4 of 5: A (Court) Date With The Devil

Ah yes, Myrtle Beach in the summertime. The hot, humid weather. The warm, sandy beaches. The crowded and always-exciting boardwalk. The sun-kissed, salty water. The towering palm-trees swaying with the wind. There’s not another place like it. Just kidding, there are many like it…but you get the point. It’s a BIG-TIME vacation spot.

So you can imagine the sadness I felt when I boarded the plane to Myrtle Beach, not for a vacation, but for a flippin court date.

I was a nervous wreck. I had never been to court before, this was my first experience. (I’m a play it by the rules kind of guy) I had no idea what to expect, all I knew was that we had an attorney and he thought this was a piece of cake. You hire the professionals if you want to get the job done right and we had our guy.

Luckily, I had my aunt coming with me on this trip so I was not alone. She had been a god-send throughout this entire experience and I owe her the world. After arriving…in the 90 degree weather perfect for the beach 😦 … we got settled at our hotel and took it easy, anxiously waiting for our court date the next morning.

It was a somewhat long drive, just over an hour if I remember correctly. Just enough time to reflect upon the situation at hand and absolutely freak out in my head. I had to stay confident though, I had to convince myself I would be just fine. The attorney would take care of everything.

We arrived at the attorney’s office. It was in a small, quaint town. Lots of brick buildings which gives it that old-school vibe. I felt like I was in a movie and this was showtime. I adjusted my tie, took a deep breath, and off we went to our pre-court meeting.

LET ME JUST SAY…I SWEAR TO GOD THIS IS A TRUE STORY

My aunt and I walk into the building. We are directed by the assistant to sit and wait in the attorney’s office. Naturally, my heart is racing and I’m nervously looking around, my thoughts going 0 to 100. What is this man going to say? What’s the game plan? Do I need to do anything? On and on they go.

10 minutes go by…that’s fine. 15 minutes go by…alright. 30 minutes go by…ok something is not right. We flew all the way down here for one court appearance this morning, it’s not too much to ask for some punctuality.

…and then…someone knocks on the door. A man in a suit enters. At long last we get to meet our attorney. He has this nervous look about him…a scared look…almost like he just saw a ghost and didn’t know what to do about it.

He shakes our hand and asks us to to be seated. He pauses for a moment. You can tell he’s hiding something. He collects his thoughts and then looks up at us, that scared look in his eyes, and he says…

“I’m sorry to say this but your attorney, Attorney B****,  took his own life last night.” I turn to my aunt and both of our mouths are wide open, jaws dropped to the ground. Sympathy turns to anxiety which turns to panic in the matter of seconds. Of course we are shocked and deeply sorry for the loss, but we have no idea what to say…our court date is in an hour…what the heck is going on???

The man in front of us explains the situation with a little more detail and apologizes for this wild type of inconvenience…he knew the attorney very well, he is actually an attorney himself and he is going to represent us in court today. My mind is at ease for the time-being but really how can it be after hearing that absolute bombshell of an update.

Off we head to court. Our attorney is shook. My aunt is shook. I am shook and to top it all off I’ll need to appear in front of a judge, on the stand, while being questioned by the tenant. At this point, everything is almost comical. All of this doesn’t even seem real, I cannot believe how many things could possibly go wrong in such a short span of time. If anyone wants to make a movie, let me know lol

I’ll try to keep things short. This lady (the tenant) was the only one who appeared in court, she didn’t even bring any sort of legal representation. The judge had a good laugh at this. She had not paid rent for at least 6 months at this point. There is no documentation that she paid it. In tenant friendly states like Massachusetts this could still be a problem for me, however, South Carolina is a landlord-friendly state and this case was a home run.

She tried her best to rattle me and asked questions that were mostly irrelevant, ones that were clearly directed at getting me to slip up in some way. The judge could see where this was headed from the minute we all stepped in. I humbly admit that I did pretty darn well on the stand and held my own against this witch of a lady. I think my dad would’ve been proud of the way I handled myself. He always had all the confidence in the world. He was strong, maybe I inherited some of that too.

The judge heard from both sides and, thank the Lord, he ordered the eviction notice. She had 48 hours to vacate the premises. If she did not, then she would be considered trespassing and could be forcefully and legally removed.

I was as proud as I had ever been in that moment. It was another rare win following many tough losses. In just a short period of time, we would be driving over to my dad’s house to claim what was rightfully mine. I was so excited. I was so happy. Finally, on to better things…or so I thought…

…I wish this was the end of the mess….I really do…but sadly, there’s still more…sorry for the suspense, next post will be my last and final for this story…I’ll see you next time 😉

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