My court case observation was interesting, to say the least. I walked into the DeKalb county courthouse, in Auburn, Indiana, not knowing where to go, what to say or do, or even how to dress. By the time I left, I had learned far more than I planned on, and not just through observing . . . I sat in on three trials: two civil cases and one criminal case. Afterwards, I had the unique opportunity to talk with the judge and county bailiff for about half of an hour.
The first case I observed was finishing up as I came in. Quietly seating myself in the back of the room, I noticed that there weren’t very many people occupying the space. Only five other people were in the room that I thought would be bigger than it was (as seen on television). The criminal case, from what I could catch of it, was a concerning action of today’s society: a neighbor hacked into the other’s Wi-Fi network and stole bank account information. Because the details weren’t talked about often, I wasn’t able to understand exactly what happened, but by the judge’s tone of voice, I could tell he was very disappointed in the defendant.
The courtroom, like I previously stated, was occupied with five people other than myself. Judge Kevin Wallace sat in a large podium at the front of the room, while the court reporter was stationed perpendicular in front of him. To Judge Wallace’s front left was whom I assume the plaintiff, with no attorney present. To the right, the defendant, again with no support. One observer joined me in the pews. I happened to notice twelve chairs on the edge of the room, which I later found out were for the jury duty, which was not present at this case. The case ended with the defendant and plaintiff silently walking out after the judge found a mistake in the wording of a document. He said the case could not continue until the confusion was cleared up, and with that, everyone left.
The second case I observed was a small claims case. I walked into...
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