16 November 2009

Speeding Tickets (Updates)

A COUPLE MONTHS back I wrote about getting two speeding tickets during our stay in Strasbourg last summer. The complicating part is that we didn't receive them until we returned to our 'regular' house and by that time we had already incurred a late fee which nearly doubled the fee. Kerri wrote a letter trying to explain the situation and offering to pay the original amount of the ticket but we failed to realize that the letter needed to be sent as a Registered piece of mail – which prompted a letter from the police that they would not and could not accept the letter. That letter was followed closely by a third warning about the tickets letting us know that we were now past due AGAIN and now owed 375 Euros per ticket.

We checked with some friends and asked what to do -- our friend Candide even called the number for us to inquire and/or explain our situation. She was told that we should send two checks for 375 Euros to the police along with our letter explaining the situation; the police would then make a decision on our appeal and if they accepted it, would reimburse us the money.

Yeah, I don't think so. I wasn't about to send 700 Euros to the French police with the hope that they might find it in their hearts to give us some of the money back.

Some other friends and colleagues suggested we just resend our letter of explanation (this time with the Registered stamp) and two checks for 90 Euros, the original fine for the tickets. The theory was that the police would either accept the checks or write us back and officially explain why they were not accepting the checks. If they took the money, great. If they didn't, at least we would extend the process by several weeks or months. So Kerri re-wrote the letter and sent it with two checks.

Yesterday as I was looking at our bank account on line I noticed the two checks have been cashed. Seems to me this means the ordeal is over.

Of course, I'm not betting on that.

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