FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – When Brian Luenser got a letter from a collection company for a parking ticket, he thought surely it was a mistake. He always pays his tickets promptly.
“But then I looked a little closer and I saw that it was January 7 of 2003,” Luenser said. “At first I thought it was 2013. But when I saw it was 2003 I thought oh my gosh! That’s 12 years ago!”
It was so long ago Luenser was driving a Saturn at the time and Saturns aren’t even in production anymore. Luenser double checked the ticket dating back to George W. Bush’s first term in the White House.
“I realized it was, I guess, a legitimate ticket that I either paid or didn’t get,” Luenser said. “But I never would’ve ignored it.”
We’ve learned the ticket is the product of a municipal court computer system which has suffered years of problems. And no one with the Fort Worth courts know how many other cases there are like Luenser’s.
Court sources show the ticket was sent to the collection agency in 2009 — but no one is sure what has happened before or since.
City sources say records prior to 2005 are lost or incomplete after a computer changeover that year. The problem is serious enough that the city council will receive a special briefing this month on how to fix it.
Luenser’s $17 ticket, meanwhile, is apparently still due.
“For parking violations there is not a statute of limitations,” Luenser laughed. “You’ll owe it forever! So, I’m going to pay it!”
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