Boxed in By the Bench
Judge tires of taking backseat to scofflaws, goes perpendicular to put the brakes on prohibited parking
Posted Jan 4, 2007 7:26 PM CST
By Brian Sullivan
Most people wouldn’t dream of parking in a space designated for the disabled. But those “reserved” spots are different. Who among us hasn’t toyed with the idea of using one of those, especially if it’s just for a few minutes?
Nichole Delameter gave in to the temptation at a courthouse in September, and she ended up staying a whole lot longer than she intended.
It turns out that Delameter, 26, of New Port Richey, Fla., horned in on the parking spot of a judge who did not take kindly to being driven out of it.
“There’s two perks to the job,” Circuit Judge Stanley Mills reportedly told another driver who took his space. “I have my own bathroom, and I have my own parking spot, and you’re not going to get to use either.”
Upon seeing Delameter’s 1990 Oldsmobile in the reserved spot, Mills decided that if she wanted to park there so badly, she could stay there until he was finished with his morning docket. Mills parked perpendicular to Delameter’s vehicle, leaving her no way out.
So Delameter cooled her heels in court for more than three hours before she was allowed to catch a ride out with a friend. Delameter, who could not be reached for comment, returned later to find a $10 ticket on her car.
“I didn’t want to start any silly contempt of court proceedings.” Mills says of the incident. “I simply wanted to get her attention.”
FRETTING OVER FOOD CHAIN
Ravenous raptor shows plenty of pluck, though his
conspicuous consumption concerns courthouse crowd
As the laws of Palm Beach County, Fla., are being enforced inside the judicial center in West Palm Beach, the laws of nature are being enforced outside on an 11th-floor ledge.
There you’ll occasionally find Marvin the falcon, thought to be a peregrine, dining on his latest catch of a nice, plump pigeon, or perhaps just snacking on squab.
Marvin—named for the late Judge Marvin Mounts—is considered an asset because of his avaricious appetite for avian fare. He is credited with doing his part to control the area’s pigeon population. But a local pest control company is doing its part as well, which has prompted concerns about Marvin’s well-being.
The company regularly puts out corn that is treated with a hallucinogen. It causes some of the flock to exhibit signs of distress, signaling the rest to move to a safer area. Research indicates that some of the affected birds die.
Some of Marvin’s fans—including Judge Edward Garrison and court operations manager Rick Hussey—are concerned that he might get hold of one or more of the infected birds and fall prey as well.
Garrison says Marvin is a pleasant diversion and “getting more famous by the day.” Hussey says Marvin has somehow been “smart enough to stay away from” affected birds.
Courthouse officials reportedly do not plan to discontinue the use of treated corn for pigeon control.