Saturday, October 25, 2008

Trigger happy Hutt City Council

Today in the mail I received this;

Never before have I received such a document. I had recently incurred a $12 fine for overstaying two hours outside the Petone Library that had now incurred court costs of $30.

But as I read through the notice from the court warning me about the possibility of arrest, that I must contact them immediately if I plan to travel in the next 48 hours, etc, I thought, that fine is not overdue. It is in my pile of bills awaiting payment.

On checking I found sure enough it wasn't due until 28 days after October 7.

So how often are people sent extra fines before time and the payee doesn't realise the court has acted prematurely? How often are people bailed up at airports for not paying fines that are not overdue?

I rang the Justice Department who are blaming the Hutt City Council who have sent it through to the courts before time. It's hard to imagine mine was on its own. This sort of stuff really pisses me off. Not because they nearly got $30 extra dollars out of me but because there is the potential for this process to cause huge inconvenience and embarrassment to people who are fully intending to pay their fines by the due date. I can just picture how angry my husband would have been with me if we were prevented from getting on a plane because I had allegedly not paid a fine. What an unholy row that would have been. Never mind the District Court. It would have been the Divorce Court.


Anonymous said...

On the first document,just to the right of the exclamation mark in the triangle,is an election advertisement for the ACT Party. The document appears to carry no authorisation statement. The cost of this, and similarly circulated documents, will probably need to be declared as an election expense.
Perhaps you could seek redress from the Council through the Electoral Commission, or refer the matter to the Police.

Anonymous said...

On the first document, to the left of the exclamation mark in the triangle, there appears to be a financial inducement to support the ACT Party.
This must be a blatant flouting of the Electoral Law.
ACT should file proceedings against the Council immediately for attempting to compromise its Electoral integrity.

Media Blogger said...

Thank you for sharing that Lindsay! I completely agree that many people would not inspect a document like this further and pay a fine that they are not actually required to.