Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Speaking the truth to ears that will not hear…

It has been a long time since I have written an essay to any court but I had the chance to do so today. The opportunity came as a result of my bike being stolen back in May. About nine days ago I was invited to come to the courts to hear the arraignment of one bicycle theif who, at least according to his story and the courts, was the fellow who grabbed my red Schwinn back in April. At that arraignment however, there was a moment when the judge asked why I had not requested any money as a reimbursement for damages done to the bike from the thief. I answered that I had in fact specifically asked for damages and had already supplied the police with the actual documents themselves (though obviously, and with no small amount of foolishness on my own part, I failed to make copies). These documents though, in a caper that so closely resembles my Polish deal that it would send shivers up my spine if such a thing were still possible, have strangly enough disappeared. Never even made it to the courts! So after bantering with the judge for some length of time, I ended up back at the police station to have a chat with the officer who took those files and supposedly, sent them over to the courts.

Ironically enough, said officer seemed to have the idea firmly in his head that I should not ask for damages from this bike thief. Actually, I really should get into that whole thing because that is the really serious and interesting story line here. But to cut to the chase, I ended up writing a new statement to the courts telling the judge that I did in fact have great interest in making a claim and exactly how I think that the money should broken down. That lack of receipts though looks like it is going to be a real begger but I guess we just have to live where we live, now don't we?

I have a few more days to run my stupid and unnecessary little errand of replacing the receipts. Not that the court genuinely seems to give a crap about them (apparently the judge seems not to have the ability to understand that the bike had actually been stolen in the first place – but again, this is another story for another day), but in any case, through all of this pleasantness I managed to squeeze out a statement for damages and this is what I am going to show you today.

So for a blog entry, I thought I would post my statement to the court about damages incurred as a result of the theft of my bike. I will see what to do about grinding out the whole of the story at another time. That is, as always, if they don't kill me first.


Court of Pinsk
Pushkin 14
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Deal: Назарек and others

This is a statement to the court is regarding material and moral damages incurred because of the theft of my Schwinn bicycle.

I am making this declaration because an original statement regarding physical economic damages incurred from the theft of my Schwinn bicycle was not sent to the courts. Along with that statement was also lost the receipts for the purchases. I have been to the police station to ask about the location of these receipts, but the police have informed me that they were all simply lost.

This declaration lists together the economic damages and moral damages incurred from the theft of my Schwinn bicycle.

Part I: Physical (economic) damages:

1. When the Schwinn bicycle was stolen it became necessary to purchase another bicycle ("Eurobike") to replace it. If the bicycle had not been taken, this second bicycle would not have been needed, and therefore should be counted as an expense:

a. Cost: $140

2. After I recovered the Schwinn bicycle at the train station, there were several parts of the bicycle that were broken and needed to be replaced.

a. 2 tires $16
b. 2 inner tubes $5
c. 1 back wheel (complete) $25
d. 1 new chain $5
e. New fenders (front and back) $10
f. 1 replacement "bottom bracket" cassette $35
g. 1 tool to insert and remove the cassette $10

3. Also missing from the bicycle but not yet replaced:

a. 1 set of peddle clips $10
b. 1 baggage-rack (подставка) $40
c. 1 replacement front (children's) saddle $10

Costs of parts: $106
Cost of new bicycle: $140
Cost of parts lost but not replaced: $60

Total cost of physical damages: $306

Part II: Moral Damages:

It is difficult to define what effect losing my Schwinn bicycle had on my life. To say that this was "just a bicycle" would be like saying that your father or mother was simply another person in the world.

To speak of its value in terms of money, we could say that the frame was the finest made by the Schwinn bicycle company for their 100th anniversary and that the back triangle was rebuilt by a master frame builder in New York specifically to allow for velodrome racing; this combination making the bicycle a high quality, one-of-a-kind bicycle.

However, to speak of what happened to my life after this bicycle was stolen is another matter.

Immediately, because I had no ability to go riding in the mornings, my health began to decline. The resulting loss of strength in my legs, both of which have had medical surgeries because of broken ligaments, allowed them to become susceptible to damage -and in fact I did damage my left knee recovering the bicycle at the train station.

Losing the ability to ride also resulted in a diminished lung capacity, cleanliness to my blood system and a weakening of my heart. The results of this has led to a deterioration of my capacities to do my daily tasks and of course, on my decision making skills.

The theft of the bicycle also had an effect on my relationship with my neighbors changed irrevocably the threshold of trust I held for the community I live in.

In addition to this, because I have had no economic ability to replace the Schwinn bicycle with another of equal quality, I was forced to use an inferior bicycle whose construction was such that it disallowed for any serious riding. Therefore, even though we needed to spend money to replace the transportation value of the Schwinn bicycle, that purchase could not replace the Schwinn's value to my health or peace of mind.

And lastly, directly because of the theft of my Schwinn bicycle I was forced to spend many hours with the police, both in making reports and following up on leads regarding who the real thief was. I have also spent many hours fixing the new inferior quality bicycle, and also, after I recovered it at the station, fixing the Schwinn bicycle. I also spent many hours collecting receipts and writing documents such as this one.

Losing my Schwinn bicycle therefore caused me deep pain and unhappiness and brought depression and great discomfort to my life.

Because of this, I ask the court for moral damages of $1000.

Totals: Phisical Damages: $306
Moral damages: $1000
Total Damages: $1306

Adam Goodman

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

more soon...