Spin off from the trusting cops thread...

This is a discussion on Spin off from the trusting cops thread... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This has nothing to do with trust but it speaks of the power officers/the court has over you. I am right now, today, dealing with ...

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Thread: Spin off from the trusting cops thread...

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    Spin off from the trusting cops thread...

    This has nothing to do with trust but it speaks of the power officers/the court has over you.

    I am right now, today, dealing with a matter that came up when I tried to renew my drivers license last Friday. Twenty one years ago I was cited for under aged drinking. I was 18 at the time and it carried a penalty of a small fine and a 90 day suspension of your DL. In the event the minor did not have a DL (my case) you were prohibited from obtaining a DL for 90 days. For first time offenders there was an option to attend a one weekend alcohol awareness class and the case /fine/suspension would be dismissed. I took the class, went before the judge and blammo it was all done. I learned my lesson (not to get caught) and got on with my life.

    Flash forward twenty one years. Last Friday I went into the OH DMV to renew my DL and find that it's being blocked for renewal by PA. The citing officer or the clerk of courts misspelled my very long German last name on a piece of paper and created two separate citations/records linked to my SSN. Now the PA DMV wants their pound of flesh. They are demanding that I serve my suspension now or I must produce the paperwork to prove I have already done so.

    I have been trying to find any record of my case for 5 days now and keep coming to dead ends. I have talked to my home town police (Ross Twp. PA) and they don't have the records anymore (destroyed after 20 years). I have talked to the Court clerk where I went through court and they have a computer file with my name on it but for some reason it can't be retrieved (data corruption?). There is no way for me to get the documents that the DMV wants.

    My two options are 1) I petition the court and if the new Magistrate is nice he will re-dismiss my case and then I can get this DL block removed or 2) I get a lawyer and spend a bunch of money to unfarg someone else's paperwork mistake from twenty years ago.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    That sucks, I feel for you.
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    I went through something very similar years ago. BMV's in all states are huge bureaucracy that have long over grown their own needs.
    CCopperpot likes this.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    I've had the same issue, except opposite. 33 years ago, I was arrested and convicted of a felony when I was 18 (possession with intent). When I grew up and began needing background checks (and CWPs), I hired a lawyer to expunge my record. It doesn't show up on any background checks, and when he researched it at the county circuit court where I had my episode, they can't find my case either. I'm OK with that. The court has changed locations since then, and since this was before computers, I can only imagine my file is now embedded somewhere in the archives in the wrong place. That's too bad. I was a complete smart-ass at every opportunity, and the transcripts were pretty funny.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    I've had the same issue, except opposite. 33 years ago, I was arrested and convicted of a felony when I was 18 (possession with intent). When I grew up and began needing background checks (and CWPs), I hired a lawyer to expunge my record. It doesn't show up on any background checks, and when he researched it at the county circuit court where I had my episode, they can't find my case either. I'm OK with that. The court has changed locations since then, and since this was before computers, I can only imagine my file is now embedded somewhere in the archives in the wrong place. That's too bad. I was a complete smart-ass at every opportunity, and the transcripts were pretty funny.
    Be cautious, its bound to come back and bite when you least expect it too.
    rolyat63, 357and40 and CCopperpot like this.
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    The most frustrating part is that no one really has time or wants to talk to me. The Court clerk seems pretty nice and I think she will help make this all go away in a few days time...BUT my DL expires tomorrow and this probably isn't going to get resolved until Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime my wife will be driving me to work or, failing that, I just have to hope I don't run into SIXTO in the next few days. :(

    I started this process a week ago and it just takes too much time.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Timmy,

    Just "renounce" your citizenship, act like you crossed the border with an obvious Hispanic last name, beg for political asylum and you will be good to go! Heck, you might even be in-line for some political election.

    On the more serious side, that really bites. I hope you get it straightend out. Looking for records before they were kept on computers is tough and nobody seems to care if they help you or not.
    357and40 likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    The most frustrating part is that no one really has time or wants to talk to me. The Court clerk seems pretty nice and I think she will help make this all go away in a few days time...BUT my DL expires tomorrow and this probably isn't going to get resolved until Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime my wife will be driving me to work or, failing that, I just have to hope I don't run into SIXTO in the next few days. :(

    I started this process a week ago and it just takes too much time.
    Heck I would just drive my self and just drive the speed limit so I did not get pulled over. And if some reason I did get pulled over I would tell the officer what is going on with your license.


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    I would think that even if this issue had not been resolved that the whole thing would have reached a statute of limitations by now? I'm not well versed in law but I thought minor offenses went away after this much time has passed.

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    Update: The court clerk was a very nice lady and was finally able to pull up my records. She just faxed me a copy of my case including the dismissal paperwork (the case was dismissed three days after the citation was issued). She also sent the DMV the paperwork to lift the block on my DL.

    I just got off of the phone with the PA DMV asking them if they received my paperwork from the court and of course the answer was no. I told her I had a copy of said paperwork in my hand and asked if she had a fax number I could send it to. She told me that they can only accept paperwork directly from the court and that it would take 10 to 14 days to change my blocked status. So to sum it up: They made the clerical mistake and I get to spend the next two weeks paying for it. I swear if I could have reached through the phone I would have choked that girl unconcious.

    I truly hate Pennsylvania. Growing up there I never knew how lousy they were, it was just the way things were. It was only after I moved away that I realized how lousy the place really is. Every time I deal with PA I feel thankful that I don't live there anymore. Soooo many weird laws and soooo many bureaucrats.
    CCopperpot likes this.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Except for actual felony conviction, there needs to be a rip- up and shred requirement for just about everything after a few years.

    This goes not only for criminal matters, but many financial transactions and medical records as well.

    A few weeks ago I jammed some filthy wire through my hand and went to an emergency room in another state. I had been there one time before---more than 15 years ago. Although they were wonderful back then (saved my hide) and efficient at treating me this time, I found it rather disconcerting that they maintained my personal records after all of these years. The personal information and medical information were either not needed now, or were exquisitely out of date and useless; yet there it was right in their little hands to confuse things.

    In this day of Google search engines, computer security breaches, human stupidity (as for all time), we need a law that makes most records disappear after relatively short and predictable time periods.

    The consequences of errors piling up over time, and sometimes getting compounded, (false arrest, medical mistake, credit denied) and the difficulty of correcting error--per our OP's experience-- is just too burdensome.
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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    So to sum it up: They made the clerical mistake and I get to spend the next two weeks paying for it.
    Doesn't quite sound like justice, does it? Someone here said it quite succinctly a few days ago in regards to another matter; we don't have a justice system, we have a legal system.

    Sorry about the inconvenience but I'm glad it was eventually resolved and is going to work out for you.

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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    I would drive. A drivers license can be renewed up to 1 year after it expires without retaking a test. If I got stopped I would explain the officer that there was a mix up and hand him the the copies. After the officer takes one look at the papers and they will tell you have a great day. Not worth the headache.

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    I feel your pain, but I don't think it is only PA. All states have a "NO" or CAN'T BE DONE Department. PA is a preaty good place and fairly gun friendly.
    Best of luck getting your licence straightened out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKinNY View Post
    I would drive. A drivers license can be renewed up to 1 year after it expires without retaking a test. If I got stopped I would explain the officer that there was a mix up and hand him the the copies. After the officer takes one look at the papers and they will tell you have a great day. Not worth the headache.
    I don't know. You are telling someone it is OK to drive without a valid DL.

    Sixty years or so back my grandmother drove her car into the back of another vehicle. He was stopped because
    workers had closed one of the lanes for some machinery to pass.

    He was arrested because he was driving without a valid DL.

    The accident (though it was my grandmother's fault for speeding, failing to obey the warning signs and slow down, not paying attention to what she was doing, etc. etc.) was deemed HIS fault. He spent time in jail after being arrested. My grandmother got a 6 dollar fine. It was slated to be 5 dollars but the mayor helped out by "talking to the judge." Guess that cost an extra buck.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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