Massachusetts & Me: Part II

This part is very brief, thankfully. And, even more thankfully, it’s the conclusion.

After another round of calls, a case researcher called me back and re-re-re-asked me the same identity questions I had been asked several times. Then they asked me to fax over my driver’s license.

They confirmed that I didn’t even have the same skin color as the person they were looking for, and that was that. The case was filed for dismissal.

The problem? It took over a month, and I was nearly forced to retain a lawyer… days before a mandatory court date that I had been subpoenaed to attend, 6,000 miles away (round trip) from where I live.

I had to get up at 5 AM on countless occasions, to call in hourly, to a state answering machine, to get nowhere fast… over the course of weeks. Had I not been this proactive, I have no doubt that there would be a default judgement against me right now.

What I said in my last post still holds true. This problem is going to get worse. States are going to get more cash-strapped I’m afraid, and they’re going to send their computers out chasing “best matches” for the deadbeats in their state.

What is needed, is federal legislation that requires states to not simply rely on a computer witch-hunt for location their deadbeats, and then demanding they prove that they aren’t the actual match. It’s guilty until proven innocent, and it’s costing Americans their rights of due process.

If unchecked, this type of lessened scrutiny will eventually be used to justify things more invasive than a pat-down at an airport. You try hiring an attorney 3,000 miles away for less than a couple grand up front.

One Response

  1. Steven Goldfein
    Steven Goldfein December 31, 2010 at 3:14 am |

    It’s growing in leaps and bounds. Last year at the spring time change, I was given a parking ticket even though I had a valid permit. The letter from the processing agency gave me a webmail address that I filled out a form and attachec copies of the ticket and my payment reciept. I got a letter in the mail a month later saying they rejected me reciept and to pay the amount and then I could file an appeal. I refused. The car that I had at the time is no longer in my posession and is not associated with my name any longer by the DMV. I still get letters from the processor demanding money with no information on how to contact a human, just a demand for a check. Which I respond with a copy of the ticket and reciept and a note explainging that this happened on the day the clocks changed and sprang forward to which I hear nothing except the demand for a check.


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