Man Who Dialed Into Court Hearing From Behind the Wheel DID Have a License

Saginaw County Clerk of Court
Saginaw County Clerk of Court

A Michigan man who went unwittingly viral last week—and had his bail revoked—for driving as he attended a virtual court hearing for a charge of driving while suspended appears to have been the victim of a costly clerical error.

The clip stemmed from a May 15 court date in which Corey Harris, 44, joined the hearing from the driver’s seat of his car. The hearing stemmed from a traffic stop last year in which Harris was accused of driving on a suspended license—a suspension that authorities said was brought on by him failing to make child support payments more than a decade ago.

Judge Cedric Simpson appeared befuddled that Harris, who was seen with his seatbelt and glasses on, would show himself driving while his license was seemingly suspend. “I don’t even know why he would do that,” Simpson said at one point, throwing his hands up.

He went on to grill Harris and his public defender, and then revoked Harris’ bail.

“Oh my God,” Harris could be heard saying after hearing his bail was revoked. He then put his head back in disbelief as Simpson closed the hearing.

Harris was ordered to turn himself over to authorities by 6 p.m. that same day, despite him explaining that he was behind the wheel because his wife had a deteriorating health condition and he was taking her to the doctor. He spent two days in jail before he was released.

In the meantime, the clip made its rounds online, making Harris famous.

It turns out, however, that it was perfectly legal for Harris to be driving that day, reported WXYZ Detroit, as the order to halt his license was rescinded by a different judge in January 2022.

That decision to rescind the suspension was never forwarded to state authorities by the Saginaw County Friend of the Court, however, and the matter got lost in the paperwork. That meant that Simpson had no idea Harris was actually street legal, and apparently, neither did his public defender.

The mistake was revealed by WXYZ on Friday, however. Harris spoke to the station about the troubling ordeal, saying he was embarrassed by it and worried it would ruin his reputation.

“With the type of ties that I have with the church and the community, it’s very embarrassing,” Harris told the station.

Khyla Craine, the deputy legal director for the Michigan Secretary of State, told the station that getting drivers licenses reinstated can be a difficult process that’s become so bad they implemented a new program, the Road to Restoration program.

“Sometimes it is simple as we at the Secretary of State’s office did not get a clearance from the court that everything was done, but something happened in the wires, and we needed to talk to the court to get the clearance and clean it up for the resident,” Craine said.

Harris told WXYZ that he couldn’t properly plead his innocence during the court hearing because his main concern was his wife’s health, not proving that he was allowed to be on the road.

“What was I thinking? I was thinking about getting my wife medical help,” he said. “That’s what I was thinking. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I got a suspended license. I don’t care about all that.”

Harris said he’s working with the Secretary of State’s Office to have the issue rectified so he can continue driving without issue.

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