Printed on the front face of the $1.00 bill, which I am looking at right now, are the following words:
"This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private
It's in the upper left quadrant.
In order for the federal reserve to function as a monetary system, this must be enforced. You can pay any
debt (which includes an attempt to
purchase, a monetary sum owed, or a governmental fine) with cash, and it is illegal for the merchant/debtor to refuse to accept the cash as payment.
If you attempt to pay in cash, and the payment is refused, the debt is legally erased. In simpler terms, if you attempt to pay the ticket in cash, and
that payment is refused because it is in cash
, you no longer owe the fine.
That's the good news; this is the bad news:
It is legal for any governmental office to establish guidelines for payment (such as hours during which payment will be accepted or locations where
payment will be accepted). It is also notoriously difficult to prove you attempted to pay in cash, since it can become your word vs. their word (and
they work for the same government that the judge works for). If you attempt to pay in cash, and it is refused, then your only recourse is to appear in
court, plead guilty (or no contest), and demand that the fine be dismissed due to the fact that a legal payment attempt was made. To successfully do
so, you will have to prove that you were there with cash to pay the fine, and that the payment was refused because you attempted to tender it in
. An acceptable defense for the court could simply be that you did not have correct change and they could not make change due to a lack of
on-hand cash! Another would be that no one there has any recollection of you showing up and attempting to pay. A witness to the event would help, but
then how hard would it be to say that your witness is a friend who is lying to help you out? Very easy.
Since there are written rules that state cash is acceptable, my suggestion would be to go ahead and try to pay in cash. Plano is not that far from
Farmer's Branch. All they can do is refuse, and if you are adamant about the legal ramifications, chances are that someone will be insecure enough in
their job to go ahead and take the cash. If not, and if you are really serious about paying in cash, simply go to court and explain your position to
the judge, including the fact that you have the ready cash on hand to pay the fine. All court proceedings are recorded on transcript that become part
of the public records. If you still have trouble, simply pay the fine the best way you can and start visiting attorneys. Someone will be looking to
create a name for themselves and will be more than happy to make it on your case.
Probably what will happen is that they will take the cash, complain about it, tell you to bring a check next time, and forget about it. It happens all
the time with companies who try to 'modernize' their operation by only taking credit cards, and every time someone shows up to pay in that
old-fashioned cash and screw up that wonderfully idiotic and illegal business plan. It's a glorious thing to see, even more glorious when it is me
Oh, and before you start thinking you can attempt to buy something, be refused for having only cash, and simply take your purchase because you were
refused, it doesn't actually work like that. The reality is that you will be accused (and probably convicted) of shoplifting. Your only recourse in
this case would be to call an attorney to force the clerk to sell you that $1.00 soft drink for cash. Try it sometime; you'll have a great time
listening to legal secretaries laugh at you.
Edit to add:
reply to post by mblahnikluver
Most hotels and car rental places don't take cash because with credit cards they have an open door to your funds should there be any damage to their
equipment/property. Usually if you press hard enough, they will admit that they do take cash, but require a prohibitive deposit to cover any potential
damages. Read the fine print on the sign-in agreement and you will see it authorizes the hotel to make charges to your credit card to cover any damage
or extra charges discovered after you check out. Can anyone say "blank check"?
I don't have credit cards either. For that very reason.
[edit on 7/18/2009 by TheRedneck]