Judge Calls Single Mom “Irresponsible” for Her 14 Parking Tickets – Then She Made a Plea That Changed His Mind
Judge Caprio gave one struggling mother some real talk and legal love.
Usually calm and cool, even Providence’s Judge Frank Caprio has times when he has to be stern. This would be one of them, yet true to form, he wrapped it in a warm bow.
A Mother of 4 Shares Her Story With Judge Caprio
On this day, Tristan Fields stood before him. And boy did she have more than this court date weighing on her mind. Her car had been ‘booted,’ meaning a device was clamped to its wheel to prevent her from driving it.
Fields needed that car to transport precious cargo. In this case, it would be her 4 kids ages 4 to 13 years old. They depended on her to take them to school daily, so this was a big problem.
When asked about the car, Fields said, “I had registered it for my kids’ father a couple of years ago. We’ve been separated for almost three years and I failed to get the plates back from that car.”
Fields added that she hadn’t been in contact with the father, leaving the burden of the bill on her.
Judge Caprio Gives Single Mother Some Tough Love
Before Caprio got done counting all thirteen tickets, Fields said, “I know it looks extensive.” He noticed that they were all overnight parking tickets, so she’d left her vehicle in front of her house overnight.
He asked her why. “Just being exhausted, your Honor,” she said. She works 30 to 40 hours a week as a medical assistant to support her kids.
“When are you gonna learn your lesson,” asks Caprio. “I learned it,” she replied, adding that she now has a parking space for the car.
That’s when Fields made her plea.
“I’m just trying to get my life together. I understand I do owe on parking tickets. I don’t wanna be negligent to that, but I’m trying to get my life in order. I’m raising my children on my own, and doing the best that I can.”
That’s when the usually jolly judge got tough with the single mother.
“I understand that it’s tough, you don’t have money, that the last thing on your mind is paying parking tickets because you have to feed the kids… that’s your priority,” he started.
But he said, “It’s irresponsible of you to give me an excuse like ‘I’m tired,’ we’re all tired,” adding, “These tickets are foolish.” Caprio said that while she’s a good loving mother, “You’re doing something that’s hurting that good part of you by being irresponsible.”
However, it was at that moment that Caprio switched from lecture to love.
How Judge Caprio Helped a Mother of 4
“I wanna help you.”
For those familiar with Judge Caprio’s videos, his court often receives donations from around the world that he can use to help others.
On this day, he told Fields of one such man, Steven Foraquin, from Texas. In an envelope letter containing six $50 bills was a letter from Foraquin. “As I sit far away in Midland, Texas, my heart breaks for those before you who just need a little break,” he wrote.
“I’m going to use one of those to help pay for your fine,” said Caprio as the courtroom broke out in applause. Caprio added that it will be enough to remove the boot from her car, so the kids will again have a ride to school.
That brought Fields’ bill to $250. In the middle of discussing a payment plan, Caprio suddenly stopped.
“I’m not gonna waste the city’s resources chasing the father of your children, because it’s gonna be an exercise in futility,” he said. He said that the tickets go back over 5 years, and they will never find him. In short, they will never get the money.
And so, Caprio used his gavel as a wand. “I’m gonna take a big burden off your head,” he said as he dismissed the tickets.
The only thing the judge asked of Fields? “Pay this, move the car, and continue to be a good mother.”
How Judge Caprio Proves That Firm and Fair Wins the Race
In a rare Providence moment, Caprio spoke to the camera after the proceedings.
“Many of you may think I was being too harsh on her,” he said, with her being a single mother of 4. Yet, Caprio said that it’s the exact reason why he’s tough, “she doesn’t have the luxury of making excuses.”
Rather, he says, “She has a responsibility to make good choices.” With that, he wished Fields all the best.
There’s a saying that says that good friends talk smack about you to your face and good about you behind your back. We should all be so lucky to have friends like this one kind judge in Providence.
More from Goalcast:
- Judge Pays Man’s Fine After He Walks 1.5 Hours With Only 98 Cents in His Pocket — But Gives Him This One Condition
- Judge Issues a $400 Fine to Struggling Homeless Woman Who Has Only $5 – Her Tragic Story Changes His Mind