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Jailed for $280: The Return of Debtors' Prisons

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posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 05:44 AM
Reply to post by taccj9903

That's the biggest reddest flag of this whole cluster#.

None of this is about right or wrong or even indebtedness.

The only thing this system that expends millions of dollars and hours enforcing prohibition and spends tens of thousands to collect (often time not to collect) a bill of a few hundred is about is control.

If you can't pay $200 how is losing days of work or even your job and being branded with the stigma of having been locked up going to help get that bill paid? It's not. If anything it's jus going to make it that much harder to pay.

Just like locking some kid up for a prohibited item isn't going to help that kid straighten up, find a job, finish school, and learn responsibility.

It's just control. We're all being beaten with a very expensive stick. A stick that, thanks to taxation through violent enforcement, we paid for ourselves.

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posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 05:49 AM
reply to post by ArchPlayer

wow that is old school. in the uk you cannot be locked up for a financial debt and rightly so

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 07:20 AM
reply to post by ArchPlayer

Not quite although I get what you are saying. It is possible for a person who cannot pay a bill (on the criminal side) serve time in lieu of repayment.

If I remember right some Prisons are required to pay inmates for labor as well, although not at the Federal minimum / state minimum wage.

I have also seen whats called weekend jail for the same purpose. On Friday a person reports to the jail and is locked up until Monday morning when they are released.

Definitely something to keep an eye on though.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 07:43 AM
Has anyone seen what's currently happening in Ireland?

The government there was hoping that it could basically charge every household €100, but only half have agreed to it.

Because they have no effective property database, the entire thing has been voluntary, with people adding their address through a website.

Get that, the people are VOLUNTEERING to register their homes, and to then be taxed €100. Isn't that like the equivalent of unbuckling your belt before bending over?

Half the people have refused, and the local governments are now basically admitting that there is nothing they can do about it.

Ireland is now pretty much in tax revolt, and good for them too!

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 08:50 AM
The way they justify it is kind of an end around but not really a loophole. They get judgments against you and then if you dont show up for court, you go to jail for contempt.
However, most of the time, the fine is the exact amount as what you owed.
edit on 24-4-2012 by Juggernog because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 09:35 AM

Originally posted by Ex_CT2
reply to post by ArchPlayer

I had one of these debts and didn't even know it. I called the DMV about renewing my license and found out that not only was my license suspended, but that I owed $580 (on a traffic ticket of originally $28) and there was a bench warrant for my arrest. I searched around and found a receipt for having paid the ticket, but the case had been closed months before and gone to collection. There was no recourse; the case had been closed, so it didn't matter that it was paid. And $300 of the amount was a "civil fee" that was out for collection by the Franchise Tax Board!

ETA: This is in California, by the way....

edit on 4/24/2012 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)

I would never have paid them twice. I would have filed notice that they had to clean up their corruption swiftly, and gone public and contacted all those over their heads. Representatives.

And I would have gone the sovereign route and kept on driving if they tried to stop me.

This is outrageous.

Like everything that is occurring, the only reason it continues to occur is because people don't mount campaigns against it, create legal volunteer groups to support citizens, and oppose the corruption.

You cannot go along with a corrupt decision or you are enslaving eveyrone that comes after you.

That is something I believe very very strongly in. Its our duty to stand up, especially if something is given to us by the Cosmos, and its in our lap, to use that to change things.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 09:50 AM
reply to post by Ex_CT2

I have had the same thing happen to myself twice here in good ol california. Its so crazy that when i tell anyone that was not there for it (my wife and child are witnesses to it) they think i am making stuff up. Whats worse is I am known to be a straight-shooter for almost every other thing (I dont make stuff up!). i probably wouldnt believe it either if it didnt happen to me. Twice.

P.S. those were the only two tickets i ever got and both resulted in the same situation

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:55 AM
This has happened to me. It was a wife's hospital bill for less than $300. The way Utah gets you into debtors prison is to take the debt to court where if you don't show up, there is a warrant issued. The problem is the collection agency had the incorrect information and I never knew the bill was out there.

Fortunately I had a friend in the Sheriff's department who told me about the warrant. He thought that it BS as well. I went down the next day to pay my fine and amazingly it was the exact amount owed to this collection agency. I don't agree with our government entities being the enforcers for private businesses.
edit on 24-4-2012 by ObservingTheWorld because: missin' words

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:01 AM
well then if not jail, what is the incentive to pay?

"gee nothing will happen to me if I don't pay... so I WON'T pay!"

if people know they'll go to jail, they will do everything they can to pay off a debt THEY took VOLUNTARILY...

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:42 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:45 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:47 AM
reply to post by Magnum007

That was the thinking in 1600 too. I thought we'd evolved past that.
You ended up with a system of indentured servants and slavery.

That's obviously what some people that think money is more important than people still think.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:56 AM
When states first started locking people up for child support I knew it was only a matter of time before "case law" would be used to uphold incarceration for other debts.

I have a brother in FL that has dealt with the tyrannical courts over issues of debt and I can say at least from his experience the courts are as totalitarian as it gets. He was in a horrendous auto accident 4 years ago and couldn't work for almost 2 years, had multiple surgeries on his neck, back, and legs. He fell behind on child support due to his injuries and do you think the courts cared.........Hell No!

Cops showed up at his house to arrest him while he was in the hospital recovering from surgery the day before. When he did turn himself in and went to court the judge told him that there were plenty of things he could do to make money, even with a neck halo on!

When he questioned his right from debtors prison under the debtors prison clause of the constitution the judge said that he wasn't being incarcerated for owing a debt but rather for not paying support as ordered. WHAT!!!!!!! isn't that the same thing?

He eventually got it straightened out to a degree but not before the state took his drivers license, occupational license, and threw him in jail numerous times.

The sad thing about the whole deal is plenty of attornies stated that what the state did was wrong but he is unable to sue them because since the courts were acting "within the law" they have sovereign immunity.

My father was 89 when he died 4 years ago and he served 37 years in the U.S.N. and retired a rear admiral. He told me and my 4 brothers shortly before he died that very soon we would see America turned into the fascist state that so many died to defeat in WWII.

It seems that he was right and now we are moving that direction at Mach 20.

If our founders were alive today they would be labeled domestic terrorists and extremists. In reality the domestic terrorists and extremists are packed in at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the halls of Congress.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:04 PM
reply to post by Magnum007

The system of Credit in the country works of the credit score, that is your incentive to pay, your credit "worthiness" Its a carrot before a stick.

Which is funny cause the Carrot being your ability to get into even more debt, and the stick being more interest and fines (more debt)

Wow, so let me get this straight, my incentive is getting into more debt, and my disincentive is more debt...

So now that people are becoming aware of this, and the economy is so bad we will see more of this type of action against none payers.

Id suggest everyone read up on their Statue of Limitation laws, I believe in CA after 4 years with no court case the debtor has no obligation to pay, it will only effect their credit rating.

Yeah Id say the whole system needs to be reworked.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:19 PM
reply to post by ArchPlayer

Yes it is alarming that this is happening, however i rarely hear a case where the cops come after someone in my state for that. This usually happens to people who commit larceny over and over and over and never pay a dime on anything but are just career debtors.

Technicially this practice of taking people to jail who owe money is unconstitutional, when our system is purposely designed to put people into debt and keep them there with outrageously high interest rates. What can they do? They can't jail 99.9% of america, there would be a revolution so fast Obama would think he had died and gone to hell.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:43 PM
reply to post by benrl

Your incentive is not to borrow... that's a choice... the incentive to pay back the loan you choose to take is that you don't want to go to jail...

the system may not be right, but if someone buys into that system, it's too bad so sad... buyer beware... people need to take responsibility for their bad choices...

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 04:35 PM

Originally posted by Magnum007
people need to take responsibility for their bad choices...

Please explain how a bad choice is paying whatever it is you need to pay but due to a computer error you have to spend a week in jail to find out if you paid it? Even when you have proof you paid it?

For that reason, he kept handy a 2003 document showing he had paid a court-imposed fine stemming from a traffic offense, just in case.

It did not seem to help.

In March 2005, Mr. Florence was in the passenger seat of his BMW when a state trooper pulled it over for speeding. His wife, April, was driving. His 4-year-old son, Shamar, was in the back.

The trooper ran a records search, and he found an outstanding warrant based on the supposedly unpaid fine. Mr. Florence showed the trooper the document, but he was arrested anyway.

A failure to pay a fine is not a crime. It is, rather, what New Jersey law calls a nonindictable offense. Mr. Florence was nonetheless held for eight days in two counties on a charge of civil contempt before matters were sorted out.

In the process, he was strip-searched twice.

Due to no fault of his own, Mr. Florence endured 2 strip searches and 8 days in jail until "they" sorted out whether he paid his fine or not.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 04:41 PM
reply to post by Magnum007

I believe that the lady in the article from the op...
1. had a medical bill that was claimed to be unpaid.....
um......let's say you break, oh, I don't ankle...and can't come up with the 20 something thousand dollars it will cost to fix it.....
are you gonna just not have your ankle set and just accept the fact that you will never be able to walk again??? never mind that you were working before you hurt the foot, your family still has income coming into the home, and part of the paychecks is being taken out to pay for the healthcare of someone else...

and 2.....she was told she didn't owe this money!!! I believe from the healthcare provider, but not really sure if that was stated, I may have assumed that.

like I said, there's still a collection agency hounding me for a electric bill that WE HAVE PAID!!!

it's kind of like banks foreclosing on homes that there is no mortgage out on!!
get their danged records in order before you go around screwing up people lives!!!
it that too much to ask???

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 05:31 PM
It is down right dirty.

My experience with the court system has taught me that they are nothing but crooks.

It just keeps getting dirtier.

At least it sounds like the Illinois state legislature is trying to do something to close an exploited loop hole.

posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 05:51 PM

Originally posted by Forevever
I think its more serious than "debtor's prison"

Under the law, debtors aren't arrested for nonpayment, but rather for failing to respond to court hearings, pay legal fines, or otherwise showing "contempt of court" in connection with a creditor lawsuit. That loophole has lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives concerned enough to pass a bill in March that would make it illegal to send residents of the state to jail if they can't pay a debt. The measure awaits action in the senate.

There is no such thing as debtor's prison no matter what the headline says. She was brought in on a bench warrant for not responding to a court hearing of some sort - it says so right there.

Meanwhile, I think thats a bigger issue that needs addressing.

I have TONS OF CONTEMPT for a LOT OF courts and their laws. And I should have the right to be in contempt of them without being punished. If I "plead the 5th" I can be found in contempt and do jailtime (however short or long), which is complete and utter BS. Why do we even have a 5th ammendment if I can't invoke it?

As long as I'm abiding by their stupid laws, I should have every right to feel contempt towards them.

Contempt is a secondary emotion (not among the original six emotions) and is a mix of the primary emotions disgust and anger.

Just because you have contempt for the courts or disagree with the law is absolutely NO reason to not follow the law.

You can show your contempt for laws at election time.

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