Written by Markus October 2020
A friend of mine had to go to a small claims court in regards to disputed cost resulting in a failing internet connection that was supposed to support his credit card terminal he has in his shop. As I had some time left, I joined him.
While waiting in the courtroom until it was our turn, one of the cases before us unfolded into what I can only classify as a comedy show.
It started with the defendant entering the room. The guy was healthy, tall, and very well built, but he was sitting in an electric scoot mobile. It’s one of those electric four-wheel seat driving things intended for the physically disabled, with a shopping basket on the front. The device was relatively wide and could barely fit through the wooden wing door, resulting in him having to go back and forward a dozen times, trying to squeeze through the little door.
Every time he drove backward, his device went “beep beep beep”, as if it is a truck reversing. He kept going back and forth, even though he could simply drive through if he would not (intentionally) bang the sides. This while he was wearing a neck brace. He also had put one leg in a brace, clearly done by himself, by wrapping a stick with white towels to his leg. He was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, clearly showing his tattoos. This entry set the tone.
Even though earlier in the hallway I heard him talk in a normal way, he then started talking to the judge, twisting his voice as he is suffering from down syndrome.
The claimant, gentlemen, dressed in a suit, skinny and barely 1m60 tall, apparently the landlord of the defendant, gazed at the defendant, out of words, wondering what was happening.
The defendant started telling that he indeed was not able to pay rent and when he wanted to talk about it with the landlord, the landlord tried to forcibly violate him. Yes, you heard it, this tiny man tried to abuse this muscular guy when trying to talk about rent. And do to this, he broke his neck, leg and ended up in a wheelchair.
Right after he finished talking with his twisted voice, from the courtroom, a guy that looked very much like the defendant, and was related to him, started screaming that he is a friend of the landlord, was brought to the courtroom by him to make a false statement and wanted his 500 euro.
When the guy sitting in the courtroom started screaming, the defendant shortly burst into laughter and then tried to hide that laughter as best as he could.
Once the two were done, the room went silent and everybody started looking at each other wondering what just happened. Though this took seconds, it felt like minutes.
Then the whole room started laughing loudly, talking to each other and laughing some more. Even the judge could not hold his laughter.
Despite all this, the claimant kept his cool, stated that all of this is nonsense and he never saw the screaming guy in the courtroom. He stated rent is 3 months overdue and all he wanted to have is a ruling that rent indeed is due.
Once the judge cleared the tears of joy from his face, he stated that he would let slide the spectacle he just witnessed, that rent is indeed due and a payment plan needs to be set up.
He closed the case by stating this was the best comedy performance he ever saw in his courtroom. And I have to say, I agree.
To close this anecdote, the judge ruled in favor of my friend and he did not have to pay his internet fees.