Friday, June 06, 2008

A Stick Up...That Sums It Up

Let's talk about a stick-up, or being strong-armed, or being taken advantage of.

Some time during our Spring Break, while G-dog and I (Big Baby Jesus) were living it up in ol mejico, my pick up truck was towed. According to the letter from the City Attorney, my truck was "abandoned" and was therefore towed away. The family next door, who knew we were away, ran outside to tell the officer, during his discovery, that the owner of the truck was also the owner of the truck. The officer said "Oh well, he's still parked on the grass" (two tires on the curb and one slightly touching the grass) and had my truck towed. His report said that I had expired plates and that when he checked the DMV database, it confirmed that my registration was expired. Discrepancy: abandoned vehicle (check Indiana Code- it's on the web) is not the same thing as vehicle with expired plates. HMMMM?

So $310 later, I get my truck back. As I'm showing proof of registration to the SBPD clerk, she says "oh, that's weird, I wonder why they towed it" referring to the fact that my registration was UP TO DATE. "You'll have to take it up with the City Attorney then, we can't do anything for you here." They can tow the vehicle, induce me to pay a large amount of money, but they can't correct the error? HMMMM?

As I'm picking up the truck, I notice that the 08 sticker is missing off of my plate. So, I drive to the BMV because I don't want to give The Man anymore reason to hassle me. As I'm paying $10 for a duplicate sticker, I ask the DMV clerk "why didn't my registration show up as valid when the officer ran it in your system." She said "I don't know what you are talking about, if you put in the plate number in our system it shows up as current." She then confirmed it with a supervisor who was walking by. So if he ran it properly, it would have shown up as good? HMMMM?

Let's do some math:

$310 for towing and storage
$10 for police report
$10 for new plate sticker
$128 in lost PTO
= $458 total spent on getting my truck back in the condition I left it in.

So, I call the City Attorney, explain the situation, and he asks me "well, what do you want." I want my money back. So he sends me a claim form, but says that doesn't guarantee I'll get what I want. I fill out the form and decide that all I'm going to claim is the $310, because maybe my sticker was stolen or fell off and if the police would have stopped me or come to my home while I was there, I would have shown him the valid registration and he probably would have told me to go get a replacement. Also, I didn't charge them PTO because I could have tried to do this after work hours, I just didn't want to be any more inconvenienced than I already was. So, just give me back the tow fee because the report says one thing and the letter says another, so someone messed up big time and I need my money back.

I got the letter today from the City Attorney and guess what? They are willing to pay me $155. (duck, here comes the f-bomb) WHAT THE FUCK!?!? Either you are all the way liable or you aren't, you can't be just half way responsible. I'm betting that the city doesn't want to pay all of it and they are banking on my being to busy and inconvenienced that I won't take them to small claims court. I'm betting they do this to most people knowing that they won't stand up for themselves. So, I know someone who knows someone and well...I didn't want to use favors, but I feel I have no choice. I may have to counter their offer with one of my own- how about $458 instead? HMMMM?


felixchick said...

holy shit.. take them to small claims court and stick it to 'em!!! and thanks for finally posting something new. it was getting really boring not having anything to read. i was afraid your life was getting boring or something. :)

Busstogate said...

I'd ask for an itemized statement that details the rationale behind their offer if they won't budge. I wouldn't do this unless you are ready for small claims, as this WILL piss them off for sure. The cool thing is about small claims or civil suits is that you can file your own minute sheets with the clerk of the court for free to get the case filed.

Talia said...

Yep. Do it!

Jennifer said...

you better make them pay for it.

david dodd lee said...

I went to small claims court once.
It was against this guy who turned
across several lanes in front of me
in a car he was "test" driving
and I rammed into him and then
he fled the scene. I won in court
(the guy's defense--he was quite the character--was "He,"--meaning me--"was going at a pretty good clip, your honor." Unfortunately, a few weeks later, I got a bankruptcy notice in the mail. I won the case easily (the judge actually chuckled at Mr. Wilkinson's--that was his
name--"defense") but I never got any money. This isn't a warning, just a funny story, Jesus. I'd take the city to court for the full 458 or whatever it is. They DO have the money, despite the obvious panic over revenues that push them to do things like what they did to you. The little guy.
They can't just perpetually screw you over. Do it . . . Take 'em to
court . . .