Subpoena has family scurrying

By Tammy Keith Originally Published January 27, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated January 25, 2013 at 10:32 a.m.
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On a busy morning a couple of weeks ago, my husband called me.

“Let me tell you about my excitement this morning,” he said.

My husband said our 19-year-old college son, Scott, had asked: “So, what do you know about subpoenas?”

Then my husband said, “Hold on — it’s Scott calling. It’s no big deal — I’ll call you back.”

He hung up abruptly, and I was left holding the phone, mouth agape.

My son is a good kid, but as a parent, my first thought was, “Oh, my gosh, what did he do?”

My husband called back in a minute.

Our son had gotten a voice mail two days earlier from a blocked number that he was being subpoenaed to court, and he had no idea what was going on.

My husband asked him if he could remember any incident when an officer was involved — a traffic stop, anything that involved the police — and he could not.

A police official suggested that Scott call the District Court when it opened, which he did.

Oh, yeah, the court official said. There was a subpoena for him in the case of so-and-so, a woman, for “peddling without a license.”

I will admit, when I first heard this, I thought “pedaling without a license,” and I pictured a woman on a bicycle.

I thought, ‘Huh? You don’t have to have a license to ride a bicycle.’”

Not one of my best moments.

Anyway, when my son got to court, a woman coming in at the same time looked familiar. He suddenly realized what it was about.

In June, she had solicited money from him at a business in Conway when he was meeting his friends.

A police officer showed up that night — he said the woman was well-known — and asked the teenagers if she had approached any of them. Scott said yes and wrote a statement.

In January, my son got the call for court. (Our speedy justice system at work.)

Scott had taken a book with him — my husband and I have been in court proceedings before in our journalism careers — and it can be a long wait.

After about 30 minutes, the woman pleaded guilty without Scott testifying. The officer thanked him for coming and apologized for the late notice.

He gave our son a copy of the subpoena to show his professor for the class he was missing.

When Scott got to his car, he realized that in his nervousness he’d locked his keys inside.

He walked to my office, which is nearby, and I gave him a ride back. Then I realized I didn’t have a key to his car.

So, I gave him a ride to the university and dropped him off in front of the building where his class was. Luckily, one of the books he’d taken into court was one he needed for class.

My husband and I

arranged to go get Scott’s car, and I picked up my husband in front of the building where he teaches.

When we were almost to Scott’s car, my husband realized he didn’t have a key, either. It was in his car back on campus.

I turned around and took him back to the parking lot by his car, and I almost drove off. He stopped in front of my vehicle and held up his hands: “Don’t leave!”

I started laughing.

We went to Scott’s car, with a key this time, and my husband drove it back to campus.

If we all rode bicycles — pedaled without a license — we wouldn’t have this problem, now would we?

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or

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