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Unpaid Fee juvenile probation, first notification 10 years later.

Discussion in 'Juvenile Crime, Law & Court' started by Kai0, Oct 21, 2009.

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  1. Kai0

    Kai0 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Salutations,

    I very recently received three letters in the mail from the county court house, each stating that I owe a $20 fine. The letter says:

    The Court Orders:

    1. Judgment is granted in favor of the creditor and against the defendant/debtor for the amount owed. Twelve percent (12%) interest will be added from the date of entry of judgment.

    2. This judgment shall be entered in the judgment and lien docket.

    3. No docketing fee shall be charged.

    --

    It states before that the creditor is Clerk of Circuit Court.

    I called the court house and found out that these three fines are from 1999, 2001, and 2002. Each are from when I was on juvenile probation (I was 13, 15, and 16 at the time), and they say I was told that before the end of each probationary period, I would have to pay a $20 fee. I apparently was also told that the juvenile, me, is responsible for the fee, and not my guardian.

    The first problem I see is, I did not think a juvenile could be bound by a contract, nor was I aware that the court could make me, not my guardian, solely responsible. I would assume that my mom was told the same thing that I was, because as far as I know, in order to enter a contract with a minor you also need a guardian to co-sign. If indeed my mother was made aware, she most likely paid the fees. She is an accountant and throughout all of her life, she has been very good with financial matters. I have contacted her and she told me she is entirely unaware of any unpaid fees.

    What I notice is that I am being told that I am late, in one case, 10 years after I received this fee, for the first time. I was on probation three different times, and I would have thought that they would have brought it up after I came back. With that aside...

    I enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps over five years ago, and one prerequisite to enlist was to ensure that I had no outstanding fines, fees, tickets, or other legal obligations. I had to actually go to the court house and get a statement giving me the green light. I also had to get a statement from my probation officer, who added, "David has been a model probationer." It seems to me that if ever there was a time to tell me about this fee, that was the time. They told me I was in the clear though. There is, of course and thankfully, a paper trail to prove this. The Marines have that information.

    I am wondering if I am still obligated in every legal way to pay these fines, and if not, how do I go about nixing them?

    One thing that bothered me is they title me the defendant, but never once contacted me so I could defend myself. It looks like the ruling has already passed, and if that is so, I should have at least been afforded the opportunity to contest.

    Please get back to me as soon as you can.

    Respectfully,

    David B. Moronez
     
  2. jharris352

    jharris352 New Member

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    It's a $20 fine. PAY IT. Jesus it's hardly worth arguing about. A judge is not making a contract with a Juvenile, he is charging you with a fine. He doesn't need a guardian, or a cosigner. Forgive me Marine but you are whining like a juvenile. Pay it, and be done with it.
     
  3. Kai0

    Kai0 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well, actually, it's three fines each for the amount of $20.

    Also, I never said that I won't pay the fines. I'm trying to see what all of my options are at this point. If there is some way I can get those fines removed, and it costs less than the total cost of the fines themselves, then I want to take that route.

    Not only did the Marines teach me not to be whiney, but they also taught me to think with my head.

    Please try to be a little more helpful and a little less insulting.
     
  4. jharris352

    jharris352 New Member

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    I am trying to be helpful. You are being silly. Take my advice or don't, but you have LEGITIMATE fines that you didn't pay. They are small amount and you are looking for a way out of them. Don't lecture me on being insulting; just pay the fines and stop looking for a way out. It appears to me you didn't learn much either from your juvenile problems or the Marines.
     
  5. Kai0

    Kai0 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You answered a question I never asked. I didn't say, "Should I pay this fine?" Naturally, if there is no other way, then yes, I'll pay it. I'm not sure about you, but to me, $60 is a lot of money. I buy almost all of my groceries in bulk, I drive a high fuel efficiency vehicle, I bicycle more often than I drive, I turn off my car at long lights or for long trains... my mentality is, cut every corner and save as much money as you can, even if it's a small amount. I know and understand that eventually, a life time of small amounts of money can build a mountain.

    As to whether or not I learned anything from the juvenile cases, I'd say you are in no position at all to make that judgment. Do you know what I was arrested for? Have you read the police reports? The answer is no. How do you know what lessons there were to be learned, then? My own probation officer, who has the very job of judging whether or not I've learned, very specifically said I was a model probationer. That means I was a text book example of what the system hopes to accomplish. Sure, I did go on and off of juvenile probation for a few years, but the key is, I finally did learn. From there, I went on to a better life style.

    How is it that you conclude I've learned nothing from the Marines? Because I don't take insults well? I'm not so sure I can remember the last time I've seen any Marine take an insult laying down.

    If being financially responsible is what you call whining like a juvenile, then I am guilty.

    I believe I have a legitimate concern in this matter. Why should I pay a penalty for a fee I (supposedly) never paid, when I asked them five years ago if there was any unfinished business, and they told me no? Why would it be okay for them to make the mistake of not telling me when I ask again, but it's not okay for me to (again, supposedly) forget to pay the fee? I understand, yes, if I forgot to pay the fee and I asked them if I had any fines, I might just well still have to pay a penalty. I understand that even right now I might just end up having to bite the bullet. Does that mean I should just give up and take it though?

    It is my RIGHT as a United States citizen to challenge the government when I believe it is justified. That, among other rights, are rights that I am willing to put my life on the line for, along with every other American who cherishes our rights.

    For you to sit here and tell me to just pay the fine without even a peep, yes sir, that is very insulting. For you to tell me that I have learned nothing from the Marines. That is very insulting. For you to be so condescending that you believe you have the right to tell me what lessons I have and haven't learned in my life, and you haven't even known me over the internet for more than a few hours, yes, that is insulting.

    That's okay, though. The dirt you throw on me is from your own hole that you're digging.
     
  6. jharris352

    jharris352 New Member

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    In the Marines they teach you respect for authority and personal responsibility. You owe the fines because you did something wrong. Pay them and stop whining.

    Or better, don't pay them and see what happens.
     
  7. Kai0

    Kai0 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Do you want to know what the Marines taught me? They taught me to be grateful for the rights I have. They taught me not to take this country for granted.

    The Marine Corps is not a democracy, but the country we fight for is. Right now, I am acting as a citizen of MY country. Why are you telling me NOT to exercise the very rights I will fight tooth and nail for? This isn't Soviet Russia. This is not Cuba. We aren't living in "The People's Democratic Republic of Korea."

    Do NOT tell me what rights I can and can not exercise! Would you like to hold a gun to my head and try that one more time? I can SHOW you what the Marines taught me!!!

    Again, let me repeat myself, I never said I won't pay the fine! I never swore off the system. I never once said, "F' the police! F' the system!"

    If I had no respect for authority, then why would I be seeking LEGAL advice in this situation?

    Think about it, jharris.

    It appears to me that you've got some sort of twisted perception of the world you live in. When was it ever made okay to tell a Marine that he can't exercise the very rights he fights for, and has lost his friends for?! WHEN!?
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    From one Marine to another:

    Grow up dude... pay your fines. You acknowledged that they are legitimate but think you shouldn't have to pay them because "you didn't know". If you think mom and dad are responsible then get $60 from them.
    I am pretty sure the Marine Corps pays you every two weeks. Set aside $60 and be done with it. Your past caught up to you. Don't make it any bigger than it needs to be.
     
  9. Kai0

    Kai0 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was more trying to get at figuring out why/if it's okay to levy a fine against a minor, and to hold that minor completely financially responsible. To my recollection, they never explained to me that this would happen.

    I called the court house, and they told me that I have until December 1st before any interest is applied. They sent out the notice because they are being told by their bosses to turn over unpaid fines to collection agencies, and they want to give people the chance to pay their fines before it hurts their credit score. The reason they haven't added interest after 10 years is because they said they have this problem all the time. Either it doesn't get explained correctly, or people just plain forget all the time.

    I explained to the lady that my last time on probation I even got off early, and made the suggestion that they allow probation officers to see whether the fine is paid or not, and then make it a requirement that it's paid if you want to get off probation early. She agreed that it would be a great idea, but unfortunately, it's a state statute, so at the county level it can not be changed.

    Presently, I'm waiting it out (I have plenty of time to do so) and I'm trying to see if there is -anything- that can be done about this. I plan to pay the fine BY Thanksgiving. I have a generous rainy day fund, and I wasn't ill-prepared for this, just caught off guard.

    Do you see what I'm saying, though? I'm not refusing to pay any fines. I don't even think I'm being unreasonable here.

    By the way, I'm not on active duty any more, so I don't get a paycheck every first and fifteenth any more.
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    In the long run, you will end up paying more than $60 if you wait it out, either by interest being applied or by court fees trying to fight it off. There might be a technicality in the law somewhere that would free you from this fine, but it would cost you more than that fine to figure it out.
    The bottom line- if the fines were imposed and were never paid by you or your parents, then do the right thing and take care of them and be done with it.
     
  11. Kai0

    Kai0 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Right. I'm definitely not going to let any interest collect on those fines.
     
  12. raskalnikov

    raskalnikov New Member

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