Good people get in trouble too, and sometimes they just need a break.
Judge Frank Caprio understands this, which is why he listens with compassion and understanding when people come to his courtroom on Caught in Providence.
One woman experienced that kindness firsthand when the judge helped her out following a very difficult time in her life.
A Devastating Loss
In a video posted on the show’s YouTube channel, a woman came to Judge Caprio with several parking tickets. As it turned out, she had recently moved back to Rhode Island, and because her plates hadn’t been updated, she was unable to park in her building’s parking lot. They told her to park on the street instead.
After about a month of parking on the street, authorities started giving out tickets, and the woman began accumulating them. But when she appeared in front of Judge Caprio, she also held tickets from some of her friends and family members. As it turned out, she had gone through a miscarriage at about three months, and her support system was coming to help her. And they all got tickets as a result.
“That was a difficult time for me,” she said in the video. “I’ve been very depressed. I only have one child, she’s 17. She’s been asking me to have a kid since she was nine. When I came up pregnant, my whole family was excited. To lose a baby at three months is devastating,” she continued.
“I’m still dealing with it; it’s kind of tough for me. Because it’s hard for me to see [memories] of my baby in my house. On top of that, I got the tickets; everybody was getting tickets, it was on a weekend. I was like, ‘Listen, I’ll go to the courts, it’s my fault you’re here visiting me, don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it.’”
Having Her Say in Court
Judge Caprio listened to the woman as she told her story. Then, he explained that typically in a situation like this, he would only fine somebody about half of what they owed. This woman had tickets amounting to roughly $460, and in a normal situation, he’d knock that down to about $200, he explained. But in this case, he had a different idea.
“Your story is very moving for me, I think all of us have a great deal of understanding and sympathy for you,” he said. “You present yourself as such a decent and honorable person… I probably would have reduced that ordinarily to 200 bucks. But I don’t have it in my heart to do that to you.”
The judge then revealed he wanted to use some of the funds viewers from around the globe have sent his way in order to help those in need. He wanted to put $200 toward this woman and help her pay the remaining fines.
“Come up here, I want to give you a hug,” he wrapped as the woman approached the bench and embraced him. “Thank you so much,” she simply responded with tears in her eyes.
Leading With Compassion
One of the reasons Judge Caprio is so popular is because he believes that good people fall on hard times, and sometimes a person just needs a break.
This story is just further proof that we never really know what people are going through, so it’s always best to lead with kindness and compassion.
That could mean extending a deadline, being understanding when someone is late for a meeting, or allowing an employee extra time off to deal with a personal issue. Or it could also mean just forgiving someone when they’ve been a bit snippy toward you or not acting like themselves lately.
We all deserve compassion in life, and there’s no better time to start practicing that for ourselves and others than the present.
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