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Old 02-04-2011, 03:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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forms for court

I am going to have to go to court for domestic violence against my husband. Yeah, feeling pretty proud. It was all alcohol and has never happened before. It has been my breaking point and I have been going to AA because I need to be there.
That said, I'd like to show the court I have been attending. Is there any way to do this and does it hold any clout when you haven't been required to attend?
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you are ordered to attend, they will give you a court slip to have signed. Not all groups will sign court slips--it is a matter for each group's "group conscience" whether to do so. Many will.

I suppose if they will sign court slips, you could make one up for yourself that says, _____ attended the following AA meeting __________ (name of group) _______ (date) _____ (time) __________________ (chairperson).

It doesn't hurt to have something like that to show the court. You will most likely be ordered to attend, anyway, as part of any probation or pretrial diversionary program.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been to court with a couple of my sponsees over the years and have written more than a few letters to the court simply explaining that I know them in the fellowship and that they are putting in the time and effort. I have always been truthful, as of course we must and in some instances it has helped.

Best bet is a good fitting top for the bottle and a desire to not do it again, but if you have already made that determination for yourself then someone else's input may be of some value when the court makes its determination.

Just my experience. However I will say that I have never written a SECOND letter for anyone.

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Old 02-04-2011, 04:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My attendance is completely for my own well being, not to manipulate the court. What is probably going to happen is mandatory anger management classes. This has never happened before and I wasn't exactly beating my husband. I was in a drunk blackout and pounding on his chest crying acting like an ass. My problem is alcohol and I'd prefer to be ordered to AA since that is where I need to be. I'll be attending regardless of what the court decides. Who would I ask to write a letter? A sponsor? It seems like they wouldn't accept that. Isn't that something easily faked?
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi fishbowl-

I was already attending AA when I got my 2nd DUI, though to be truthful, I was only going a few times a month, I sat in the back, came in late and left early. I even got a sponsor as time went on, but I didn't listen to him and he was easy going and I took advantage.

Anywho, once I got the 2nd one, I finally gave up and accepted my alcoholism. From the time of my arrest, to the time of my trial, it was almost a year.

In that time I went to a 4 month outpatient therapy program and I did 90 AA meetings in 90 days, and then continued to go to AA and actually worked the steps with my new sponsor. I documented my meetings with a simple form I made from excel (date, type of meeting, signature of chairperson).

Between the outpatient completion certificate, the letter from my sponsor, and the meeting log, it was recognized by the court that I was an alcoholic in recovery. Don't get me wrong, I still got in a lot of trouble, but not nearly as much if I hadn't done the work (and documented it).

Let me know if I can be of any further assitance.

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Old 02-04-2011, 05:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Most things in life are easily faked. I just related what I have been a part of in the past.
You are absolutely on the right track, fix you and the world will be a better place.

I applaud your plan for self improvement. I was expanding on your original question about how to demonstrate to the court that you are on a path of self awareness and improvement. Most judges sense the sincere from the staged. As one Dad said to his Son; "To thine own self be true" is Polonius's last piece of advice to his son Laertes. If you can be this then you can't be false to others.

Good Luck,
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Technically, a court can't order you to attend AA. They can order you to attend a recovery program, whether it be IOP, AA, SMART, etc. But they can't specifically order you to AA.

Some groups won't sign, as it's been said, but my group has no problem with it. Perhaps because several of our members with multiple years of sobriety began that way? Did their 90 days, or a year, or whatever, and continued on, contributing to the group.

There's a woman in our group now who's in a position like you. She's not coming because she has to (go somewhere), but because she wants to. She also has some trouble with the law, so she has a little notebook where she records the dates, times, and locations of meetings, and she asks someone to sign it to confirm that she's been there. I sign her book all the time. Gosh, I even use my full name (though my handwriting is so bad, I doubt anyone could puzzle it out).

Bottom line, though--whether the groups in your area are willing to sign something or not, you going and listening and taking the actions suggested to get sober (those you'll find in that first 164 pages of our book) will result in something more lasting than your current consequences.

Peace & Love,
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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stand up and take responsibility for what you have done and quit trying to use AA to avoid or lessen your responsibility.
By trying to use AA for a lighter sentence,you are dragging others needlessly into your old sick drama.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bballdad View Post
stand up and take responsibility for what you have done and quit trying to use AA to avoid or lessen your responsibility.
By trying to use AA for a lighter sentence,you are dragging others needlessly into your old sick drama.
Bballdad - with all due respect, you don't know her intentions. ...and even if they are only to help her court case, maybe she'll hear something in AA that'll help her.

All she needs is a desire to stop drinking to attend. Same as you and me.

Please read my post above and you'll see that it can work for both and be a win-win.

I'm now ready to start sponsoring others in AA.

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Old 02-04-2011, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Kjell,glad to see you are ready to pass it on
and with all due respect to her and you,
regardless of the outcome of the court case,she will see something that will help her in AA if she attends.I do not believe I should use the name of AA to relieve me of any responsibility for my past actions.Somewhere,I should stop using and start giving and standing good for what I have done.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Kjell,glad to see you are ready to pass it on
and with all due respect to her and you,
regardless of the outcome of the court case,she will see something that will help her in AA if she attends.I do not believe I should use the name of AA to relieve me of any responsibility for my past actions.Somewhere,I should stop using and start giving and standing good for what I have done.
We'll have to agree to disagree and thank God AA had the foresight to know that there should only be one requirment for membership.

A desire to stop drinking.

Had two dui's not been a part of my story, I would probably agree with you, but also had they not, I may not have found the willingness to try.

We get all kinds of "court folks" at our AA group and some stick with it and some don't, but that's also par for the course (court ordered or not) in AA in general.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I agree with kjell on this one. Mainly because I sense that fishbowl really DOES want to recover--I know she was scared to go but she went and seems to understand she desperately needs to do this.

I don't see anything wrong with letting the court know we recognize that we have a problem and are committed to taking the necessary action to recover from our addiction. The court is supposed to base its disposition/sentence on the truth about someone. If the person is blaming everything and everybody else and not taking responsibility, it should sentence accordingly. Likewise, if the person is suffering from an addiction that contributed to the antisocial behavior but IS taking responsibility, it should sentence accordingly.

I don't see any "drama" nor anyone being dragged into anything. Any group or individual member acts in accordance with its/his/her conscience as to whether they are comfortable confirming attendance/participation in AA.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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stand up and take responsibility for what you have done and quit trying to use AA to avoid or lessen your responsibility.
By trying to use AA for a lighter sentence,you are dragging others needlessly into your old sick drama.
Wow. I'm not trying to avoid taking responsibility for my actions. I'm going to AA so that this may never happen again. I'm an alcoholic. I am responsible. I didn't take myself to AA or a therapist to get out of anything. But since I have taken the steps towards recovery, I don't understand the problem sharing that with the court. Am I so shameful I have no right to express that remorse with a plan of action to the courts? Forgive me but you sound sorta harsh.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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yea,I may have sounded a little harsh but I have seen quite a few folks want letters and other things before.It never seemed to work out too good for them in the end.At one time I have even wrote my share of letters for people.Not a one stayed sober once the storm was over.I hope you do.I really do.
I used to use people and everything I could for my personal benefit to get me out of a jam I got myself into when I was drinking.I kept getting into trouble untill there came a day when I had to face it myself and not depend on anyone else.Then I thought twice before I did that stuff again.I have seen people use the name of AA in public and later turn up drunk,and others may have got the impression AA did not work.So,where would they go for help?
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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bballdad,
I thoroughly understand what you are saying. But I am sincere in what I am doing (for what that is worth). I do need to quit drinking. I have hit my bottom and I'm scared to death. When I walk into a meeting I know that is where I need to be right now. I got a sponsor 2nd day.
My personal incident calls the court to send me to anger management classes. If that is where I end up, then so be it. But in the depths of my soul, that extra one hour a week would be better spent in an AA meeting. This is all I am trying to show the court. Looks like you've been sober for a long time and I'm sure you've seen a lot. I get where you are coming from.
But you really are speaking to a broken down mom over here. Very little of my mind is on court. It's too preoccupied wrapping itself around what I did to my daughter and husband. It's wrapped around the enormity of the work I am going to have to do in AA. I suppose it's normal to expect the worst out of people, and I put myself in the position that you would expect the worst out of me just being here.
I'm only a week out since the drinking I did that a brought me to this place.

My sponsor actually offered to sit in the back of the court room. That's good enough for me. I'm not asking for letters. I'm not asking to get out of this. I'm just trying to get where I need to be. In every sense of those words.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
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stand up and take responsibility for what you have done and quit trying to use AA to avoid or lessen your responsibility.
By trying to use AA for a lighter sentence,you are dragging others needlessly into your old sick drama.
You gonna walk on water for us later? For some reason I keep thinking of "glass houses and stones" Just sayin...

Anyway here is a link to a sign in sheet.
http://www.adultprobation.net/files/aa.pdf
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Stugotz,
Thank you.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Stugotz,no water walking here man....
just a concern for traditions of the Fellowship that saved my life,maybe some day I might want to see it here for someone else,like one of our grand kids.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Stugotz,no water walking here man....
just a concern for traditions of the Fellowship that saved my life,maybe some day I might want to see it here for someone else,like one of our grand kids.
Gotcha, but as long as there are alcoholics, there will be AA. Truthfully I dont know of any AA's that havent at one time or another leaned on the program for help. I myself had my sponser, a stack of meeting lists as thick as a phone book (remember those) and a whole slew of willing AA's in court with me. Just as I have been to court for others.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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stugotz
here is what I am talking about man

from the AA Approved Pamphlet,The AA Group,page37
sub titled-what AA does not do
Tradition 10
# 13.provide letters of reference to parole boards,attorneys,court officials,schools,businesses,social agencies,or any other organization or institution.

from A.A.C.O.A.
the last 2 lines at bottom of page 109 says a lot.

The more AA sticks to it`s primary purpose (trad 5), the greater will be its helpful influence everywhere.


man,I have wrote quite a few letters some yrs ago-the facts are they did not do any good.
I was dismembering the protective mantle the traditions wove around AA,I just did not know it at the time because of my inexperience in studying the literature AA provides and my know it all attitude.I`m sharing because of my failures.
Today,I think more of AA than what others here think of me and that s ok,I`ll be the bad guy,if necessary, for sticking up for AA
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