MOM! I’m Representing Myself, Okay?! God!

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The headline is "Rockland man attempts to seal court documents in domestic assault case," but the lesson is "think carefully before asking your mom to drive you to court."

I'm just speculating that's what happened here, but I can't think of another reason that you might tell your mom (assuming you can avoid it) that you've been charged with domestic violence. So I suppose here's another reason you shouldn't represent yourself: your lawyer might give you a ride to the courthouse if you need one.

On the other hand, it might get you some extra time, or at least it did here. The defendant's arraignment was scheduled for last Wednesday in the district court for Rockland, Maine, but the judge postponed that for two weeks because the defendant told her he wasn't prepared. The judge did take up his motion to amend bail conditions, though, and then this happened:

“You said that the bail conditions in this case prohibit you from shopping in a particular store where you like to go,” [Judge] Worth said.

At that point, [the defendant's] mother interrupted the proceedings.

“Say you’re innocent,” she told her son.

“I’m innocent, your honor,” [he] said.

Apparently because Mom interrupted, the reporter didn't say anything else about the defendant's shopping request, which is a shame, but can be forgiven here. Man, is there anything more embarrassing than having your mom try to tell you what to say at your arraignment?

—Mom! I'm 24 years old, I can do this myself! You're ruining it! God!

—You see, Your Honor? He doesn't listen.


He didn't say that, of course, but the judge agreed with what he was probably thinking and ordered his mom to wait outside. "The person who just felt they had to tell the adult what to say can go," she said. The judge has since denied the defendant's motion to seal the court record of his case, citing the importance of keeping court proceedings open to the public except in rare circumstances. For the most part that applies to moms too.