A Day in Waterpark Trial Court

Image result for cape cod water park

A year after the pandemic upended the state’s court system creating a backlog of cases, jury trials will soon resume in some unconventional settings, including a Cape Cod resort that features a water park.

The Boston Globe

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BAILIFF: Oyez, oyez, oyez–all rise, the Cape Cod District Water Park Court is now in session, Judge Peter McShane presiding.

JUDGE: What’s on the docket today?

BAILIFF: We got the case of Melinda Baker vs. Tommy Johnson, aggravated splashing in the first degree.

JUDGE: Are the attorneys for the parties present and prepared?

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Yes, your honor.


JUDGE: (. . .) I’m waiting.


BAILIFF: For you to say “your honor,” you mook!

Image result for splash fight at pool

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: This is like “Mother, may I?” Do I have to?

BAILIFF: If you know what’s good for you.

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: All right–“Your honor.”

JUDGE: That’s better. Call your first witness, counselor.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Your honor, I call Courtney Baker, the plaintiff’s sister.

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Objection, your honor.

JUDGE: On what grounds?

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: The proposed witness is related to the plaintiff so that’s a conflict of interest. Plus I have photographic evidence that she was in pari delicto.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: I object to the objection. He can’t use Latin because we won’t have that subject until 8th grade.

JUDGE: You’re both overruled. Take the stand.

BAILIFF: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?


DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Bailiff, check behind her back!

BAILIFF: For what?

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: If she has her fingers crossed, it’s King’s X-No Noogies. She could be perjuring herself and you couldn’t do nothing about it!

BAILIFF: (. . .) Nope, nothing but a pack of Jolly Ranchers in her pocket.

JUDGE: The hard candy, or the soft gummies?

BAILIFF: Classic hard candy, your honor.

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JUDGE: Proceed counselor.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: On the afternoon of Thursday, April 15th, did you witness Tommy Johnson splash Melinda Baker in an aggressive manner at the Cape Cod Water Park?

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Objection, your honor.

JUDGE: What grounds?

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Leading the witness.

JUDGE: Sustained. Watch it, counselor.


JUDGE: Your zipper–your fly’s open.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: (looks down) No it’s not.

JUDGE: Made ya look! Proceed.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Where were you on the afternoon of Thursday, April 15th?

COURTNEY: Me and my sister . . .

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JUDGE: What grounds?

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: She shoulda said “My sister and I . . .”

JUDGE: I’m going to let it in.

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: It’s bad grammar!

JUDGE: Counselor, if you’d read page 456 of the 1937 edition of H.L. Mencken’s “The American Language” you’d know it’s permitted. Answer the question.

COURTNEY: Me and my sister were at the Cape Cod Water Park.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Having a good time?

COURTNEY: You bet! They have the abandoned pirate ship, and the tube slides, and super soakers, and . . .

JUDGE: Just answer the question, you’re not writing a “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essay.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: And did anything happen to spoil your fun?


PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Please tell the court about it . . . in your own words.

COURTNEY: Two boys approached us on inflatable sharks and began to splash us–hard!

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: And is either boy in the courtroom today?


PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Can you identify him?

COURTNEY: That stupid doody-head over there.

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Your honor, I must object to this vicious vituperation!

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: She’s just using colorful language, as she was instructed by Mrs. Ilmburger, her fourth-grade teacher.

JUDGE: Kindly instruct your client to refrain from insults that may prejudice the jury.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Fine. You are referring to the defendant?

COURTNEY: Yes. And he is as stupid doody-head, he put chewing gum on my seat in the cafeteria.

Image result for little boy in witness stand


DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Courtney, have you left anything out of the story you just told the court?

COURTNEY: Like what?

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Like the fact that both you and your sister had whacked the defendant before the so-called “splash attack” took place.

PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL: Objection on the grounds of relevance!

JUDGE: Seems relevant to me. Girls are often provocateurs, luring young boys into a life of crime with coquettish looks, teasing, snickering behind their hands. Answer the question.

COURTNEY: Well, maybe I gave him just a little tap with my pink foam noodle.

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: And why did you do that?

COURTNEY: I wanted him to be my boy friend–duh.

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Your honor, I move for a directed verdict of innocent.

JUDGE: Innocent–that kid? He’s got trouble written all over him.

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: (. . .) Where–I don’t see any writing on . . .

JUDGE: Figuratively, you nimmy-not!

DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL: Oh. Still, he’s entitled to the presumption of innocence.

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JUDGE: That’s a mighty big presumption for such a little boy.

DEFENDANT: I’m not a little boy–I’m eleven and a half!

JUDGE: I’m going to call a short recess. Why don’t the parties try to work out an out-of-court settlement out-of-court while I go to the bathroom.

PLAINTIFF: Can you give us some parameters, some sentencing guidelines?

JUDGE: The usual sentence is to write between 100 and 200 lines on the blackboard saying “I will not splash a girl unless she started it or is really cute and I’m trying to get her to like

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