I think I will join another weekly prompt in one of my favorite categories of blogs. Kvetching. God I love to kvetch. This one comes courtesy of Paula Light’s The Monday Peeve. The instructions are simple – write about something that bothers you. I fear that many of my peeves will come from work-related incidents and will like bore you to tears.
This week’s peeve is going to be just that – a work related peeve in dealing with the courts in the State of New Jersey. I live in a Commonwealth state. For those not familiar with that there are four US states that are Commonwealths – PA, KY, MA and VA. Not much is different between a Commonwealth state and a state-state in the legal field except that much of our laws are founded in common law vs. statutory law. Long boring story and not really relevant in this kvetch other than sometimes our state needs things the other 46 may not to get things done.
I have had to order a death certificate from the State of New Jersey. We represent a family member named as beneficiary on the deceased’s policy. NJ won’t give it to us. This family member is not immediate family enough to be worthy of such an honor. Nor is a beneficiary of a policy. Instead, I might be able to get a statement (certification of death) that just says “yep, she’s dead”. No cause of death or anything pertinent to a life insurance company. I started this in July, 2020 and to date, I still do not have it. (The DOH in NJ has however been extremely communicative by email but will just not give me a straight answer on what boxes I have to check to get this accomplished.)
Second incident is a guardianship we are transferring from NJ to PA since the incapacitated person no longer lives in NJ. We engage the services of an attorney in NJ who was able to get us the provisional order we need to file in PA. I need a certified copy of that order. I call the court. I leave multiple messages with the court staff. I leave a message with the court staff’s supervisor. I just need a certified copy. One marked with a NJ seal saying “this is real – it wasn’t typed up and faked”. Nothing. After 4 weeks of trying desperately not to burn bridges (I am well-known for burning bridges when I don’t get my way – they do call me “Princess” after all), I get a call from the Judge’s clerk. She wants to give me a very, very fancy copy of the order (which I do not need or I would have asked for). When I explained what I needed, she was not happy with court staff who could have handled this weeks ago by simply returning my phone call.
Anyway, long story short, the Judge’s clerk took care of it and is sending us copies of the entire file, special seals and all, no charge.
I did have some ‘splain’in to do to my boss with promises that I did not get anyone fired (intentionally), nor did I reach out to the Judge’s clerk myself and that was just a fortuitous happenstance. I don’t know if she 100% believes me – I do have a reputation after all.
Why can’t people just do their job? Why can’t they just give you the common courtesy of a return call? I didn’t call hour after hour, day after day to hound them. I called, waited a week, called, waited a week. We are all affected by COVID and short-staffed, but really?
I’ll end with an apology should anyone reading this work for the NJ courts or be in a similar situation. I am just venting.