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court cards

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:48 am
by bill h
is signing court cards an out side issue?

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:13 pm
by Brock
Hi Bill and welcome here. The business of signing as proof of attendance is something discussed here from time to time, but I can't remember anyone saying it might be an outside issue. Usually we talk about the fact that most if not all of those sent by the court, have no interest in learning about the program, they just see it as punishment. As a courtesy we sign, but there is no obligation to do so, guidelines like this give information on how AA cooperates with the court system -
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/mg-05_coopwithcourt.pdf

All the best.

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:05 pm
by Noels
Wow what an informative piece of material! Thank you Brock. What stood out for me is the many ways we could be of assistance to these unfortunate people, how, depending on our attitude (choice - to approach in positive/negative light/remember how we were) , this kind of assistance is actually considered service - even 12 step work since it could be compared to carrying the message of AA to the still suffering alcoholic in hospitals and prisons.

A further piece that grabbed my attention was how many times people involved in my life while I was still drinking suggested my drinking habits was unnatural. Reading about the possible attitude/behavior of court-ordered attendances reminded me of my own thinking and behavior shortly before I walked through the doors of AA - how angry and upset I was that anyone around me could possible think I was an alcoholic, how "their demands" and "misunderstanding of me" caused severe discomfort in "MY" life, how they "dared think they had any right to make decisions for me", how "judgmental and wrong they were" and my attitude when I finally walked through the doors of AA knowing i had a drinking problem and completely my choice to go to AA, still had this attitude and appearance of cockiness, uniqueness and separation.

"How joyfully different it is today" I acknowledge with a deeply thankful heart and silent prayer to my Creator and i send a silent prayer of gratitude to all and everyone at my home group for their loving embrace, kind acceptance and gentle words each time i voiced a well intentioned but ill informed opinion on matters concerning our group reflecting my personal ignorance and selfish thoughts and attitude.

It is impossible for me to express fully in words the natural "inside" being of happiness and freedom i now take for granted and once again i am truly grateful for the existence of AA as a whole.

Much love,
mwah xxx Noels

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:20 am
by bill h
I always help anyone with an alcohol problem. however, in my town the drug court sends "drug related offenders" to A.A. meetings period. 99% of them are under 18 years of age with no interest in alcohol only drugs. this matter came up at a group business meeting i.e., should we sign court cards for "drug related offenders". . the group conscious voted to sign these cards. to me this is a violation of our singleness of purpose and a number of our traditions. if we keep trying to help all people we will surely go the way of the Washintonian's and the Oxford groups which means we will fail. in 1965, Bill Wilson stated that the sole purpose of an A.A. group is the teaching and practice of the12steps of A.A.. can anyone refer me to GSO related information on this topic? it would be greatly appreciated. bill h

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:43 am
by Noels
hi Bill :D just click on the link Brock provided in his reply to you. That's what I read last night. It is the official AA suggestions regarding court ordered alcoholics/drunks/offenders. Very informative.
xxx Noels

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:10 am
by Spirit Flower
I don't sign court cards. But more as I think there should be a separation of church and state; and AA is a spiritual program.

(I've been sober for 31 years so seen many group conscience on this issue).

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:34 am
by Brock
to me this is a violation of our singleness of purpose and a number of our traditions. if we keep trying to help all people we will surely go the way of the Washintonian's and the Oxford groups which means we will fail.

Very well said, you are a man after my own heart, and many times I have written about that problem here.

In my own area we have a few attendees whose primary problem was cocaine, they were not court appointed and we welcome them providing they don't talk about drugs. They do seem to get more out of AA meetings, (they have said as much), than they do out of NA. I am very strict in my views on this subject, because if NA or any other of the many 12 step programs are badly organized, or basically suck due to a bunch of kids being the main attendees, that is not AA's problem. And the message should be get your house in order and improve your own meetings, don't come to ours which might negatively affect the chances of the alcoholic our primary purpose says we were designed to serve.

If I were a member of your group I would have voted not to sign the cards as well, this would send a message to the courts to make alternative arrangements. The document I put a link to I believe makes no mention of drug offenders, I would put my head on a block to say that no GSO document says we should cooperate with courts who send drug users.

So I sympathize greatly with the position you have found yourself in, I lobbied at the intergroup level in my area to even stop accepting court referrals for drunk drivers. The GSO document shows how these can be exposed to the program via separate meetings held in a room at the court house, and since they are also made to attend defensive driving lectures, we made an arrangement to have AA volunteer members address them there. So those who might be alcoholic and not just weekend warriors, are able to hear about our program and be given literature handouts. Perhaps you can find a way to resolve this, best of luck in doing so.

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:03 am
by tomsteve
I was one of them court ordered people. I had to see a counselor 2 days a week for a month before being sentenced. I was quite honest about my drinkin and tried to get her to understand I didn't have a drinkin problem, I just liked to get drunk. :shock:
still had to do 2 meetings a week for a month, which I only went to meetings for a couple months.
then started buyin sigs for a beer at the bar and goin through the phone book and pullin names and numbers out of it.
wouldn't ya know it, about a month after the year was over I was given the gift of desperation and found myself at an AA meeting ready for help.
those meetings I attended for those couple months planted a seed- one which after a couple months later I wrote a letter to the judge who sentenced me -thanking him for doing so.
still amazes me how many people in AA and NA I have heard who are quite greatful for that seed having been planted- greatful for the nudge from the judge.

love and tolerance of others is our code.
what would the Master do?

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:47 am
by Layne
tomsteve wrote:I was one of them court ordered people...those meetings I attended for those couple months planted a seed


Thanks for this. As I was sitting here reading your share, I realized that I too was nudged (just not by a judge) into my first meeting before I was ready to accept this simple program. Despite my reluctance and denial, the seed was planted none the less.

I am grateful for the open mindedness of the program and it's members that I was allowed to keep coming back until I was ready, because it took a while for the seed to grow.

It surely didn't happen at that first meeting because I couldn't wait to get out there and grab a beer. Which is exactly what I did, because I didn't have a problem, although my nudgers thought otherwise.

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:35 am
by Roberth
There is a lot of talk about cards and I would ask everyone to check out the history before deciding whether to sign or not to sign Court cards. The first one was designed by AA member and used so the members would not hang out in the courtroom wait to have the drunks release to them as was the practice of AA through the 40s. A judge told our members if they made up some kind of an attendance card he would send them to us and we wouldn't have to keep showing up to court. so in essences he was doing us a favor.

I was at an AA Regional Forum in Spokane a few years back, then the question was ask why do judges sent everyone to AA. The answer may surprise you. A Class “A” Trustee who happened for be a drug court judge was call on to answer the question. The answer was because we (the AA fellowship) haven’t educated the judges on what AA does and doesn’t do. We know but we are member they’re not. It is our responsibility to work with the professional community through the General Service committees. The CPC(Cooperation with the Professionals Committee) does just that. Check with your GSR to find out more.

I would have to wonder if Ebby wasn't released to Rowland by the court if would have Bill ever gotten the message that led to AA.

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:11 pm
by Brock
I suspect some are seeing the title 'court cards,' and assuming we are once again discussing the signing of cards for alcoholics sent to our meetings by a court, but we are not. This is the predicament of the original poster, for which he was seeking opinions -
I always help anyone with an alcohol problem. however, in my town the drug court sends "drug related offenders" to A.A. meetings period. 99% of them are under 18 years of age with no interest in alcohol only drugs.

We are speaking about whether AA should sign cards for drug offenders, it's accepted that we sign for alcoholics.

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:35 pm
by Noels
Hallelujah brothers!!! I am so merry I'm going to celebrate by having a double coffee on milk!!! Thank you Tom, Layne and Robert :D A court order is a court order whether it be for prostitution, obesity, alcohol or drugs. AA co-operate with the courts. Perhaps there aren't any meetings for drug habits in that particular jurisdiction?

Sleep tight, mwah xxx

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:51 pm
by Layne
I suspect some are seeing the title 'court cards,' and yet still somehow arrive at different opinions about what the topic being discussed actually is.

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:26 pm
by Blue Moon
Brock wrote:We are speaking about whether AA should sign cards for drug offenders


This was unclear to me from the original post. I was unaware there's a court for drug offenders that exempts alcohol-related offences.

Brock wrote:it's accepted that we sign for alcoholics.


This would be entirely up to the conscience of each AA Group. I remember back in the UK where I sobered up, an AA group that meets at the local probation office decided not to sign them. I was asked if I felt that was the right decision, and I said yes - the group might well misrepresent AA by appearing to affiliate with the probation service. We cooperate with the professional community, but have no obligation to them.

Here at e-AA, as a group we don't offer any proof of meeting-attendance.

Re: court cards

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:11 am
by Brock
This was unclear to me from the original post. I was unaware there's a court for drug offenders that exempts alcohol-related offences.

Yes this was made clear in the second post, and the unclear wording describing the court was entirely my fault, it wasn’t a court for drug offenders only, the words used by Bill were 'drug related offenders.'
...it's accepted that we sign for alcoholics.

My lazy writing, it should have said that it's accepted by most members here that they sign at their home groups, ( as mentioned we have discussed this topic many times).