I drove out to Riverside Superior Court today for an ex parte application set for 9:30 a.m. In Southern California, as I’m sure in many other metropolitan areas, you just never know how long it will take to get somewhere due to the vagaries of freeway congestion. Drives times are always stated in ranges, as in:
“Joe, how long will it take me to get to Riverside Superior Court from here?”
“Oh, about one to two and a half hours.”
I leave crazy early for all my distant court appointments, anticipating that I will likely arrive up to an hour and half early, but with a big buffer in case traffic is bad. The buffer has saved me more than once. For each court, I have an established reward system, to make it less onerous to go to these distant courts. In the case of Riverside, it’s a little coffee shop right across the street with really good muffins. I settle in and have a muffin and some coffee while taking another look at the file before the hearing.
Ex parte hearings are usually at 8:30, and I arrive there so early that I have zero problem finding a parking space right in front of the court. But this one was at 9:30, and that one hour difference in my arrival time resulted in me not being able to find a parking space within blocks of the courthouse. I drove all over the place and finally found a spot in a residential neighborhood a few blocks away. I could see the top of the courthouse in the distance, so walking there was no problem, but how was I going go find my car afterwards?
No problem; I have Car Finder Reminder. There are a number of apps that remember where you parked, but I like this free one because it’s all done with just two taps on the screen. Open the program, tap “park” and it drops a pin on a map. When you want to find your car, it shows you where it is parked and will even provide directions to get you there. If you park at a meter, you can enter the time on the meter and it will let you know when the meter is about to expire.
I’ve only been using the program a couple of weeks, and what I have found is that (assuming you remember to use the app when you park) the act of using the app basically forces you to think about where you parked. I used the app to guide me back to my car after court just for purposes of this review, but in reality I remembered the obscure place I had parked it. But isn’t that the point?
By the way, I went to the coffee shop, killed an hour, and arrived at court a half hour early only to learn that the ex parte had been moved to a different department and scheduled for 8:30 with no notice to me. Thanks Riverside. I ran over to that department and argued my motion as the jury was filing in on another matter. My motion was granted. Never a dull moment.