Friday, March 28, 2008

Glitch Attack at The Courthouse

Guest Post from Chaplainlimeygene!

Wednesday morning I arrived at the Superior Courthouse for the Mario Lozano trial in Placerville. I arrived a little early and didn't see Pat, Kacie's brother, or any of Kacie's family yet. Pat, his Mom, Stepdad, and Dad are there each day. There are two court rooms upstairs with a hall area surrounding the staircase entrance with 6 or 7 chairs by the wall on each side. This morning there were already several people upstairs and most of the seats had been taken. I walked down to the main floor where there are a lot more chairs. I sat down on the east side of the staircase to watch the door for Pat or other family members. People kept coming in and I noticed a line forming outside bottle necked at the security checkpoint. Security is similar to the airports, you empty pockets and send bags and coats through X-ray and walk through the gateway. This is a small court house with only one X-ray and gateway. I could see up the stairs and there was only standing room already. There were several people on the floor I was on and people going down the stairs also. After a while I saw Pat come in and had to holler and wave over the crowd to get his attention. Pat went to check upstairs and didn't even get off the staircase. We managed to get 5 seats together on the main floor and watched the crowd continue to flow in. At one point Pat mentioned that the line stretched past the Public Works building, about a block long. I noticed people couldn't get on the upper floor and started to fill the staircase. I mentioned to Lee, Kacie's Dad, that if someone sneezed upstairs 3 or 4 people would probably be spilt down the stairs. I asked him who would give the Sheriffs a citation for over capacity, He thought a moment and responded The Fire Marshall. Oh yeah... that's right. Office personnel were scrambling and talking with the Sheriffs trying to find places for all these people. I overheard mention of a conference room downstairs and a response that it was already full. It was more crowded than Disneyland on a holiday weekend. Slowly, groups were leaving the building and eventually we were able to sit in the chairs upstairs in front of our courtroom. While we were still waiting to enter, I heard two sheriffs talking and one jokingly ask the other what he thought about the computer glitch that sent 400 prospective jurors to the courthouse on the same morning! This was in addition to the remainder of the first 100 summoned for Mario's trial and the families who came to court for atoption proceedures on the main floor. My hat's off to the El Dorado County Sheriffs Department for their quick handling and disbursement of the crowd. Man, if there was an accident it would have been a cut and dried lawsuit but the deputies handled things quickly and smoothly without incident. I wouldn't have thought that building could hold 500+ people but for a short time on Wednesday morning, we were sardines.

Whew, and big sigh. Gene.


Sprocket said...

So, tell us about the trial!

Anakerie said...

lol, All they've done so far is select the jury. The trial will begin on Tuesday morning at 8:30am.. This week, all they did was question prospective jurors..

Sprocket said...

I'm sorry. I just read back and see that the trial hasn't started yet.

Hope to see your trial notes here on Anakerie's blog!