Cleveland Bankruptcy Court has new security identification features in place. Do they protect you? You have probably heard on the news about the federal government ramping up its security. You will be able to file this one away under the category, much ado about nothing.
You already know that for your meeting of creditors you need to produce proof of identity and proof of you social security number or IRS issued tax number. It is not enough to have an old drivers license, it must be valid. For court purposes valid normally means unexpired.
Now to even get into the building you will have to display a “valid” id. That should not be a problem since you are supposed to have one with you anyway. But let’s talk about the people who may be coming to Cleveland with you for support, or to do something with you in town after the meeting of creditors. Mom will have to wait outside if she has an old license she hasn’t renewed in years that she uses to cash checks.
The whole idea of this is to make the courts a safer place. how? Chris Crobaugh, an attorney and good friend, now deceased, always marveled at the pure arrogance of the courts. If a terrorist wanted to bring down the government, and create mayhem and anarchy, why attack the courthouse? He firmly believed that courts are just the place for confusion and anarchy. Chris was not an outsider. In Vietnam he worked for the NSA in communications.
When you enter the courthouse, you put your personal items on the belt and they go through the x-ray machine. Then you walk through the metal detector. On the other side (you are already in the courthouse) they ask to see your valid id. At best you flash the id and they take a quick glance. This isn’t the airport. They don’t match your picture with your court meeting notice. They don’t have a “no debtor list” of people who if they try to enter are kept off the elevators, and taken into the back for further screening.
They don’t even have a manual showing them all the different licenses and identification card for all 50 states, not to mention US territories. Most are retired police officers, most from Lorain county. They have a general idea of what an Ohio License looks like, although those are now in the process of change. A drivers license is valid if it is not expired, and not suspended. Ohio has too many types and reasons for driving suspensions to even count here. Court security has no way to check to see if the Ohio driver license is valid, not to mention other States’.
So, what does this all amount to? How about:
- Another opportunity for government to show us we are the sheep,
- Big brother knows what’s best for us,
- Closing the courthouse to the “off the grid” public,
- Another reason to gum up the works and delay your getting to where you need to be, and worst of all,
- Creates a false sense of security?
Do you honestly think that flashing some type of security identification at Cleveland Bankruptcy Court will stop anything nasty? If you do, I guess you are just the person who this feel good measure is designed for. Your government is doing something to protect you. If the bad guys are coming, two retired cops, a metal detector, and a guy looking at your license are not going to stop them. There are heavily armed men in the building, but they aren’t out front, and when they come they aren’t looking at licenses. That’s security.
Picture by Bill Balena