Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wow, I didn't think it was possible...

There is a function of government which is NOT bogged down in red tape, bureaucracy, or employee incompetence.

We're in the middle of a rather heartbreaking, annoying, and long-lived legal battle concerning the kids. I won't go into details here, just that it looks like the whole ordeal is going to take twice as long as planned and be 4 times as annoying.

Anyway, Sunday I was served with papers which were faxes of copies, and therefore not very good quality. Since I needed to drop by another courthouse in the same area (three blocks away actually) in order to file something with the clerk, I decided to go by the District courthouse and request a copy of the case for my own easily-read records.

$3.50 and 10 minutes later I was out the door again.

Evidently since 2005 all Federal District Court cases have been filed electronically. So thanks to the fact that I had a valid case number and was a human being, I could walk into the court clerk's office, get a few instructions in how to use the computerized docket system, and print the entire case file (separated into separate motions, summons, etc) for $.10 a page. No fuss, no i.d., no records rooms, no overworked clerks. Just a few really nice women at the clerks counter and a cashier to take my money when I was done using the printer.

Why can't all government functions run this efficiently?

So despite the fact that this is a sucky situation (and no we will not go into detail, even after it's all said and done) there was one nice, simple, and efficient procedure involved. Now if only I could learn legalese...


Just call me Mel, everyone else does.