posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 12:50 AM
A Utah man has been cited on a charge of disorderly conduct after paying for a disputed medical bill with 2,500 pennies.
The Deseret News of Salt Lake City reports Jason West went to Basin Clinic in Vernal on May 27 prepared to dispute an outstanding $25 bill.
Assistant Vernal Police Chief Keith Campbell says that after asking staff members whether they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies on the counter
and demanded that staff count them.
Campbell says the incident upset staff because pennies were strewn about the counter and floor, and West's action served "no legitimate
Police later issued the 38-year-old West a citation for disorderly conduct. That carries a fine of as much as $140. Or 14,000 pennies.
I did a search and found a similar thread dated 2008....
Motive (disgruntled payer) and methods of payment are indeed similar, and it appears that repercussions from TPTB remain unchanged as well. I know
this is a rhetorical question, but what is going on here?
First, I learn of laws banning dancing at a national memorial and now, people are being fined for paying their bills in government issued legal
I take exceptional issue with Chief Cambell's statement that Mr. West's "action served 'no legitimate purpose.'" He legitimately paid a debt,
despite the fact it was disputed. Staffers were "upset" because the coins were strewed on counter and floor. Imagine Mr. West's emotional upset
over a debt that may not have been legitimate. Had he chosen not to render payment, then he's likely in for months of letters and calls from debt
collection agencies, a nasty hit on his credit rating, and possible further legal actions taken against him. A disorderly conduct citation is adding
insult atop injury.
For the supporters of the status quo who say he might have resolved the situation through mediation, indeed, he might have, yet having gone through a
similar circumstance while attempting to resolve an insurance blunder, I sincerely doubt it. While attempting to unravel the insurance snafu
(effectively doing the processor's job), I was still subjected to a barrage of intimidating calls and mail. Each new fool I spoke or corresponded
with had to be clued in to what was going on each time and it did not a single iota of good.
Had I been one of the clinic's staffers, assuredly I too probably would have been "upset" at having to count 2,500 pennies, but as I see it, taking
payments would be part of the job description, so despite the Yosemite Sam cursing going on in my head, I would have started counting instead of
calling the police.
9-1-1. What's the trouble?
This is the clinic. Can you send a car over right away? We've got a guy here trying to pay his bill.
Heaven help us all.