Lunch And Legalities


elisabeth_icon.gif niki_icon.gif

Scene Title Lunch And Legalities
Synopsis Niki asks Liz to lunch to find out if she has any legal options to take against Linderman.
Date August 3, 2009

Piccolo's Deli

It's been one hellacious day already, and it's barely lunchtime. The text message that came through about meeting Niki is maybe the only bright spot so far. She hits the deli, telling her partners on the serial killer case that she'll bring back lunch, and puts in the precinct order for a half an hour from now. Her own order — a massive reuben done the way ONLY Piccoli's can do — is sitting in front of her with a huge dill pickle that she's munching on while she waits for Niki. Or Jessica. She's not entirely sure who'll be showing up.

Almost guaranteed it's not going to be Gina, but today it's definitely Niki. After the Linderman building fiasco, Niki has kept Jessica on a short leash, pulling her out only when necessary. It's interesting that she now has connections with both of her other personalities and it seems relatively normal. At least they're all getting along.. for now. She walks into the deli and smiles towards Liz as she makes her way over after ordering her sandwich. "Thanks for meeting me. I've been debating a few things and just feels like I'm getting absolutely nowhere." She would normally go for pleasantries, but she already knows how busy Liz is and isn't going to waste her time.

"Pfft," Elisabeth hisses mildly. "Welcome to my fuckin' life," she comments. "Have a seat, lady. What's on your mind?" Her expression is tired and strained, but for Niki she offers a smile. Busy at work doesn't mean she won't make time for her friends when they need her — just means it may not be MUCH time.

The smile is short lived as Niki slides into the booth and takes a deep breath. "I wasn't sure if you should meet me after everything that went down at the hospital. Not sure if you're required to take me in. What I really need is some advice." She glances around for a moment before leaning in a little. "Linderman sent someone to see me. To try and scare me off."

Elisabeth tilts her head, sympathy in every line of her body. "What happened at the hospital is just as much my cross as it is Cat's, Niki. I cannot begin to apologize enough." She leans forward on the table and studies her quietly. "Cat told me Linderman had been keeping his body alive… that he was responsible for you not being told. That alone makes me hate the man. What do you need advice on?"

"Well, as you can imagine, Jessica wants to tear the place down brick by brick. Honestly, I'm tired of doing things that way and would rather see if I can find some sort of legal resolution to this. Either criminal or civil. I'd love to see the bastard go to jail for what he's done, but seeing him broke would almost be as fulfilling." Niki peeks under the top bun at her sandwich, but doesn't move to eat it just yet. "Do you think I have any legal recourse against Linderman, Liz? I know you have more understanding of the system than I do."

There's a long pause, and Elisabeth toys with her food for a long minute. "I'm not a lawyer," she finally says. "Cat would be able to maybe give you better legal advice. But…. Linderman didn't get where he was by being stupid, Niki. His lawyers will argue that he did his level best to keep Micah alive against all odds. They'll probably try to argue that they didn't have any idea who Micah actually was. And I doubt that any paper trail you ever see will contradict that. I'm not entirely sure that he actually did anything illegal. Immoral and highly unethical by not telling you? Yeah. Hell yeah. But I think the only real argument you might have in court is custodial interference, which did keep you from your son's side, and if you could prove that he knew Micah was yours the whole time Jessica worked for him, you maybe could pull of a depraved indifference murder or manslaughter rap — if he knew that what Micah needed to survive was a DNA match and kept you from him." She looks at the other blonde and says quietly, "There's a lot of 'ifs' in that statement. A lot of things you'll probably never have paperwork to prove. And if you take him to court on it… it'll be a lot of publicity. They'll drag out your mental history, because I'm sure Linderman had someone on staff who could document the MPD problem." She sighs and finally says, "I just don't know. I don't know for sure if you have a legal leg to stand on here."

Listening intently as Liz speaks, the brightness that she entered the deli with slowly begins to fade as she realizes that everything that's been said is true and she really has no legal recourse in the matter. "I guess I was just wishful thinking then. You're right, of course." Shit. Niki shakes her head. "I guess I will have to find another alternative to make him pay for what he's done." She grimaces as she shakes her head.

"I think you should talk to Cat," Elisabeth says quietly. "I don't know if she'll have better information for you… I'm not a lawyer. I'm just a cop." She considers and asks, "Can you give me a couple days before you go all kamikaze on Linderman?" She looks up and meets Niki's eyes. "I may know some people who'd be willing to help."

"I'm not entirely certain that it's within my control. As I said, Linderman sent someone to warn me off. Jessica basically told him to go to hell when he called her out." Niki is quiet for a moment, then she nods. "I'll do what I can. If they don't come after me, I won't go after them. Is that fair?"

Elisabeth nods a bit. "If you want to press charges," she says with a wicked grin, "by all means, gimme a name and I'll go run someone into jail for you." It would amuse the hell out of her to be a thorn in Linderman's side on top of every other damn thing she's got going this week.

There's a small sigh. "The guy who approached me didn't seem intent on giving me his name and I didn't bother asking. Though I'm not certain I've ever seen him around Linderman's before in the times I've been there. They might have hired him specifically to deal with me, which means he probably has a way to stop me." Niki continues to pick at, but not eat her sandwich. "So, I doubt pressing charges is going to help a hell of a lot. But thanks for the offer."

There's a slight nod, and Elisabeth shrugs just a hint. "God, Niki, I wish I had better information for you. But yeah… if you can give me a day or two to see if anyone I know can or wants to help out, you might be surprised how many helping hands you get here. Just… hang in. That sonuvabitch will get his, and frankly… I almost hope it's at Jessica's hands. Talk to Cat in the meantime, see if she has a different perspective.

Niki stands, picking up her sandwich and dropping it into the wastebasket before turning back to Liz. "I'll see what I can do. If you hear anything let me know. If I do get a name, I'll give you a call. Otherwise, I guess I have to do this the hard way. Thanks for coming by, I do appreciate it. And you're right. One way or another, he'll pay." She nods, determined.

Elisabeth watches the other woman with a worried expression. "I will," she says softly, scooping up her own lunch with a sigh. She'll have them wrap it and take it back to the precinct with the others.

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