yes, this is going to be another post about the ticket and the court. sorry.

this morning i called the court to find out how to get them to issue a refund to the rental card company so that they could deal with me directly.

i explained the whole back-story, yadda yadda yadda.

the court doesn’t issue refunds.

huh?

so i went through the details again, stressing that they were paid in error, that they were paid without my authorization, that they were paid the incorrect amount, that they were paid by a third party who was not actually named on the ticket, and that they were paid on a ticket that was being disputed while the outcome was still pending.

but the court doesn’t issue refunds.

soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, what am i supposed to do?

silence.

more silence.

ok, says the clerk, the problem is, once a ticket is paid, we close out that case, so i don’t even know if it will be in the system, but what is the case number?

so i give it to her, and guess what? it IS still pending, because guess what? contrary to what the rental car people told me, the court has NOT received a payment on this ticket.

are you sure? i asked…

yep, she says. and the magistrate sent out a response to your second letter reducing the fine to $50.

no no no, i said. that was the first letter.

no no no, she says. this is the second letter. the magistrate explained to you that there are notices posted as you enter the city that on certain streets you can’t park between 3 and 6 am. also, there are notices on some of the main roads.

ok, i said, so when you get off the expressway going however fast, you are supposed to see a sign that says something about not parking on certain unspecified side streets between 3 and 6 am?

yep, she says.

well, i’m a pretty law-abiding person (garden scandals and untimely dog tags aside) and i didn’t even see these signs as i drove around town. i didn’t see them near any businesses i stopped at. in fact, i never remember seeing one at all (side note for your benefit: i grew up in oak park from the time i was about 2 years old. this is a neighboring city, which my mother lives in. i can honestly tell you that i have never ever seen this sign she is telling me is posted, and i am still wracking my brains trying to figure out what it looks like and where it might be, and i can tell you with 100% clear conscience that i have no idea where a single one is…).

well, she says, they are there. and we are willing to decrease the fine to $50. that’s really the best we can do.

so i ask her (because i guess i’m a glutton for punishment)- what if i still don’t agree? what would i do?

and she says, i guess you could write another letter…

but you and i know we really have covered all the bases, and that really isn’t the point of this post…

so i asked her: the car rental company told me they sent you a payment of $115 already, but you are showing that you didn’t get it. what happens now if you do get it? will you refund them the difference?

and she says, no- we will just send it back to them, because they are not on the ticket, so they can’t pay it.

so i said, ok- just to clarify: if the car rental company sends you a payment on this ticket, you will just bounce it back to them? you will not accept it? and she says yes. exactly right. so i get her name, etc etc- and then i call the car rental company…

and the guy from the car rental company is all chirpy chirpy and he says ‘oh! i see we waived the fee on this case!’ and the ‘hmmmmmmmmmmm- let me just check something…’ and so i tried to explain that i just got off the phone with the court, and that they had paid this ticket, but that the court was going to bounce the payment back to them, and that they should NOT try to pay it again, and that they court was dealing directly with us… and he stops me and says,  ‘oh no- we never made a payment on this claim! we show that the court notified us that they were taking responsibility for collection and we did a release!’

and i was like, “what?”

and he says, “yes! um hum! we didn’t pay this claim! the court is collecting it directly! so we waived the fee!”

so i explained to him what my concern was, based on the last conversation i had with his company, and he said, “well! i don’t know who you spoke to…”

so i told him exactly who i spoke to, and he said, “ma’am, i don’t need that information right at this moment!”

and i said, “ok, just to clarify: you never paid this claim.”

“right!”

and i said, “and you are not going to pay this claim.”

“right!”

and i said, “because the court is dealing directly with us.”

“yes, of course!”

so i said to him very slowly, because i wanted to make sure he was rally following (and yes, he sounded like a native english speaker), “”and if you send a payment to the court, they will just send it back to you. they will not accept it. i just got off the phone with them and they told me that they will only deal directly with me. so i will be paying them directly.”

and he said, “yes!”

so i said, “just so we are absolutely clear: there will be no charges from your company to us. there will be no fees or anything. you will not be putting anything on our credit card. nothing at all. right?”

and he said, “right!”

so i got his name and his info and i hung up and i was like, is there a hidden camera in my kitchen?

and more to the point, is my sanity now worth $50?

and i decided that yes indeed it is.

so, if you want to know how little i can be bought for, the going rate appears to be $50.

5 phone calls, 2 letters, 3 nasty-grams, and i’m out.

going once, going twice, sold.