If you’ve been following here and there you know about my blunder, not having proof of insurance and proof of my registration in my truck. (To Detroit Death Comes Astride His Pale Horse)
And you know how I ultimately have been fined $700.
With cursory examination we saw the paperwork saying how much I owed and decided to wait a bit – I was feeling lazy, less than enthusiastic, and in my mind payday was coming up and it made more sense to do it then.
I got another letter and this time it made mention of the fact that I never showed up and my tickets defaulted before I sent the letter.
Okay… first, I sent that letter on the second day after being ticketed (Sept 15), with proof that I had both items up to date and had all along.
Second, the judgment was made on October 13. And “YOUR TICKETS ALREADY DEFAULTED BEFORE YOU SENT THE LETTER” was in bold type.
Well, that was peculiar.
So I called up the Clerk, who I will call Roz (not her real name). I said “Roz, my name is Lemur King and I talked to you on the 14th of September, the day after I received my tickets.”
Roz pulled up the file on her computer.
“Yes, no proof of insurance and no proof of registration.”
“I’m confused, Roz, because I sent a letter the day after I talked to you, to Magistrate Ecks as you instructed, with proof that I had always had that paperwork and policy up-to-date, just not with me. I want to understand what is going on here because $700 is a lot of money to me. When I got the first stubs I thought it was judged based on my letter. Then I got another one yesterday that says you got a letter but too late.”
“Well, it says it wasn’t received until October 8.”
Hell and damnation. What am I going to do at this point, unload on this gal who did nothing to me? Nah.
“Rats. Is it entirely too late to do anything about this? I didn’t know that it got there too late to be of any good.”
“You can show up here M-Tu-W at 8:30am and ask to go before a judge and explain the case – a judge is the only one who can change anything now.”
“Ok, thanks for your time and assistance, Roz.”
I hung up and hung my head in resignation.
Had I sent it certified mail, this wouldn’t be a problem! My bad. But WAIT A MINUTE!
I called Roz back up.
“Roz, it’s me, Lemur King again, and I’m sorry to have spaced this out earlier, but do you have the postmarked envelope still… or is it (gulp) gone?”
“After we talked I was thinking and went and pulled your file. Your letter was received in a timely manner. I’m going to put a note on this and give it to a judge. Likely what he’ll do is re-set the case and review your letter and paperwork again. If I don’t get back to you tomorrow or Monday, call me back, ok?”
“Thank you, Roz – you are the best.”
I could tell that she doesn’t get that kind of treatment very often because of the way she said “Have a nice day.” She said it with sincerity.
Here’s the kicker. We were just going to pay it and not contest it since we figured I was hosed by a cranky judge the first time around. Never would have known something was amiss until I dug around.
How many people just pay these things and get nailed for huge sums of money because they are resigned to having to fight the system for every dime or assumed that the system worked? This is the exact same thing with insurance companies – they live on your sufference of their behavior.
Luckily I found one of the few clerks willing to exercise initiative and free-thought.
I may still get screwed but at least I have a shred of hope.
I make no bones that I don’t like Juan Williams because of his very liberal attitudes. I respect him, however, for having a brain.
But I totally support him with respect to NPR. He was calling it as he sees it.
Surprising though, isn’t it, that totally apolitical and balanced NPR should take a politically-correct stance?
Juan also commented, “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I’ve got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”
I find this humorous in a way because we’re seeing the same response that whites normally get when they say “Hey, I feel [some_situation] is just not right” and are branded racist. It gets old to have the racial/bigot card played on you for voicing a valid/legitimate disagreement.
More power to him on this topic.
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