Back in court

The court case for the Noise Abatement Order is finally having its days in court.  We were listed for a three day hearing in front of a (the?) District Judge back in May.  Courts are busy places, and the days allotted to us have finally ticked round.  Yesterday was the first day, and the case made very slow progress.  I arrived an hour after the listed time, and the lawyers weren’t yet in court – they’d been sent away by the judge to see if they could reach a compromise.  After a fair bit of toing and froing and repeatedly viewing the Council’s video evidence, it became clear that a compromise could not be reached, so we eventually wound up trooping into court at around 1130.

At which point, there was just about time for the bus company’s barristers to start his opening statement before we had to break for lunch.

I watch a lot of court room drama on TV.  I have a soft spot in my heart for Law and Order, and can watch it for hours on end.

The bus company’s barrister is no Jack McCoy. The opening statement was slow and technical, and described in painful detail his take on the laws the Council think the bus company have breached.  I struggled to stay awake.  I think someone has sneakily been decaffeinating my coffee again.

At 2.15, we came back to the court and the appellant barrister continued.  Then we saw half an hours worth of video evidence.  This consisted of lots of shots of buses reversing noisily into garages in the middle of the night.

Eventually the videos finished and there was more talking.  Finally the barrister prepared to call his first witness, the bus company MD… but then offered the judge the chance to wrap up early!  “This witness will take some time, which will take us beyond four – maybe we could reconvene tomorrow?”

So in a day in court, we spent much of the time sitting in the reception waiting for lawyers to talk privately.  Although the Council’s lawyer did have the occasional chance to respond to some points, she barely got a chance to speak.

The case continues (as they say in newspapers.)

The case continued all today, with the judge adamant the case would begin bang on the dot of 10am.  However, unfortunately, today I have not been able to be in Nottingham, so I am left not knowing how it went.  Local residents were due to testify today, but given how slowly yesterday went, I may yet get to see them tomorrow.

All very different to how court cases seem on TV!


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