Why Do the Clerks Hate Us?

I am doing postjudgment collections on a case and I recently downloaded a form from the clerk’s office for my post judgment collection. The form has a location to enter the judgment amount, court costs, postjudgment costs, etc. Then the form (which is in Acrobat) is supposed to automatically total the numbers.

In this case, however, whoever designed the form screwed up an the form was repeating the judgment amount in the intial filing fee box. This, of course, means that I will have to handle this manually, instead of using the automatic calculations. I figure that this is not a big deal. I will just use the typewriter function in Adobe Acrobat and “type” the information I need to add.

Except of course, that whoever created the form decided (for reasons wholly unknown to anyone) to disable the typwriter function in Adobe Acrobat. Thus, I cannot use this (wonderful) feature. Let me pause just one second to point out the utter stupidity of disabling the typwirter function in Acrobat given that until just recently, these stupid forms were completed on an actual typewriter. In fact, I have no doubt that the majority of these forms are probably still being prepared on an actual typewriter.

Anyway, I have ran into this problem on court forms before. For reasons I cannot fathom, this is often disabled on court forms. I think to myself that this will not be a big problem, however, because I can just “print” the form to PDF and do with it whatever I want.

Of course, this can’t happen. The designer had secured the form, thus preventing it from being printed to PDF.

The security features in Adobe Acrobat are nice. They enable you to send electronic documents and retain some control over what the user can actually do with the documents. These are great features and are quite useful in the proper situations. Here, however, I would argue that because these forms are provided by the Clerk for me (and other attorneys) TO FILL OUT, it doesn’t make much sense to lock the form down so that I CAN’T FILL THE FORM OUT.

Complete stupidity. I just do not understand it. There are some days that I am convinced that there are people in the clerk’s office who sit around and think up ways to make our lives more difficult.

To solve my problem, I simply printed the form, scanned it in and added my own fields that work properly.