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Reason to hate a cop?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Reason to hate a cop?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
December 16, 2011

Recently a driver was stopped by a Lakemoor P.D. officer for no front license plate. The driver was operating her mother's car and didn't realize the license plate was missing.

Is it a violation? Yes.

Is it worth a ticket? A $212 expense? No. As in, NO.

How could the cop have handled it? He could have issued a Warning. Then the owner could have immediately gone to the DMV and arranged for a new front license plate and returned to the P.D. with proof.

Judge Gerhardt explained to violators in his court that court costs are high. That's an understatement! He helped out in the small way that he could by fining the driver only $30.00. When a driver walks out of the courtroom, he or she might be breathing a sigh of relief at the $30 fine.

Until, that is, he or she gets to the payment window and finds out that s/he must fork over $212 to settle that $30 ticket.

Perhaps EVERY person who has gotten a ticket in McHenry County should show up at County Board meetings every month and protest the outrageous level of court costs. What if several hundred people a month packed the Board meetings and demanded a lowering of court costs? And went to the offices of Jack Franks, Mike Tryon, Pamela Althoff and the rest of the State legislators and complained vociferously about these court costs.

At election time, folks, remember who sets the court costs. It's the County Board and the State Legislators.

A few people complaining is not going to produce any change. Opinions like mine won't. Relentless pressure on politicians by large numbers of people can result in change.

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