situation” to either the person behind the traffic ticket or parking ticket window, who decides whether or not you should state your case before the judge. And before you get to do that, you get to listen to everyone in line in front of you loudly airing their personal parking laundry. Fantastic. A cross-section of overheards:

Multnomah County Courthouse, Traffic Court Window | Portland, Oregon

3/6/2014 1:30 p.m.

Can I just say: traffic court in Portland is hee-la-rious! And not just the part where you sit in the actual courtroom and giggle as a credulous judge picks apart the incredibly lame cover stories and alibies and apologies of the citizenry cowering and glowering before him. Although that part is pretty wonderful, too. No, the even better part is when you get to wait in line for an hour to explain your “situation” to either the person behind the traffic ticket or parking ticket window, who decides whether or not you should state your case before the judge. And before you get to do that, you get to listen to everyone in line in front of you loudly airing their personal parking laundry. Fantastic. A cross-section of overheards:

“Someone else is drivin’ my car.”

“I paid the ticket with my boyfriend’s check and it bounced.”

“I didn’t get dressed up for court. I wasn’t planning on it. I’m wearing, like, a bar shirt.”

“I got two tickets and I wanted to see if there was, like, more of an explanation for why.”

“Do you remember me?” “I do!” “Thank you.”

“I don’t even have nowhere to park. Now I’m getting ticketed in my own driveway.”

“I’m glad we’re not in Philadelphia.”

“I’m trying to find my friend. He’s in court.” “What is your friend in court for?” “Uh … Theft?” “Window one.”

“It’s me! I’m back.”

“I don’t know how that happened.”

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