As Smoothly as Expected


cat_icon.gif coren_icon.gif grace_icon.gif

also featuring…

Stephanie Aberdeen and Judge Diane Fielding

Scene Title As Smoothly as Expected
Synopsis The arraignment of the State of New York vs. Grace Matheson. There are no surprises.
Date March 23, 2009


It's not exactly his favourite past-time, but Detective Coren Shelby has made his way into the court room, and is seated behind the prosecution. This is possibly the only time anyone ever sees him wearing a tie with his suit, and it's a far nicer suit than he typically wears. It is all merely for show — the formalities one adheres to when attending court. He thinks it's a pity it's gone as far as it has. The People of the State of New York versus Grace Matheson on the charge of assault in the third degree against Nalani Hollingwood. What a joke. He only hopes Grace and her lawyer know what they're doing. He's seen more innocent people get put away for less. At any rate, it's only an arraignment.

The courtroom is about as busy as it always is — just because the city's in chaos doens't mean that the judges are not keeping order in their courtrooms. The bailiff calls the room to order, and he reads off the docket to the judge — one Diane Fielding. "State of New York v. Grace Matheson, assault in the third degree," he announces as the DA and the accused and defense attorney take their places. It's a businesslike atmosphere here in arraignments.

The judge, a woman in her late fifties with salt-and-pepper hair, looks at the defense table. "How do you plead, Ms. Matheson?"

She rises when the case is called, and speaks in a clear but calm voice. "Miss Matheson pleads not guilty, your Honor." Cat's features display calm confidence, her hands resting at her sides, and with those words spoken the attorney remains on her feet behind the defense table.

There's that darned blonde again. You know, the one who SHOULD be Nalani Hollingwood, but ISN'T Nalani Hollingwood. Stephanie the assistant. Yeah, that blonde. She sits in the middle of the benches with her purse, a leatherbound legal pad holder and her phone, ready to dial her boss in an instant if need be. Stephanie is on court duty. Better than Starbucks duty.

Grace is also present, dressed in black slacks and a pine-green blouse. She stands beside Cat, relaxed rather than nervous, and quiet while the court proceedings move along their formulaic course.

The fact that Nalani won't even show up for the arraignment of her own assailant is another reason Coren hates her. Hate hate hate. It's not an emotion he typically subscribes to, but for her? Oh yeah. His eyes go to the back of the head of the prosecutor, ADA Thomas Lyle, who is seated, idly waiting to be asked for his recommendation on bail, at which time he will settle for release on Grace's own recognizance, given how she's cooperated thus far.

Judge Fielding skims the papers that the bailiff hands her, looking over a set of wire-rimmed glasses at the district attorney presiding. "People on bail, Mr. Lyle?"

Lyle stands and says, "Your Honor, we are fine with ROR on the understanding that the accused will not leave the New York metropolitan area. She has submitted to all legal proceedings voluntarily and does not appear to pose a flight risk."

The judge looks at Cat and Grace. "Well, that was simple. Evidentiary hearing will be set…. one week from today. Anything else?"

"The defense has no objections, your Honor," Cat replies. The attorney, clad in a Brooks Brothers suit of charcoal grey with skirt and hair pinned up to not pass the bottom of her collar, commits each second of the proceedings to memory simply by virtue of being present. Her features continue to show that calm confidence, while in her head she's hoping no one pulls out the test kits. One never knows.

Detective Shelby watches and listens intently, observing the very many members of the court and, of course, Miss Aberdeen. Things go as smoothly as expected. Would be nice if the whole case was thrown out, but he knows that won't happen. He really loves how the rich and petty manage to waste so much time for so many people. It's just not fair.

Judge Fielding merely nods. And the bailiff calls out, "Next case, docket number….." And the Matheson group is free to shuffle out.

Stephanie's up the moment the case has been dealt with and the judge moves on. Everything put away and the phone up to her ear. THree rings after and Stephanie's talking into the phone, her blonde ponytail swinging as she heads out. "Ms. Hollingwood. It went as expected. Yes. No. Yes. Week from now. Yes. Yes" and the phone is clicked off as whomever's on the other side hangs up and the Pause Magazine assistant heads out the door.

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