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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Just when I thought this crappy year was looking up

It proves it's crappiness yet again.

Remember back in April when I got that speeding ticket? Well, there was more that I didn't write about that happened afterwards. (Just another way for the universe to kick me in the nether regions.) And, since I was so upset all day, and have already written it all out at least twice, forgive me for cutting and pasting here what I sent to my father for comment...(Read on...)

I am having traffic court hell over here...remember I got that speeding ticket last April? I never received a notice in the mail, so called the court before the appearance date - I just wanted to pay it and get information about traffic school. Since I'd never received the notice, I wasn't able to pay the ticket, because their automated system requires you to enter the amount you owe. So, I called the police station to find out, who referred me back to the traffic division number (automated system - no help whatsoever). I finally pressed 0 for a live person, and they couldn't find the docket number in their system. I asked her what to do, as I was supposed to appear in court on the following Monday, May 22, per the citation. She said it's not in the system, they won't call you up at court, so I didn't need to appear. She also said I didn't need to appear for that type of violation, as I wasn't contesting it. Well, I still never received anything from them.

Last night there was a collection notice for $500 in my mailbox. I called the collection agency this morning and asked how I was supposed to appear in court when I didn't have a court date. She told me my court date was June 19. I told her I was never notified of this, and that I had called the court to pay, but was unable to do so, as my citation had not been logged. The court date on my citation was 5/22/06, and I had been advised not to appear at court as they had no record of my citation. The collector told me I should have kept calling. I argued this (and made myself think of Annamarie), asking if I was supposed to keep calling indefinitely, and why was I being penalized for the court's negligenge? She kept telling me that per the citation, you are supposed to call the court within 30 to 60 days. I had the citation in my hand, and nowhere does it mention 60 days. It says you need to make contact by your appearance date. On my appearance date, the ticket was not logged in. And, I still never received anything from them telling me what was due. It appears that the moron cop wrote my address down wrong off of my license (which still has no bearing on the fact that the ticket wasn't logged until after my appearance date). So again, I'm being penalized for their errors/negligence.

So, I am stopping at the courthouse on the way to work tomorrow morning to get a court date. I was told that would put a hold on the collection until it is either resolved in court or paid. I'm annoyed and it's making me feel ill. What do you think? If I go to court, do I have any chance at all? The court date probably won't be until November, per the 3rd person I spoke to this morning (representative from the collection agency). I don't care if I need to pay the initial $200 that I was never made aware of - I'm not contesting the fact that I was speeding.

They are all idiots.
Could this year possibly suck any more???


Secret Pal said...

Aww, man. Traffic court sucks. I had to appear this morning, as a matter of fact.

Good luck getting it all resolved!

(Should I tell who I am yet? Or should I wait until you get the package?)

Secret Pal

Dagny said...

Sorry that you got stuck in traffic court hell. I probably would have kept calling because I know that traffic tickets are a big revenue source for most cities. Therefore, relying on my general mistrust of all things governmental, I would have figured there was some invisible fine print that they would use to screw me over. Good luck getting it all resolved.

Tami said...

Dagny - that's what I'm worried about. It sucks either way, and is all skewed for the benefit of the court, no doubt.

So, now I have a court date set for 11/14/06.

Joie said...

So sorry to hear about the suckiness.


I support you in fighting it, because it isn't fair, but, as we both know there's no guarantee that it will be resolved fairly.

If I were you, I would think carefully over all the details. If you can remember the gal's name you spoke to, that would be gold. If not, that's life. Write down everything you can remember, and take it with you. If there is any way to prove you made the call, have it on hand! (Phone bill, maybe? It would have been a toll call, yes?)

You have some time to gather any materials you want, but you might want to start writing down what happened now so you don't lose any detail.

Again, I am sorry. That just sucks.

Buffy said...

I once got a speeding ticket for going two miles over. Seriously. Who does that??

Fluffycat said...

Woah that whole thing sucks. I hope you get your fines reduced. It really does seem like they are just trying to earn more money and not keep people safe.

Margaret said...

OOooo.. I've had a similar problem following an accident, and I understand why you can't bring a gun in the court house.

Christyn said...

Even though things didn't work out your way yesterday, I was VERY proud of the way you handled yourself on the phone..."I'm talking....." "Excuse me, I'm talking..." I couldn't help but laugh b/c is way out of character for you, but I admired your persistence and the fact that you didn't back down and crumble under pressure. Good Job! Just bring out that persona in November when you go to court!! :)

Tami said...

Christyn - I'm hoping I can bring it back out in court! (You know, without getting myself in trouble...)

Margaret - you made me laugh out loud with your comment! And in slightly related news, maybe that is why at the Vallejo "hall of justice" (where I am assuming there are no super heroes), the traffic division is located in the same office space as the criminal division?

Fluffycat - I hope they get reduced as well, but I won't hold my breath. I figured it was worth a shot. (No pun there for Margaret.)

Buffy - 2 miles over? Was it the last day of the month and the cop needed to fill his quota? That's ridiculous (must not have been in CA...).

Joie - Good advice (which I already thought of, since you and I share a maybe you thought of it and I absorbed it?). I am working on a list, and need to get it done soon, before I forget any details. And luckily, all of my notations and the original citation were still on my desk at work from when I made the original calls (you know, in total panic mode). Unfortunately, I called all the numbers from my work phone, so I can't get a hold of a phone bill showing when I called.

Secret Pal - who are you anyway? I should get your package any day now. Can't wait! I need something to brighten up this dismal year! :)

kerri said...

I'm sorry Tami. Hugs to you!

I'm with you and joie re: fighting it. That just sucks.

And Tami? In all seriousness, if MY life can look up and change, so can yours. You've come a long way, baby! ;) Hang in there.

We love ya!