Old Tickets Never Die

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Old Tickets Never Die

You think you’ve seen it all and then Chicago starts collecting 20-year-old tickets. I started to read the article, published on chicago.cbslocal.com, and I thought, well, that makes complete sense. The city needs the money, why not go after old tickets? After all, those people broke the law and didn’t pay their fines – there’s no expiration date on responsibility.

But then I read “those people’s” arguments. One said she, in fact, did pay the tickets, but didn’t keep her receipts because that was 20 years ago. The city says she contested the tickets, but her contest was not valid and she did not pay the fines.

“It’s not fair to grab something from 21 years ago, and say you owe this,” Parson says. (or whines, rather)

Who’s right? I’d like to take the city’s side, but I’m not so sure. A government office that can’t enforce its own policies doesn’t inspire absolute confidence. It’s entirely possible that the mistake lies in the city’s records. So maybe there should be a deadline – for both parties.

An interesting note buried at the bottom of the article is that part of Chicago’s plan to collect old ticket revenue is to collect it from current lawbreakers. It’s going after the old tickets that belong to people receiving new tickets.

The city confirmed this is a new attempt to collect revenue through people who receive new speed camera tickets or request new city stickers with updated address information.

They’ve now collected $800,000 since implementing the program in May.

I don’t feel so sorry for Ms. Parsons when I consider she’s still out there breaking traffic laws. I’m going to side with Chicago on this one.

One moral of the story is “don’t get any new tickets or you’ll have to pay for the old ones.” Another: “pay your tickets in the first place.” And last but not least: “old tickets never die.”

Read the article here.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Good one, Paul — There is a reason for statutes of Limitations. This is a classic example. The truth is lost in the mists of time. JVH

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