A Michigan man went to pay a $10 fine in pennies at a Royal Oak’s 44th District Court in February. However, his payment was refused even though pennies are legal tender and he was verbally assaulted and physically assaulted to the point that he defecated himself.
Anthony Sevy was going to pay his parking fine with is credit card, but the $10 transaction would have cost him a $1.75 transaction fee.
So, he sought to provide somewhat of a peaceful protest, went to the bank, got a bag of $10 worth of pennies and submitted them to the clerk.
The clerk turned down the money, which I’m pretty, under legal tender laws, should result in Sevy not owing the $10.
He then proceeded to verbally assault him and another officer was called in.
Sevy grabbed his bag of pennies and began to leave with his money. That’s when he was attacked from behind, choked and beaten on the ground to the point he defecated himself.
“I don’t think that in everyday course of business, we poop our pants or go around defecating ourselves,” attorney Jonathan Marco said.
Fox 2http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/man-tries-to-pay-ticket-with-pennies-gets-choked-by-guard-and-defecates-self-attorney provides video and a report.
The entire exchange was captured on surveillance video which Marco showed to FOX 2. In the video, which you can watch in the player above, you see Sevy and the court officer exchange words. Sevy was asked to leave but it didn’t end there.
“As he was leaving the court house with his back to the officer, the court officer began to choke him out, grabbing him, brought him to the ground. Mr. Sevy passed out and defecated himself,” Marco said.
Sevy was then arrested and tossed in jail.
Now he’s suing the Royal Oak court officers.
“I don’t think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it’s a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of this assaultive behavior and violation of constitutional rights,” Marco said.
Sevy was charged with disturbing the peace. Can you believe the audacity?
“I think the more profound and long-lasting injury is the psychological injuries he’s suffering as a result of this,” Marco said. “He’s supposed to be in a safe place.”
The cop here was not charged.
Royal Oaks makes a ton of money on parking tickets. In 2012, it was estimated that the city could gain $850,000 under a new parking ticket law.
Jackson, Michigan has the same problem with another man who owes $270 for trash in his yard…. it’s his yard! He’s been trying to pay in pennies, and the city refuses.
The New York Daily News reports:
McGonegal planned on paying the debt in a series of $27 payments with 2,700 pennies in bags.
Randy Wrozek, the Jackson city treasurer, said McGonegal has to put the pennies into rolls instead of handing in bags of change.
“It’s not practical,” Randy Wrozek said. “This guy would come in every time at five minutes to five — we close at five — with a big sack full of change. We’re not authorized for overtime down here.”
McGonegal told M Live he had a reason for protesting his fine in this way.
“I decided I would be just penny ante as they were,” McGonegal said.
Wrozek said it was “foolish” for McGonegal to try to pay this way, but they did try to accommodate him. However, McGonegal wouldn’t get them rolled when he bought the sacks of pennies in.
“It’s not our job to count his money,” Wrozek said.
But it is Wrozek’s job to count the money of those paying. If he takes rolls of pennies, then he has to count those rolls, right? He has to assume there are 50 pennies per roll, right? Wrozek is being dishonest.
Sure, it’s a pain, but it’s also a statement.
Neither of these things are a “crime.” They just aren’t.
Back in April, cops were called in as backup because a veteran wanted to pay a $75 parking ticket in Manchester, New Hampshire. Take a look at what happened.
This is not law enforcement, it’s evading the law and law breaking, and I’m not talking about those paying in pennies.
According to U.S. Law Code 31.5103, “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”
Those in government who refuse to take legal tender such as these pennies are not acting lawfully.
e CoinageTh Act of 1965 allows all forms of U.S. currency to be used for payment. As such, either of these people listed above should be able to petition the judge in their case to simply drop the fine against them since the designated representatives of the law will not take their payment.
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