This is Smyrna is always open for guest columns on many subjects, and sometimes a guest columnist wishes to remain a bit private on their identity...such as this one. Our guest columnist today has written on the subject of court fees.
I’ve been thinking about whether or not to post on this incident… but I think it’s worthy of noting.Our guest columns are open to all readers who have a Smyrna based subject they feel needs to be talked about.
A few weeks ago I was pulled over by a police officer. As I hadn’t been doing anything illegal, I didn’t worry about it. Just waited for the officer to walk up.
He did, and informed me that my brake lights weren’t working. Apparently, only the center light on the back windshield was in operation. He wrote me out a citation requiring me to fix the problem… and to provide the department with up-to-date insurance info. My new policy cards were sitting at home on my desk – not yet having been stuck into my wallet or car. Fair enough! I asked him what I needed to do.
He told me that I simply needed to fix the problems and report in at the police station on Enon Springs Rd. to prove my vehicle was back in safe operating condition. I thanked him for letting me know about the issue and I went on my way.
At home I checked my fuses. They worked - as did the bulbs. They just wouldn’t light up. So I took the car to a garage and they fixed it. The wires had burnt through and weren’t carrying current.
With my vehicle back in full working condition, I stopped in at the police station. The clerk there noted my insurance info and told me to use the phone out front to call an officer so he could inspect the car and sign off on its being in good condition. So I did… and he did. And I went back in with the signed paper.
And the clerk said “That’ll be $75.”
“$75?” I replied, incredulous, “I was told that my ticket would be waived if I fixed the issue.”
She replied “Your ticket is waived. The $75 is your court fee.”
“For what? I had to pay to fix my lights… and pay you guys for the privilege of telling me they were broken?”
“That’s the fee.”
So I wrote a check and left. I simply can’t believe that I was charged $75 (which is really precious right now, considering the fact that work has been really hard to find!) by the state. I can understand the ticket and the warning to get it fixed – but to be fleeced by the court is really too much!
Aren’t the cops supposed to prosecute thieves? Should I report this incident to them?
Are court costs for no court time proper? Not sure. What's your view?