Client Chronicles: Ms. Betty

Earlier this week, I was down at the infamous 201 Poplar.  If you’ve ever seen that First 48 show, you know about Memphis and 201 Poplar.  It’s criminal court & jail all in one.  And, there I was. Doing nothing in particular, waiting on the judge to give me some cases and looking fly (which helps at 201 Poplar). I walked outside the courtroom because a lady had previously asked me to check on her son for her, who was inside.  I did, and Ms. Betty apparently overheard me telling her the results.  Thus began our journey.

Mrs. Betty pulled me to the side and asked me to check on her son.  I said okay, but I could tell she was a little more frantic than most, so I asked her what was wrong.  She said that her son stays in a facility and he’s mentally unstable.  On Saturday, he didn’t report back to the home.  They told her this on Monday, and she filed a missing persons report.  The police told her that “a” guy with the name of her son was arrested over the weekend and would be in court on Tuesday.  So, she came down there to see if it was the same guy, but they wouldn’t let her in the courtroom. Womp Womp…

So, I asked her to show me a picture, and I’d see if I could identify the guy as her son.  Cool.  But when I asked the Bailiff, he told me that they weren’t bringing the guy up from the jail until 2:00.  It was 11:30.  Crap.  I go report this to Ms. Betty, tell her I might be here at two, and if I am, I’ll help her.  And then she started crying.


She’s crying. You know me, so you know that at that moment I decided I’d be back at 2, and you also know that I’m now wrapped around Ms. Betty’s finger. I can’t have Ms. Betty crying ’bout her baby.  I tell her to go on home, leave me her number and I’d call her. Fast forward. At 2:10 I get back.  She’s still standing outside the courtroom, and when she sees me, she chastises me for being late.  For reals, Ms. Betty? I know you like that?  And I thought I told you to go home (she’s old, I knew she was going to sit right there till 2:00). But of course, I get on my volunteer job of finding the missing son. I go ask the Bailiff to bring me the guy that she thinks is her son.  At this point, in order to talk to him, I have to say I’m his lawyer. Which easily translates into free work. Then the Bailiff says that the judge did all the inmates at 1:00 and he’s gone. He’s got to come back on Sept. 7. C.R.A.P. I missed him. Now, I gotta go tell Ms. Betty this. *face palm*

As expected, she spazzes out.  She can’t wait until September 7! Then I come up with another idea.  Give me his bday and SSN, I’ll match them up and we’ll know it’s him. She thinks I’m brilliant.  Of course. My brilliant plan was derailed when I had to wait an hour to talk to the prosecutor to find his file, then the prosecutor tells me his file was sent back to the land of “somewhere”. No help.

And then….like an angel, this girl I went to law school with appears.  And she happens to be a public defender.  Look at God!  I ask her if she can look him up in their system so I can see his arrest information.  And just like that, I confirm that Ms. Betty’s baby was locked up.  Yes! Good news and bad news, but you know….

This does wonders for Ms. Betty, but wouldn’t you know she still has questions. And since I’m the one she’s been riding with all day, I’m officially the question answerer/problem solver.  I tell her this time to go home for real, and I’d get as much info as I could, and I would call her.  Go home, and don’t come back until I call you! I was stern.  She rolled her eyes at me, I rolled my eyes back to show her I wasn’t playing. Defeated, she left. (She totally went back the next day, before I called her.  Go figure).

Well, I didn’t get any new information, so I called her yesterday to tell her that and to tell her what to say when she shows up on the 7th. I already told the people she was coming. Let me just point out here that this is great customer service.  She already knew what to say on the 7th, though, because she’d somehow strong armed her way in front of the judge. But she really needs me to come down there to help her. Mannnn, Ms. Betty! She has lots of stuff she needs to talk to me about.  Yeah…I know. Ms. Betty, you know I can’t work for free.  Can you pay me?  “Yeah, a lil bit.” Which is probably about $20.

But anyway, I gotta go.  I gotta meet Ms. Betty in a few.

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14 Responses to Client Chronicles: Ms. Betty

  1. ARGal says:

    “She rolled her eyes at me, I rolled my eyes back to show her I wasn’t playing. Defeated, she left.”

    This was like a dance fight without the dancing. I hope Ms. Betty has a reoccurring role in the Client Chronicles……and that she pays you.

  2. onefromphilly says:

    Lawd…don’t be late cause Ms. Betty will come looking for you!

  3. creoleindc says:

    And you BET.NOT BE LATE!

    I’m proud of you. This is how the great ones roll.

  4. Cyn says:

    Be on time or Ms. Betty will get you.
    Awesome story and so nice of you to help.

  5. Serenity23 says:

    This makes me smile. I hope she can pay you, but I wouldn’t put any money on it that she will. But helping her out, you’ll be blessed anyway.

  6. AWESOME! I’d love to have someone like you on my side in my time of need!

  7. Gladys says:

    You’re such a good egg, P! Today’s the 7th. I hope all goes well with Ms. Betty and you!

  8. Kurlylicious says:

    I’m so weak! Ms. Betty chastised you for being late! LOL Girl, these stories, I don’t think I’m going to make it with you! Looking forward to the next installment of Client Chronicles!

  9. Ha! I can totally visualize you and Ms. Betty battling wills in the courthouse hallway.

  10. stlunatic06 says:

    it may seem like tiring, thankless work, but having to fight the court systems with my mentally unstable brother over the past five years, THANK YOU. There’s so much unknown and toying done with our family members by the court system, and it warms my heart to see at least one person w similar struggle having you as help. Really, it’s a great comfort to know that Ms Betty is getting answers. I have no idea where my brother is (still in the prison or in the state hospital). Thank you thank you, thank you!

  11. dmac says:

    201 Poplar is a scary, scary place. I’m glad you helped Ms. Betty, even if I did laugh out loud. For real.

  12. discodiva73 says:

    Well…why were you late? :)

    You are a great person for helping her.

  13. kayscoth says:

    Damn. You are a good woman, P. Not many people would have cared enough to try and help her. I’m glad that you are the lawyer, and not me.

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