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She Was Caught Shoplifting When She Was 12. Why Is There a Warrant Out for Her Arrest 25 Years Later?

The now working mother says the fine is bizarre, unfair.

Court FeesValery2007/Dreamstime.comWhen Aundra Motsenbocker checked her mail one evening after work in early March, the 37-year-old resident of Lubbock, Texas, was in for something of a shock.

She'd received a letter dated March 2, 2018, from the law firm McCreary, Veselka, Bragg, & Allen (MVBA) saying in bold, red letters that there was a warrant out for her arrest for a supposed theft in San Angelo, Texas, and that she could avoid going to jail if she promptly paid $299 to the firm.

Motsenbocker, a working mother who believed herself to be a citizen in good standing, was taken aback. "I thought what, I'm not a thief, I haven't stolen anything," she tells Reason. "I thought, 'What the heck is going on?'"

Her first reaction was that it was a scam. Though initially from San Angelo, Motsenbocker has not lived there since she was a teenager. Despite being married for some 17 years, the letter was addressed to her maiden name. She spoke to several friends in law enforcement who agreed with her hunch that the letter was likely a fraud.

The following Monday she called MVBA, who refused to answer her questions, instead directing her to the municipal court in San Angelo. To her surprise, a clerk at the court confirmed that there was a warrant out for Motsenbocker, stemming from an incident all the way back in 1992.

"The minutes she said that, I knew exactly what she was talking about," says Motsenbocker.

When Motsenbocker was 12 years old, she had attempted to steal some hair products from a grocery store. She says she was caught before she even left the store and was held until her father and the police arrived. Motsenbocker was charged with the theft, later having to appear before a judge with her father. There she was sentenced to attending a corrective class, which she did.

To her knowledge, that was the end of it. In the succeeding 25 years, she never heard anything about a fine, or an arrest warrant, until the letter arrived this March.

"I'm just like why now?" Motsenbocker tells Reason. "I just feel like they are trying to put bad on me."

Having an arrest warrant issued for the failure to pay a fine is the law in Texas. However, those warrants should be issued upon the failure to pay, not years later.

As to why notice of a warrant would not find their way to a perpetrator until decades after an offense had been committed, staff at the San Angelo municipal court said that it is possible that a person did not give a forwarding address, or that a third party who contracts with the city to collect unpaid fines had not processed information related to the fine until now.

The San Angelo Municipal Court has long contracted with MVBA—the law firm who sent Motsenbocker the letter notifying her of her warrant—to collect on unpaid fines. Indeed, collecting on court fines is a specialty of MVBA, which advertises itself on its website as having "55 years of experience in the collection of local governmental debts, but also the most advanced technological Court Fines & Fees Collection program."

Newsclippings on MVBA's website note that the firm has enabled some Texas localities to collect over 100 percent of what they were expecting each year in taxes thanks to their aggressive pursuit of delinquent tax accounts.

The San Angelo municipal court provides the bulk information on unpaid fines to MVBA, who then must sort through it all, and track down those still in debt to the city. As evidenced by Motsenbocker's story, these unpaid fines can stretch back years, and MVBA is not shy about hyping the threat of arrest until its money is paid.

For Motsenbocker, being hit with a quarter-century-old debt accrued when she was not even a teenager strikes her as potentially professionally damaging. She is currently employed at a pharmacy in a position that requires her to renew her license every two years.

"I definitely wouldn't have been able to work here if there were any kind of bad on my background," she says.

The Texas Department of Public Safety similarly can refuse to issue or renew drivers licenses for people with active warrants and unpaid fines.

Motsenbocker says that she has talked to an attorney and intends to fight the fine she has been given as unfair and unjust.

"It's been 25 years," she tells Reason. "There's been several times throughout the years that they could have tried to collect this money. Why now? I'm 37 years old, you know. I just don't think this is right."

Photo Credit: Valery2007/Dreamstime.com

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Good to see Christian advocating against property-rights now. TreasonNN keeps going down the damn drain.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Raisin apparently doesn't care that this scumbag broke THE LAW. I hope he at least gets invited to the next pirogi cocktail party so selling out his Libertarian principles is worthwhile.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I would, 100% percent%, sell out my libertarian principles to go to a Pirogi Party.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    A Pirogi Party is not what you think, BUCS. It's just a party where they serve pirogis.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm even more excited now.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I don't think I am getting through. "Serving pirogis" means they will give you dough dumplings stuffed with potatoes or meat, for you to eat.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Who doesn't love getting stuffed?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    BUCS is a fan of the ol' meat and potatoes, the doughier the better.

  • Brandybuck||

    Wait... people *eat* pirogis?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    THE WHEELS OF JUSTICE TURN SLOWLY, BUT THEY NEVER STOP!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Fuckin' statute of limitations, how does it work?

  • Kivlor||

    Doesn't apply to warrants. And she was charged. So sadly it's valid. It's wrong. But valid.

  • FlameCCT||

    Makes one wonder how this one was slipped by the court. Seriously, getting a warrant on a 25 old possible fine levied against a 12 year old child. Also wonder if the fine was only applicable if the class was not completed hence there is no fine. IOW is this just another case of lying to the court.

  • Bill Poser||

    A 12 year old can't be legally responsible for a fine, can she? If the fine was not paid, the court should long ago have addressed itself to her parents.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You roll them up into a cylinder with a hole along the longitudinal axis?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Give a guy a couple of Popsicle sticks and a rubber band and he'll find a way to fuck it like a filthy McGyver!"

  • JudoPete||

    Judgements from a criminal court never expire, from what I understand. But I'd think her parents would be responsible; not someone that was a child at the time of the offense.

  • Whorton||

    Excellent point as she was 12 years old when the criminal act occurred. The woman was undeniably a juvenile when the act occured.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Her first reaction was that it was a scam

    It is a scam. You don't pay a fine to a lawyer to get out of a criminal arrest warrant.

  • Kivlor||

    ^^^This

  • ||

    You don't pay a fine to a lawyer to get out of a criminal arrest warrant.

    You also don't exactly pay criminal fines not ordered by a judge. Was the fine mandatory at the time and the judge just failed to mention it or did this fine that needs repaid materialize out of thin air and/or ex post facto?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I have to assume this is a typical municipal administrative fuck up.

    There might have been a fine that she wasn't alerted to, but fulfilled the rest of her sentencing requirements and now this "collection agency" now simply tries to close the loop by collecting the fine.

  • ||

    I have to assume this is a typical municipal administrative fuck up.

    But we/she shouldn't have to. Either there's a law on the books saying 'shoplifting shall be punishable by a fine of no less than $299' a court record saying 'Corrective classes and a $299 fine.' (or not) or, at least, 'every shoplifting conviction on file in the year of 1992 was assessed a $299 fine' or the criminal fine materialized out of thin air.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    When you're summoned to appear in court and are convicted of a crime, there are ALWAYS fines and/or court fees that get assessed on you. Always. That's how it works.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yes, all twelve-year-olds are experts on legal procedure.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Legally her age doesn't matter, you fucking moron.

    Try talking to a lawyer someday, or anyone who doesn't have a pile of shit between his ears like you do.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yes, the intelligent thing would be to expect a preteen to know how courts work. So sayeth Simple Mikey.

  • ||

    He doesn't even know.

    My point is, I know the minimum fine for a Class C misdemeanor in IN. It's freely available to find on the internet right now. It's $0. If her fine/fees should've been $299 it should be dead simple to produce a document showing line-item fines and fees for a Class C misdemeanor (or whatever she was charged with) in her home county in Texas. "Fees because that's how the system works." is just a retard demonstrating the depths of his retardedness.

  • Johnimo||

    I'm pretty certain that the fine probably came to her parents' attention. Likely, they tossed the damned thing and went on with their lives. She should do the same thing, but have her attorney write a nice letter to the court explaining that she's not responsible this B.S. that was between the courts and her legal guardians.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Actually, since she was only 12 this should have been handled through juvenile court not adult court. Assuming that happened, there may have been a fine in juvenile court that was converted to a civil judgment if she was unable to pay it at the time. But that would not justify an arrest warrant.

    Unless, of course, Texas remains ahead of the curve and does not have juvenile court.

  • ||

    When you're summoned to appear in court and are convicted of a crime, there are ALWAYS fines and/or court fees that get assessed on you. Always. That's how it works.

    Kind of like how people can know you're full of shit on reputation alone but actually reading your posts let them know for sure?

    You say "there are always fines and/or court fees" like you know and like none of the rest of us have ever been arrested for shoplifting (or other misdemeanor) or have friends who were that we can ask independently. Even without asking anyone else I'm certain the fees for misdemeanor shoplifting are not universal throughout the land and a judge can, with wide discretion, grant leniency or waive them entirely; especially for minors or in otherwise obviously extenuating circumstances. "The judge didn't say anything." certainly doesn't exonerate her if fees are stipulated in the penal code, but if they aren't or weren't or say that they're up to the judge to declare (as is the case in the state where I'm most familiar with shoplifting laws), it should be dead simple for a writer to prove.

  • santamonica811||

    What you say.
    1. I seriously doubt that there were 100%-certain fines 20 years ago.
    2. Judges, Almost Always, have the discretion to waive court fees and fines, reduce them, substitute in community service for them, etc. It's part of the goal to not need/have debtors prisons in this country. So, stating that any reasonable person should know that fines will automatically be part of any conviction or plea deal is, well, really dopey.

  • SezWhom||

    I'd bet a dollar that the judge said take this class, or pay this fine. The fine was suspended upon her agreement to take the class. Then, the people who give the class (and make some easy money doing it) forgot to notify the court that she had completed the class. Thus, the fine was reinstated. When she didn't pay, because no one had even contacted her, a warrant was issued. But warrants for misdemeanors only go on file, they don't send out the cops. Years later, a lawyer buys out the government's interests in the old fines, meaning whatever they can get, they can keep.

    All these things would have had to go wrong for this woman to receive a notice after all these years. Not likely? Actually, this crap happens all day, every day. If our courts had to operate as efficiently and accurately as a business, they'd go out of business in month.

  • Widsith||

    Sounds like a plausible scenario. And I'll bet that the fine was $25 or $50 and the rest of the $299 is a "collection and processing" fee charged by the law firm.

  • Johnimo||

    I think you two have nailed the situation pretty accurately.

  • LarryA||

    Then, the people who give the class (and make some easy money doing it) forgot to notify the court that she had completed the class.

    IMHO it's more likely that the people who gave the class did notify the court, and the court didn't check the right box on the right form.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    It continues to amaze me that people respond to letters like that. Unless it says FINAL NOTICE, I don't even open it.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Chipper hasn't had electricity at his house since 2009.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Or water.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    They have this thing now called automatic electronic payments. You guys should check it out sometime.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    The IRS has been doing it for years. They are even nice enough to repay their overcharges if you give them enough documentation.

  • Whorton||

    Her response after contacting the municipal court in San Angelo, was to ascertain the amount of the fine and send them a money order, request a receipt and recall of the warrant. And then, obviously, keep a copy of that letter and receipt handy. Case solved,

  • Mark22||

    The $299 likely isn't the fine itself but payment for the work of the law firm on behalf of the city.

  • Mark22||

    The $299 likely isn't the fine itself but payment for the work of the law firm on behalf of the city.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    "I'm just like why now?" Motsenbocker tells Reason. "I just feel like they are trying to put bad on me."
    ...
    "I definitely wouldn't have been able to work here if there were any kind of bad on my background," she says.

    Oh come on.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Quit trying to put bad on this thread, Berniebot.

  • Aloysious||

    *Inspector Dreyfus eye twitch*

  • GeneralWeygand||

    Commissioner Dreyfus. Clouseau is the inspector.


    Filthy swine.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Don't you put that evil on me, Rickie Bobby!"

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    She's not entirely wrong. If the licensing board did a background check and found an outstanding warrant, it could prevent her getting a license. If they didn't find a warrant it's probably because the case is so old the warrant has disappeared. It's only come to life because the bottom feeders at MVBA had their flunkies comb through all the old records looking for something they could go after.

  • IceTrey||

    Jesus lady just pay the extortion and go on with your life. You can't beat city hall and even if you do it's not worth the trouble and nothing will change anyway.

  • ||

    If you give in to one city hall, then they'll all start doing it.

  • Johnimo||

    Throw the fucking notice in the trash and forget it.

  • Rhywun||

    Texas, shining beacon of freedom in America!

  • IceTrey||

    She did commit a crime.

  • Jerryskids||

    For which she paid her debt to society by attending a class to teach her not to take stuff that doesn't belong to you. Nobody said anything about a fine.

    And, yes, it's bullshit that a private collection agency can contract out the police powers of the state. A collection agency cannot put you in jail over a civil case - if they can put you in jail it's a criminal case and there are rights of the accused attached to criminal cases. See extensive litigation over red light camera tickets, for example.

  • IceTrey||

    "Nobody said anything about a fine."

    Oh, you pulled the court transcript?

  • ||

    Oh, you pulled the court transcript?

    Shouldn't necessarily have to. It could've been up to the judge's discretion but even if everyone in the court besides her is dead and the transcripts were lost in a tragic courthouse fire there would still be criminal statutes on the books and other shoplifters, 25 yrs. down the line, who remember getting fined (or not) as a matter of policy.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    There's ALWAYS a fine and/or court costs when you're summoned to court and convicted of a crime.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    You can repeat the same vomit all you want to. Reality and your truth don't always meet.

  • Brian||

    There something about "being 12 at the time" that makes me think "~$1k fine" is incredibly stupid.

  • IceTrey||

    The fine is 300 and her parents probably didn't pay it. 300 bucks isn't worth messing with. Pay it and move on.

  • Brian||

    Yeah but inflation.

  • Eidde||

    All I can think of is she can apply for a pardon - but that requires the approval of the state Board of Pardons and Paroles *and* the governor. My guess is paying the fine would be less expensive. But that's pure speculation on my part, her counsel can tell her what the real deal is.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    In my experience, you can just go to a judge and request that the fine be removed/forgiven. Unfortunately, if the judge says no, now you're back in the shark tank.

  • Eidde||

    That would be nice!

  • Jerryskids||

    First of all you contact the court and demand proof that a fine had been levied in the original order. I'd bet you a fat dollar they can't provide it.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    There are no electronic records for a case that old, and the court files are in a dusty basement that the court clerk wouldn't go into on a bet.

  • Whorton||

    IF it was a municipal warrant, the governor could not pardon her, unless she was charged in district court. If she was charged on a municipal charge, the mayor likely could pardon or a judge dismiss the issue in totality.

  • BYODB||

    San Angelo is basically a shit hole, so this doesn't surprise me. My fiancé's grandmother lived there for a long time, and it's basically a glorified retirement community with a military base. It's not that surprising that their municipal government is badly run.


    Also, is it normal to issue arrest warrants for, say, a pre-teen? Shouldn't they have gone after her father?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You take that back right now! The Riverwalk is enchanting.

  • BYODB||

    Nice, San Antonio is indeed a lot more fun even though their river is probably 60% hobo piss.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Not necessarily. As I noted above, this should have been handled as a juvenile offense and never seen the light of day in an adult court unless there was a restitution fine ordered, not paid, and converted to a civil judgment. All well and good, but if so no arrest warrant would issue.

  • target||

    What about her age? Is it legal to levie a financial burden against a minor with no ability to pay it? If a fine was imposed shouldn't it have gone to her parents if she was 12?

  • sarcasmic||

    The town hired debt collectors. I wonder how much the city actually gets vs the lawyers. Er, I mean cronies.

  • JudoPete||

    When I managed a doctors office we often retained collection agencies to collect on unpaid bills. Private, civil debt is uncollectable after 7 years, and the agency's fees increase as the debt ages. It starts at around 30% fee for "new" debt (under 90 days or so) and increases as thebdebt ages and becomes statistically less collectable. The agency we used for up to about 60% for debt that was closer to aging out. No idea what the fees are from municipal or criminal judgements that never "age out".

  • Cynical Asshole||

    MVBA, which advertises itself on its website as having "55 years of experience in the collection of local governmental debts, but also the most advanced technological Court Fines & Fees Collection program."

    So advanced that it takes them 25 years, apparently.

    I just don't think this is right."

    Right's got nothin' to do with it.

  • emmanuel||

    There is so much wrong with this.

    I will relate what happened to me once upon a time. I owned a dry cleaning business and a customer sued me in small claims court. Well, she put the wrong name down on the complaint, but I answered it anyway. i was sentenced to 5 days in jail for contempt of court,for "committing a fraud upon the court" by answering the complaint that was not in my name.

    This "warrant" is not in her name. Her name was changed legally 17 years ago; she should ignore it and if anything happens, sue the (expletive) out of everyone involved.

  • Rhywun||

    It's a little late for that now. She's probably public enemy #1 on some poster in Texas now. There's example-makin' to do!

  • Eidde||

    You think the same rule applies to her?

    Ha ha, it's called a rule because it doesn't apply to the rulers!

    /sarc

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Sorry, but I'm just not believing her cockamamie story that she completely forgot all about that one time she got busted for shoplifting until she contacted the court. I also don't believe her claim that she was never fined at the time either.

    America is chock full of stupid idiots who get busted for various offenses and get fined and think to themselves "gee, maybe if I don't pay, they'll forget all about it!" Guess what, that pretty much is never what ends up happening.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Simple Mikey found this one out the hard way.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Yeah, that's what a 12 year old thought. Definitely.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    To be fair, Simple Mikey's mentality is that of a particularly slow eight-year-old, so he has no concept of how a twelve-year-old's mind would or would not work.

  • ||

    so he has no concept of how a twelve-year-old's mind would or would not work.

    Not just a 12-yr.-old's mind, a 12-yr.-old girl's mind!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    See upthread! I pointed out that you probably shouldn't assume a scared twelve-year-old knows about court fees, and because he is simple, he thought i was denying the existence of court fees.

    Some tragically dumb people attempt to make up for it by having a good personality, but not our Mikey.

  • Hicks||

    In general, is a 12 year old legally responsible for shoplifting?

    I thought the idea behind juvenile courts was that you have to be a certain age to be charged with a crime.

  • Henry Baker||

    Probably not in hang-'em-high Texas. Anyone stupid enough to live in that fascist shithole deserves what he or she gets.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Fascist shithole. That's funny. I'm guessing you're in Cuntnetticunt.

  • Jiyuu||

    I'm not a lawyer. Isn't there some kind of rule on releasing information regarding criminal convictions against a juvenile to a third party?

  • Longtobefree||

    24601

  • DaveSs||

    I had a friend who got arrested for driving with a suspended license.

    Of course, the State never actually told him it was suspended and had been for several months.

  • Cyto||

    I had this happen to me once.

    I got a speeding ticket in another state. Since it was prohibitively expensive and logistically nearly impossible to fight the ticket in court, I mailed in the money. Dumb mistake.

    They cashed the check, and I went on with my life.

  • Cyto||

    More than 3 years later, I got pulled over for an expired tag. The nice Atlanta PD patrol lady informed me that I was driving on a suspended license. After some back and forth about that being impossible, she was able to determine that it had been suspended for almost a year. She was kind enough to simply write a ticket and inform me of the procedure for getting it reinstated.

    After dealing with the DMV for a couple of days, I learned that the other state had reported me as failing to appear on the ticket. So I had to track down the right office in another state - all without having a copy of the ticket. (who keeps that stuff for 3 years after it is resolved?)

    After finding the right people and faxing them a copy of the check.... they kindly informed me that it wasn't good enough to prove that they had cashed a check for the same amount. I still owed the money. So I hired a lawyer for $300 and he got the ticket tossed. That saved me from having to pay $120.

    Then I had to wait for them to notify the state and for the DMV to get updated. Then I had to pay a restoration fee of some exorbitant amount. All because someone else screwed up.

    What is that saying about libertarianism happening to you?

  • μ Aggressor||

    How in the fuck is there not a statute of limitations on this? I mean, I guess gov't gotsta get paid; no matter when

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Correct. A statute of limitations is a period of time after an alleged offense has occurred during which you can be criminally charged for that offense. It doesn't apply to people who have been convicted of a crime!

    Say theoretically you get a speeding ticket or something from a cop, and are summoned to appear in court on a certain date. You fail to appear in court on that date for whatever reason. There's a pretty good chance that you can be convicted by the judge of that offense even in absentia, and that conviction essentially "follows you" for the rest of your life. There is no "statute of limitations" that applies, and it's as though the clock has stood still for you!

    We may not like it or think that this is how the system ought to work, but that's how the system works. If you don't believe me, go talk to any lawyer, and he will tell you the same thing.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Actually, I should correct that to state that it doesn't apply to people who have been charged. Even if the judge doesn't convict you in absentia but merely puts out a warrant on you, at the point the clock "stands still".

  • mondo_cane||

    Good advice -- see a lawyer.

    Here's the salient quote: "she was caught before she even left the store and was held until her father and the police arrived. Motsenbocker was charged with the theft, later having to appear before a judge with her father. There she was sentenced to attending a corrective class, which she did."

    To her knowledge, that was the end of it.

    She fulfilled what you say she must do. There indeed is a 4-year statute of limitations in Texas on a debt, but this may not be considered to be a debt. In this case any descent lawyer could argue and win that 25 is too long to wait to try to impose and collect a fine.

  • Johnniebgoode||

    A thank you from the recession days.

    Mr. Gubmint had to find "new revenue sources" and digging into old, old, old debts was a new treasure trove.

    Sort of like red light cameras. Money rolls in for little to no effort.

  • mondo_cane||

    The attempt to collect this debt by legal means is bogus and fraudulent.

    Statute of Limitations.

    Texas' four-year statute of limitations on debts works alongside the Texas Debt Collection Act. The limited time period means that debt collectors cannot sue individuals in an attempt to collect debts that are more than four years past due.
    Consumer Debt in Texas – Debt Collection, Settlement Laws - Debt.org

  • Shoreline1||

    In 1984 someone in Chicago with a name similar to mine got a traffic ticket. They paid the fine but not court costs. I lived in Arizona at the time. All these years later I have substantial difficulty renewing my driving license because of these unpaid court costs by someone with a similar name because they have placed it on the national register, or some bullshit. If they stop a look at the records only the name is similar, nothing else else comes close (SS, birth date, etc.). Illinois knows it's not me, but say if I pay the costs they will remove it from my record, which isn't even my record anyway, otherwise they will mess with me forever.

  • Eidde||

    That's an easy one - change your name to that of a dead guy like John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy, so they'll know that a living person can't possibly be the same as the dead guy.

    Problem solved.

  • Eidde||

    Or change your name to Jeff Sessions, so any mistaken identity will be in your favor (until the next Democratic administration).

    Just trying to help.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    If I change my name it is to Forest Gump. Because awesome shit just kept happening to that guy. Except for the slut with AIDS.

  • santamonica811||

    "I'm just like why now?" Motsenbocker tells Reason. "I just feel like they are trying to put bad on me."
    "I definitely wouldn't have been able to work here if there were any kind of bad on my background,"

    Is this a Texas idiom? Here in California, we don't use English in this way. I've never seen 'bad' used as the subject/object in a sentence. On the other hand; I remember visiting New Hampshire and Mass. for the first time back in 1984, and hearing people use "wicked" as a substitute for 'very.' "It's wicked-cold today." etc..

    Regional stylistic differences do add linguistic spice to our language, which is--on balance--a very good thing, I think.

    But, back to my original point . . . is this a common usage in Texas?

  • Galane||

    What about the statute of limitations and sealed records for juveniles?

  • Henry Baker||

    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
    - William Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2

    I second that.

  • The gouch||

    There's a statute of limitations on this.. They did the class so why.. Someone didn't check the appropriate box.. This happened to me here in AZ.. this was over a traffic ticket of which I went to school over.. IT never got recorded and the letter from the city's attorney's office Wanted me to surrender and pay a fine of 656.00 in fines and court cost.. There was a # for me to call,, I did,, And I made arrangements to produce the document that was from the school.. I sent a fax to the court and was found not to be in error that the court was and released from further obligation.. Which all of this boils down to keep any & all receipts !!!!!!

  • The gouch||

    !! PS !! NO MATTER HOW LONG IT IS/WAS.. This was 7 years ago.. And the clerk was amazed that I still had the document... And I still do!!

  • Johnimo||

    I'll bet you have one hell of a file cabinet down in the basement, huh? No! Make that "one hell of a file ROOM." LOL

  • buybuydandavis||

    "It's been 25 years," she tells Reason. "There's been several times throughout the years that they could have tried to collect this money. Why now? I'm 37 years old, you know. I just don't think this is right."

    Pay your damn fine.

    "I broke the law and got away with not paying a fine for decades. And now they want me to pay. Wah! So Unfair!"

  • ||

    The speculators in this thread need to have their Libertarian card revoked.

    Never pay anything to a debt collector. You have no contract with and therefore no legally enforceable obligation to the collector, only to the original debtor. The original debtor can obtain a judgement from the court of jurisdiction, which requires, along with a bunch of filing fees, legal notice. It is inefficient for small amounts and they won't do it unless you really pissed them off.

    Debt collectors also cannot report to credit bureaus or get anything removed from a credit report. Again, only the original debtor could do those things.

    Collection agents are, however, the scum of the earth and will lie to you about all of the above. This particular collector is a legal firm, so, the toxic black mold of scum.

    When I was younger and had cash flow issues, i did my research, told collection agents to shove their fees up their ass and was successful every time.

    Debts don't expire, per se, but the ability to get a judgement does after 4-6 years (check state statute), which effectively makes the debt unenforceable.

    I would assume court fees are technically already a judgement, but are still due to the court, not some douchebag extortionist who claims to "own" your debt.

    Still not sure how a 12 year old can be fined insread of the parents. Seems cruel and unusual to obligate someone with no ability to pay.

  • JMatt||

    I hate when I Been Caught Stealing.

  • Jacks61||

    She was a minor when this happened. He parents would have been issued any monetary fines, not the Child. They would be responsible.

    In any event, this looks bad, smells bad. You know where this is leading..

  • vek||

    This article should have been titled "Justice Finally Achieved After 25 Years"

    I bet this will teach this 37 year old married woman never to shoplift again!!!

  • PaulTheBeav||

    Shouldn't her parents be responsible for the fine if she was only 12 at the time?

  • Longtobefree||

    So here are a few tidbits from the web about Texas and the statute of limitations:

    About the fine; The limited time period means that debt collectors cannot sue individuals in an attempt to collect debts that are more than four years past due.
    About the crime: (not sure if misdemeanor or felony (shoplifting?)
    Misdemeanors; The statute of limitations is two years from the date the crime was committed.
    Felonies; Five years: Other theft, burglary, and robbery offenses, insurance fraud, and abandoning or endangering a child.
    Three years: All other felonies not specifically referenced in the code section.

    So WTF? Does common core mean that 2 or 5 or maybe 3 are all greater than 25?

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