NE Texas Woman Fighting Traffic Ticket That Isn’t Even Hers

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News

EAST TAWAKONI (CBSDFW.COM) – A traffic stop six years ago has turned into a major legal headache for a Northeast Texas Mother.

She didn’t even get the ticket.

Tamera McLaughlin is a mother of four who lives in East Tawakoni, but in Dallas she’s considered a court skipping, law breaking rebel.  “It’s very frustrating!” says McLaughlin “It makes me angry!”

She says it all started 2 years ago when she went to renew her driver’s license.  Instead of getting it in the mail she got a surprise.  It was a letter saying her license was suspended until she took care of two citations.

“I hadn’t had a ticket in several years,” says McLaughlin “I didn’t know what was going on.”

Eight numbers are what turned this mother into a potential scofflaw.  Years before another man was pulled over in Dallas for running a red light and not having a driver’s license.  He did give the officers a driver’s license number and the ticket proves that.  But the number was actually McLaughlin’s.  “I don’t know how my driver’s license number came to be on the ticket,” says McLaughlin.

For two years now she has been trying to clear her name, but can’t even get copies of the ticket.  The City of Dallas refuses to release that information to me,” says McLaughlin “Because my name is not on the ticket.”

No matter how many times she tries and how many people she talks to she’s gotten nowhere.  “I’m at my wits end trying to get a resolution,” says McLaughlin.

She’s not the only one suffering any more.  Her 17-year-old son can’t get his license now because her license is suspended so she can’t legally give the necessary consent.  “A mistake was made.  The easiest thing to do is fix the mistake,” says McLaughlin.

The Department of Public Safety is looking into what  may have happened so is the Dallas Municipal Court.  McLaughlin has been told the only way to really take care of the problem is to hire an attorney.


One Comment

  1. samplerayt says:

    Why on earth does she need to get a lawyer involved? This is an obvious clerical problem that someone with a couple of points of IQ can understand. I wish Dallas management would stop doing so many stupid things to keep themselves in the news.

    1. George says:

      In my experience with the City of Dallas, while there are several exceptions, the prevailing attitude I have encountered with an issue such as this was “Sorry, can’t help you. Next please!”

  2. darrell says:

    yet another of the multitude of reasons why the city of dallas is such a sorry place to live and raise children.

  3. Sam says:

    No one has authority to alter a court or government record just because it is erroneous. Who do you want to give that power to? Who do you want to give an eraser to? Once a judicial or governmental entry becomes part of the official record it takes court action to change it. A court cannot issue an order in the absence of request for relief. Judges don’t just get to issue orders about whatever they want to issue orders about. Someone has to ask them to do so. That’s why she needs a lawyer. Duh!

    1. Retired Justice of the Peace says:

      This case does not need an attorney. I am a retired Justice of the Peace and I made corrections when a driver presented me with information to clear up a case.

    2. g shire says:

      so sam is a lawyer too bad an eraser wont work on him…so who is supposed to pay for this lawyer..why her it is not her bout reimbursement for all her time and trouble…how bout the bad PR for Dallas..taking money from a child now this..they need to get there act together

    3. dawnssister says:

      I think that any municipal judge could dismiss this ticket. The problem is they are cowardly and tunnel=visioned. They wouldn’t wnat to set a precedent for justice, after all. The world might fall apart! You, Sam, are either a very good yes boy or your daddy is a lawyer and needs cases like this to make the payments on your BMW. This woman should have access to the courts and be able to present her case without crossing the palm of an attorney with silver. I would not recommend appearing in a criminal court without a lawyer on a more serious chare but this is just rediculous.

    4. Jurgen Knorpp says:

      and she has to pay for other peoples fault???? great

    5. Joe says:

      Sam, you’re diatribe is another perfect example of why our whole system needs to be overhauled. There’s no reason this woman’s ordeal should be such a problem to her. A mistake was made by the government representative. The government should fix it, simply.

  4. Ren Bel says:

    Same thing happened to me in a city I’ve never heard of before. I had to get my finger prints taken, notarized and mailed to the city.

  5. george says:

    Leave it to politicians and law enforcement to make a mess of everything. Their only accomplishments are being the largest organized crime ring in America

    1. Jan says:

      Ohhhhhh!! And here I thought the politicians were in it for that paycheck they get, plus no danger of getting laid off or fired and all the other benefits that go along with the seat Reserve judgement on law enforcement, not in or near Dallas and only know what I read and see on TV. Dallas does seem to have a knack for getting in the news.

  6. kim says:

    look at the signature stupid

    1. NG says:

      Kim read the story her name is not on the ticket.

  7. charles says:

    These are the same people that won’t allow you to keep Found Money –If you turn it in, Dallas keeps it. Most Cities allow the Honest Finder,to have the money after 30 days. Nope the boys downtown keeps it for themselves !!

  8. 2sister says:

    What happened to this woman is terrible. I hope their wrong about the attorney. If they aren’t, perhaps the city should have to pay for it.

  9. txcs714 says:

    Yes, she needs an attorney alright – a personal injury one that is willing to initiate a lawsuit against the City of Dallas.

  10. Ruth Canon says:

    The scourge of bureaucrats with tunnel vision who forget they are mere public servants and not rulers.

  11. Ruth Canon says:

    Deliver us from the scourge of bureaucrats with tunnel vision who forget they are mere public servants and not rulers.

  12. RR Worker says:

    Reminds me of that movie “The Jerk” where the hispanic guy loads up everything in the gas station and pays with a stolen credit card, after which the Jerk says “Thank you Mrs. Neusbaum” Why can’t idiots in Dallas read the lady’s DL information and determine a mistake was made and then have it dismissed without a lawyer’s fee coming into play.

  13. Jo Dean says:

    The Kangaroo Court system is a JOKE. Period.

  14. Tina says:

    I, too work in Law Enforcement and I do not understand how the officer who issued the citation did not notice that the number the MAN gave him actually not only came back to a different name, but to a WOMAN. If the officer did not run the driver license himself, the the dispatcher should have noticed the discrepancy. If none of that happened, then the court should have noticed that the name on the ticket was a MAN’s name but the license was issued to a WOMAN with a completely different name. Does no one other than my department do 2nd party checks anymore? A 2nd party check is where another person checks the 1st person’s entries when warrants are entered into the system. We are always sending warrants back to court because the information on the warrant is different from the information on the citation and/or driver’s license.
    How hard can it be for someone to go back, check to see if the citation was made out to a male subject, with a different name and to notice that the number he provided is NOT the number for HIS driver’s license? Does this agency not record all radio traffic? Or did the officer not ‘run’ this subject by name and birthdate to find out if he gave the correct number? Sounds to me like the ball was dropped at a lot of places and maybe the department should get an attorney to defend itself against the law suit this woman should bring against the department.

    1. Jan says:

      Kudos to you. I am sure there are a lot more out there doing their job and I would like to thank all of you. Unfortunately we usually only hear the negative or over the top good stuff. Aren’t vital statistics checked when the ticket is written? It onl seems common sense to find out if there are more outstanding tickets or warrants.

      1. Tina says:

        My husband has been in a situation pretty similar. A few years back his car was stolen in Ft. Worth. The police were called and a report was filed. About 6 months later we received a call from a detective who pretty much accused my husband of stealing this car BEFORE he reported it as stolen. What had happened was that the vin number of our vehicle was entered incorrectly. The vin number used belonged to a car with the same make and model but was owned by a woman. When this lady went to renew her registration, she was told she could not do so since the car had been reported as stolen. She was able to provide proof that this car belonged to her and so the police looked at my husband as a car thief. It was my husband who noticed that the police had entered the wrong vin number to the vehicle that was stolen from us. So, for 6 months our car was out there, NOT reported as stolen, while some poor woman’s car was entered as stolen instead. No one at the department noticed that the car they entered as stolen did not come back registered to either me or my husband. It would have been a real mess if she had ever been stopped in a vehicle that was falsely reported as stolen. So, I can sympathize with this woman and understand her frustration.

  15. haynes says:

    its all about the money they dont care right or wrong

  16. Argo says:

    So she’s guilty until she proves she’s innocent?
    Our criminal justice system is joke based on “principles” much preached but seldom practiced.

  17. Deputy says:

    I never gave a ticket that I didn’t check the DL number to see if the driver had warrants. I would have then noticed that the DL # came back to a woman, not the MALE DRIVER. The blame falls on the officer!!!

  18. eagle33 says:

    Ah so: The old hire-an-attorney scam by the City of Dallas rather than admitting the error and clearing it up..

  19. Big G says:

    There are two words that are NEVER associated with government or the legal system and that would be “common sense”!

  20. darrell says:

    people dont understand what it means when you get a job as a bureaucrat your primary purpose is not to do the job you are getting paid to do. your primary focus is to insure that you will never run out of work to do and that your department is allways short on funds. it insures job security and larger budgets. after those are acomplished then you spend the last 3 days of the budget cycle doing your job.

  21. Rins says:

    How many people actually memorize their DL#? If someone doesn’t have it for proof, why wouldn’t you be running the auto registration AND DL to make sure you haven’t pulled over someone with warrants? Hopefully someone is advising her to sue — I’d bet a lawyer would take on THAT case fast enough. I’ll bet her license would miraculously be cleared up at that point.

    1. 2sister says:

      I have to look mine up, but I know people who have memorized theirs. It probably depends on whether or not they have to frequently write it down on something or use it. I used to work retail. Some people will write checks. Sometimes they will forget their driver’s license, but know the number. Some of them don’t understand why a retailer can’t just take their word for the driver’s license number.

      In any case, the police officer should not have just accepted that it was the correct license.,

  22. Paul says:

    Think that is bad .. I had a rookie state trooper write me a citation earlier this year for my inspection being out. After telling me of the local JP court and when and where to appear there (and that info also being printed on the citation) he proceeded to file his copy of the ticket in a completely different county. I kept checking with the JP on the ticket and they would just tell me “it isn’t on our system yet”. I then get a letter in the mail three months later from the other county JP claiming I “failed to appear” at hearing on the ticket, that a warrant is being issued for my arrest, and that the fine is now several times the original amount. WTH??? The citation even showed the offense as being committed in the true town and county and not in the ones in which it was filed by the trooper.

    I finally got the matter cleear up with the help of a lawyer (ME).

  23. AttyDallas says:

    WOW – she’s hot .. I’d represent her at no charge ..

    1. SisterLilly says:

      Bless you for being such a kind and gracious person.
      Now, go take a COLD shower!!!

  24. Willow says:

    Channel 11 you better check your facts this lady is the biggest lier in Texas. If she wasnt driving the Buick which she owned !!! She knows that her son was driving it!!! Without a drivers license. Wow how much pie in your face.

    1. 2sister says:

      How do you know that?

    2. SisterLilly says:

      I know her. She is a little flakey. She is getting charged with something she did not do. I do not think that angry outburst of yours is called for.

  25. Paul says:

    Don’t you just love how they try to play up the “poor struggling single mom” image in these human interest stories? I felt a lot less sympathy for her after finding out she’s married (unless that’s a same-age brother living with her), living in a nice home right on Lake Tawakoni, AND jrecently bought a S. Padre Island condo unit .. Just pay up the damn ticket already, shot whining, and move on ..

    1. 2sister says:

      It’s the principle of the matter. She didn’t get the ticket, and so she shouldn’t have to pay for it. People should not be punished for other people’s crimes.

  26. Paul says:

    Well that’s nice .. the video shows her breaking two laws – dirving on a suspended license and not fastening her seatbelt .. I hope the “good guys” don’t notice that ..

  27. jerry says:

    To tina thax u for pointing out “Sounds to me like the ball was dropped at a lot of places” Justice is pay by honest taxpaying citizens. That is all about. Criminal they do not care about paying for anything. Like hand gun law. Who applie for license? Like I said anything that have to do with Taxes Payer money is a scam. Wake up America!!!

  28. Annie says:

    I had a similar situation with Dallas Courts a couple of years ago. Their records showed I had been convicted of not having insurance in August 2006. I had not driven in Dallas for over 5 years and was not in Dallas on the alleged date the offense occurred. They were going to suspend my license if I did not pay $260 surcharge for 3 years. I furnished proof of insurance in force at the time, explained it was not me, etc. I got no response from DPS and was going to have to pay surcharge. I contacted my state representative for help and they were able to get this resolved. Apparently every day people do not get results, but our state representative are heard. I would suggest the lady contact her state representative for help.I hope this will help her.

  29. Survon1 says:

    The problem is that there is no one in the Dallas Police Department that cares or has the IQ to resolve the problem. As far as East Tawakoni, they have the biggest traffic ticket scam going that exists. The police bait you with disaster on the bridge and make you pay the penalty for trying to avoid the ployed collision. That makes this story so ironic. A person from the worst traffic trap has a problem. They just want someone to pay and they don’t care who it is making the payment.

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