The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Superior Court Cake and Eat It

In June of 2009 I received a traffic ticket for running a red light, and I was caught on camera. Irrefutable. On July 30, 2009 I appeared in pro per, (in person,) at the San Diego Superior Court, North County Division, where I was advised of my rights, read the complaint, convicted, assessed a fine of $518.00 and given until 12/28/09 to pay up.

Over the next several months I made monthly payments of $50 until finally on 12/19,09, I sent them a check for the outstanding balance of $293.00. Then on 1/5/10 I received a delinquent payment notice threatening me with, among other unpleasantries, a civil assessment of $300, driver's license suspension, warrant for my arrest, wage garnishment and bank levies through the Franchise Tax Board. Online I viewed my bank account and, sure enough, the check remained uncashed.

On 1/11/10 I called the California Superior Court, North County Division, where I sat on hold for approximately 20 minutes. No exaggeration, try it yourself and see. (760) 201-8500, which is not the automated line referred to on the delinquent payment notice by the way, but the actual number to the courthouse. After finally being put through to a real person, I was again put on hold while my record was checked against the citation number. Erica came back on the line to tell me, "we have received your check and it will take about 4 weeks to process it." "4 weeks," I said, "to cash a check?" "Will you issue a warrant for me in the meantime in spite of the fact that you hold my check?" I queried. Erica's reply was succinct; "What would you like me to do?" "I would like you to send me a receipt for payment and retraction of the delinquent payment notice." OK, done. Erica is going to mail it out, and I can't help but wonder how long that will take.

Meanwhile all I have in defense of a civil assessment, license suspension, wage garnishment, etc. is my conversation log duly noting Erica's statement along with the date it occurred and my sincere hope that I don't get arrested. Even that is made somewhat ineffectual by the fact that Erica declined to give her last name. She has ALL my personal info, and can levy my bank account, but I can't get a surname? What's up with that?

So, the California Superior Court can hold my money and threaten me too. Hardly seems fair, and I sit here wondering whether I'm the only person in the US that has fullfilled their lawful duty to be efficient while being threatened by an institution that clearly is not. And the worst part of all? Surely I am not.

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