Massachusetts & Me: Part I

I’m going to start chronicling a matter that has been burdened upon me, but I haven’t written about until now.

It’s a new form of identity theft. Essentially, cash-strapped states want to find people to get money out of them. So, they’re running identity searches, and hassling people with similar/identical names to the deadbeats that they’re looking for.

I’ve never been to Massachusetts, I’m sure most of the people there are great. Unfortunately, there is a deadbeat there named Christopher Price. No, it isn’t me. And, this deadbeat fathered a child… apparently… and ran away. The state can’t find him. So, they did a public records search for Christopher Price.

I was the top hit. Welcome to my world of pain…

The state of Massachusetts wants me to fly 6,000 miles round trip and appear before their court. They then want me to give a DNA sample… no idea when… possibly on a second 6,000 mile trip over there. Why? Because I have the same name as the person they are looking for. That’s all.

Thus far, the Department of Revenue over there has confirmed the following:

* I have a different middle name than the person they are looking for.
* I have a different date of birth than the person they are looking for.
* I have a different place of birth than the person they are looking for.

Case closed, right? Wrong. The state is still refusing to:

* Tell the court this new information.
* Dismiss the case against me.
* Return my phone calls. –> That’s the new one, by the way.

By next week, if I do not hear back from the state, I will have no choice but to retain attorneys to fight this (obviously frivolous) action. Worse, it will cost more money to fight to get my expenses back from the state of Massachusetts. More money that what I will probably have to pay just to get this taken care of.

This is a new fleecing of honest, hard-working Americans, and it needs to stop. States must not be allowed to run amok, demanding money of people based on what a computer coughs up as the “best match”. It creates a massive bureaucracy… which state employees actually like… because it means job security for them. Government gets bigger, they get more insulated. Until the house of cards comes tumbling down, of course. It’s the kind of stuff that bore the Tea Party.

Unfortunately, anything that reduces government waste and spending is two years, too far away I’m afraid. Just wait until something like this happens to you… who knows? Someday parents will be naming their children based on how likely/unlikely they’re be implicated in a public records search by a brainless computer. Don’t think I’m joking, folks. It’s either that, or we all start carrying national IDs. Neither is an attractive solution.

I’ll be following up on this, of course, to let you know:

* How I’m sinking with the ship.
* How much money I’m wasting on this stupidity.

Until next time, folks. Stay tuned for Massachusetts & Me: Part II.

Update: And now, the conclusion to this story.

5 Responses

  1. milkbone
    milkbone November 19, 2010 at 1:17 pm |

    I wonder, if at the end of this unfortunate saga to be, a frivolous suit judgement could be acquired, with Mass. paying your legal fees as a punitive measure.

  2. Christopher Price
    Christopher Price November 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm |

    The good news is, the state’s attorneys are finally talking to me again. It took a lot of phone calls… and at least a few voicemails.

    Anyways, milkbone, to sue for a “frivolous judgement” against a state, typically would cost more than it is worth. You’re looking at (just guestimating numbers here) paying $20,000 to collect $8,000 in legal fees… not to mention that there’s no guarantee you’ll win… a state can argue they had reasonable, even if misdirected, reason to pursue you.

  3. Massachusetts & Me: Part II | Christopher Price .net
  4. yosun
    yosun February 19, 2011 at 3:47 am |

    well, on the plus side, you were probably never bullied as a kid due to your name. but it’s funny that the government would turn into that missing bully, years later. it’s also alarming that fighting back would be a financial loss, even if it’s an ideological win.

    it seems a bit insane that the gov would do such a thing (further, what if you just disregarded the mail as spam from an imposter – would MA then have to fly to you?). anyway, i want to see scans of these alleged letters!! is it even on official stationary, with the MA watermark, etc?

  5. Christopher Price
    Christopher Price February 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm |

    If I had disregarded the letter, Mass. would have rendered a default judgement. They then would have filed to garnish my wages and drain my bank accounts.

    The states have pacts that allow them to pursue from one state to the next, so had I ignored the letter… I would have awoken one day to find my bank account zeroed out.

    It’s happened to many other people already, and it’s even more of a problem to reverse at that point, since the state court would have ruled (by default) that “you” are legally the father of the child in question.


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