Nobody can doubt the importance of security at the courthouse. I’m not just talking about the criminal courts (where you would expect security to be tight), but the civil and family law courts, where at least half of the people are having a seriously bad day. However, to protect the safety of the public you’d expect the nice officers to be looking for weapons, or things that could be used as weapons: knives, guns, bats, ice picks, iron pipes, mannequin arms, dead cats, etc. In reality, it’s not quite that simple.
What’s the number one thing the security officers look out for? Wallets. I know this is their highest priority because I recently had the following conversation with one of the officers protecting the center of justice and equity in downtown Nashville:
After closely watching me empty my pockets into the tub Officer: Do you have a wallet? Put it in the tub!
Me: You just watched me put it in the tub.
Officer: That doesn’t look like a wallet sir. I’m going to need you to open it.
Granted, my wallet is a little odd, but there’s nothing particularly special about it. Me: OK, hold my hunting knife and I’ll show you…
Officer: Hey, there’s cash in there! You have to take that out so we can run your wallet through the scanner.
Me: The scanner can’t see through cash? That’s kind of a stupid design, isn’t it?
Officer: No, I don’t want you accusing me of taking your cash.
Me: Wait, you already have my briefcase, which has a netbook, an Ipad, a calculator, and three client files which all contain sensitive confidential information. I’m supposed to trust you with that, but you’re admitting you can’t be trusted with my fourteen dollars?
Officer: No more questions! Do you have everything out of your pockets?
Me: Now I have fourteen dollars in my pocket.
Officer: You can’t have anything in your pockets! Do you think this is some kind of a joke?
Me: No sir, I’m positive this is some kind of joke.
After my wife posted my bail, we reviewed our experiences with the security. Be assured that the scrutiny isn’t limited to just wallets. Security also confiscated a little plastic bottle opener I had on my keyring, and in some counties I’m still not allowed to take my motorcycle helmet past security. (Apparently there has been a rash of motorcycle helmet-bearing thugs running around smashing people’s fingers in the visors.)
The loss of the little bottle opener wasn’t really that big of a deal, although I suppose it did prevent me from popping the top off of anybody. I’m sure the hospitals have been flooded with mysterious bottle opener-related injuries, and this kind of thing really should be stopped.
Oddly enough, many other objects that could be used as weapons will pass through security without any trouble, but rest assured that particular attention has been paid to whether or not people are hiding dangerous money in their wallets. God bless the security force for protecting us against those evil money-loaded wallets!
If you are having problems with wallet-related injuries, I’m afraid I probably can’t help you more than refer you to your local medical (and possibly mental health) provider. If, however, you need help with any of your family law matters, I’d be happy to help you. Contact me, and not only will I guide you through your case, I’ll help you get through the courthouse security with minimal delay.
**** Note: For those of you who have no sense of humor (and sadly, you have no idea who you are), this is parody. Although it’s based on actual events, those events may or may not have occurred as depicted above. Plus, I took the cash out of my wallet before posting this.