The other day as I was getting my law librarian groove on, a guy comes up to me and announces that never in a million years did he ever think he would ever be found in a law library. General, public libraries? Oh, yeah – all the time, day and night…but a law library?! Never. Turns out once upon a time guy was driving down the road and the road turned into a toll road (no, this wasn’t a dream sequence). Not having any pocket change, guy proceeds to speed past the toll gates. A few weeks later guy gets a notice from the friendly folks who send out tickets telling him that he was in violation of California Vehicle Code and if he didn’t pay up, they’d do nasty things to his driving record.
Six (6) years down the road, guy didn’t do anything and now he’s sweating bullets thinking about all the nasty things that the people who wrote his ticket in the first place has done to his driving record. So, guy goes to the public library and they tell him to go to the public LAW library. That’s right – the PUBLIC law library (which means it’s open to everyone). Guy walks in all doe-eyed, and tells me his tale of woe and in less time than it took to tell you this story in blog form, I lead guy over to the California Codes, look under Toll Roads (evasion violations) and I direct his attention to California Vehicle Code Section 40269 which tells guy that the prosecuting agency must get its money within 5 years or else all bets are off. Since it’s been 6 years since the initial violation, seems guy is off the hook – this time. I say “seems” because in law, there are no cut and dried victories until the judge says so. So I suggest he talks to an attorney about his options and he skips (literally, he skipped) out the front door happier than a meadow lark on a spring day.
The moral to this story is while you may never think you’ll need to use a law library, know that we’ll be here when you do (and believe me, everyone does, eventually).