Help Wanted – Bill Collectors

Peace be with you

I was composing a nice letter to the DA and thought I would take a break and write a little about an Item on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisor’s agenda for this coming Tuesday. First I read the comments left from the post I posted about Id discrimination. I really thought Movie Dad, whom is thoughtful and articulate, segued into the agenda item nicely when he wrote, [t]here are already: “Debtors Prisons” look at how may people are in County Jails, for non-payment. if we trace the prisoners offenses back to the point before the: “Non-Payment-FTA” we find things like…(Drunk in Public-$300 or Illegal Camping-$270 or Possession of Controlled Substance-less than one oz.-$750.) To a person who can’t afford to get his Birth Certificate, his CA ID Card, or even take a bus to the place where he might get it personally; the fine means future jailing, for failing to pay the fine, which is designed to destroy any chance that person has at lifting himself up.”

Speaking of debtor prisons Item D-10 is the “Supplemental Budget for Revenue Recovery in FY 2009-2010.” What this Item is is the CAO wants to hire an “extra-help” County bill collector.

According to the discussion in Item D-8 “[t]he County Administrative Office, through its Revenue Recovery Division provides court ordered debt for the Superior Court, as well as non-court ordered debt for County departments such as the Sheriff’s Animal Control.”

What the CAO wants is $14,000 to hire a collection agent because there was a delay in receipt of cases from Humboldt County Superior Court Operations. They estimate there is $2,080,563.00 worth of outstanding court fines owed. Two million dollars worth of unpaid fines makes you wonder about quotas.

If there was a delay does that mean we had our “regular help” sitting around with their thumbs up their asses all this time? I’m not convinced that this is just not the norm for court operations. I question the timing of more collections and budget concerns. When the king wants more for his war, his henchmen turn the screws a little tighter on the peasants.

Item D-8 by the way is an agreement with a real collection agency to collect those fines (and added interest and charges) after the County gives up.

I just wonder if nobody ever broke their laws, effectively cutting off this funding stream, would they finally start firing the cops, or would they make even less serious actions crimes? Planning on crime as your source of income corrupts the whole notion you’re the good guy.

love eternal


One Response to “Help Wanted – Bill Collectors”

  1. Ecumenik Says:

    I thought it went like this: The defendant is given the fine at sentencing. It is part of his agreement with the probation office that the defendant will pay the fines. It they don’t; they are in violation of their probation and the case is sent back to the sentencing judge, who then orders probation revoked and issues a “bench warrant” to bring the defendant before the bench.
    So, the Marshal’s office and the Sheriff’s office. are the collection arm of the court.

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