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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "Memories taxed by old traffic citations"

Bloomington Herald-Times ($$$) Hotline columnist Rod Spaw yesterday answered a question from a reader:

Q: On Oct. 14, 2004, a Bloomington policeman waved me over after leaving work shortly after 7 a.m. Said one of my headlights was out ... Anyway, fix it and go to the station to show them it has been repaired, were the instructions from the officer. Which I did, and to me, at least that was the end of it.

So today comes a collection letter from Eagle Accounts Group Inc. asking for $154.05 because of the headlight.

OMG, what kind of fraud is this? I didn’t move from Bloomington until June of 2012.

The issue of the headlight was satisfactorily settled the morning of Oct. 14, 2004. I have never received an order, as the collection agency claims, to pay the clerk of the court.

The answer, it turns out, is that the reader is not alone:
Monroe County Clerk Linda Robbins said the Eagle collection agency is helping her office track down and collect on as many as 22,000 unpaid traffic tickets — some of which have been collecting dust on the clerk’s office shelves since the 1980s.

Notices on the first batch of 2,000 tickets recently were mailed, but Robbins is aware that not all of those will turn out to be actual outstanding debts. She said her office knows there will be cases where tickets were dismissed but the information didn’t get back to the clerk’s office as it should have.

Robbins said the purpose of the collection effort is two-fold: One, to clean up the clerk’s records; and two, to collect any money the county and courts system legitimately are owed.

Robbins said people who wish to dispute an unpaid ticket notice should contact the collection agency or her office. She said people can check the case number on the letter they received against the state’s online court database to see if there is a record of the citation being dismissed. They also may contact the clerk’s office at 349-2614 with the case number to see if there is a record of dismissal.

Good news in your case, L.W. Hotline checked the database and found that your citation for a faulty headlight officially was dismissed on Oct. 19, 2004.

ILB: Here is a similar story from 2011, involving a different county.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 7, 2013 09:35 AM
Posted to Indiana Government