Empty Threats in Iowa


Empty Threats in Iowa

A printing error on unpaid parking ticket notices recently struck fear in the hearts of residents of Muscatine, Iowa. According to muscatinejournal.com, the notices informed drivers that their cars were going to be impounded if they did not pay their parking fines. The recipients questioned the validity and legality of these notices and were happy to be informed of the mistake.

When residents who received notices said they did not have multiple outstanding parking violations, Muscatine Finance Director Nancy Lueck said the city realized there was an error on the form. Lueck said the notices should inform residents they have a delinquent or unpaid ticket, not that impoundment is possible.

I don’t think impoundment is an unfair punishment for people who don’t pay their tickets. Maybe Muscatine should have just gone with the mistake and made it policy? It’s a lot of work impounding vehicles, so the city, which denies vehicle registration to scofflaws, is instead apologizing and reprinting their notices.

A few lessons learned:

1. People need to pay their tickets, because finding out your car is going to get towed is scary – whether the threat is real or not.

2. Cities might consider scaring people with misprinted notices more often. I bet those tickets got paid, even though the form was invalid.

3. Proofread your forms. It’s uncomfortable explaining mistakes to the media. It’s also a waste of money to print boxes and boxes of anything with incorrect information.

Read the article here.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only show results from:

Recent Posts

A Note from a Friend

I received this from John Clancy. Now retired, John worked in the technology side of the industry for decades. I don’t think this needs any

Read More »

Look out the Window

If there is any advice I can give it’s concerning the passing scene. “Look out the window.” Rather than listen to CNN or the New

Read More »


See all Blog Posts

Send message to

    We use cookies to monitor our website and support our customers. View our Privacy Policy