A JP is often a seeker of the truth!

In my long experience as your constable, I’ve discovered that anyone, from any walk of life, can lie about anything when their “back is up against a wall”.

Conversely, there is an old adage that “THE TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION”. I have found that to be almost universally true. When I hear a strange, convoluted story, it almost always ends up being true. The most common example would be where I’m serving an eviction order on a defendant who’s seriously ill. I’ve heard some pretty crazy stories about the circumstances of a defendant’s health, which I independently verify of course. They almost always turned out to be true.

Here’s one story of how, someone I trusted for years, lied to me.

I’ve done numerous evictions for this landlord over the years. I’ve always believed her and been on “her side” of things. After breaking up with her boyfriend, they had a dispute over money, so he sued and won. He couldn’t collect, so I got involved. I don’t remember the exact sequence of events, but I do remember she had a deadline to respond by filing something with our court. I was tasked with serving her a notice to this effect.

Being Served?

She was away on a cruise, with her new boyfriend at the time. She and I could text, but every time I texted her a pic of the hearing order, she would text me back, saying she couldn’t open it up.

Finally, she engaged the services of a process server to file her response with the court. The process server, and I communicated back and forth. One day he texted me a pic of a screenshot she’d sent him.

The screenshot was of the notice I’d texted her, and had this sentence at the bottom: “This is what the constable sent me.”

I never did confront her on this. She also claimed she’d never been able to pay the judgment, but finally did, after I seized storage units she’d rented.

That single experience would only serve to make me a better JP. To know, that even someone you’ve faithfully served for years, can turn on you when the “shoe is on the other foot”.

 

— Ed Malles