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‘I’ve been ridiculed’: Man in viral court video looks to set the record straight

<i>WXYZ via CNN Newsource</i><br/>The man whose court hearing where a judge found out he was driving during the hearing while his license was suspended held a press conference with his attorney to set the record straight.
WXYZ via CNN Newsource
The man whose court hearing where a judge found out he was driving during the hearing while his license was suspended held a press conference with his attorney to set the record straight.

By Kimberly Craig

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    SOUTHFIELD, Michigan (WXYZ) — A man who became a meme after a viral court appearance in Ann Arbor is looking to set the record straight.

People couldn’t believe Corey Harris logged into the hearing for a charge of driving on a suspended license while he was driving.

He was cited last October in Pittsfield Township. That now-infamous hearing was just last month.

Harris said he believes he’s paying an unfair price for an honest mistake.

“It has literally been pure, OD hell,” Harris said. “I’ve been assaulted, I’ve been followed, I’ve been laughed at, I’ve been ridiculed, I have been disrespected.”

Harris is planning to appear back in an Ann Arbor courtroom Wednesday with a new defense attorney, Dionne Webster-Cox.

“My client doesn’t want to go out here breaking the law. He’s a law-abiding citizen,” Webster-Cox said. “So now that we know what’s going on, we’re taking steps to go forward to correct the problem, to put him in a situation where his license is in proper order.”

Harris said he was driving that day to take his wife to the doctor because her medical condition was worsening. But when the judge could see Harris was driving during the virtual hearing for driving on a suspended driver’s license, Harris’ bond was revoked.

He spent two days in the Washtenaw County Jail, and the video spread across the internet like wildfire.

“I don’t even go on the internet anymore. I deleted Facebook, my Instagram, Twitter — I deleted everything,” Harris said.

Harris says he had no idea he was driving on a suspended license back in October when he was first ticketed by Pittsfield Township police. He thought the suspension that was tied to unpaid child support had been lifted two years ago.

“I looked at him like you got to be joking because all of this was supposed to be taken care of already,” Harris said of his reaction when the officer told him he had a suspended license.

Court records show a judge ordered the suspension lifted in January of 2022. But a spokesperson for the Secretary of State said they never received a clearance from the Friend of the Court.

No one from the Saginaw County Friend of the Court responded to my calls last week but on Tuesday, a representative for the county’s chief judge responded and said the clearance was never sent to the Secretary of State because Harris didn’t pay the license clearance fee to their clerk’s office.

“Never told me a thing. That’s all they said was that they would be sending me some paperwork in the mail. And here it is 2024 and I just received the paperwork they were supposed to send me two years ago,” Harris said.

Harris said the paperwork came from the Friend of the Court and that he was not told that he had to pay a fee.

“He has an appointment with the Secretary of State Thursday,” Webster-Cox said. “Let’s get this in order.”

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