Clerk: credit or debit?

August 31, 2009
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Welcome to the 21st (or even arguably the 20th) century, Marion County Clerk’s Office! The clerk’s office announced late last week it’s now accepting credit or debit cards for most court fees. People can now pay with plastic for child support, case filing, probation fees, marriage licenses, and copy fees. The clerk’s office already accepted credit for traffic violations and cash bonds.

This would have been helpful for me four months ago when I applied for a marriage license. I rarely carry cash anymore and had to make sure either my fiancé or I went to the clerk’s office with the appropriate amount in hand before applying. Using a credit card would also be helpful if you just don’t have the cold, hard cash right now, but know you will before your credit card statement is due.

Of course, this convenience comes at a cost. Just like Ticketmaster or some gas stations, there’s a “nominal” fee added to cover the costs of processing credit or debit transactions. For everything but traffic tickets, child support, and cash bonds, the fee is 3.5 percent of the transaction or $3.50, whichever is higher. The convenience fees for the other items vary by vendor.

It definitely is more convenient to use a credit card than to carry around a lot of cash, however, people will need to be careful that their $150 parking ticket or child support payment doesn’t balloon higher because they didn’t pay it off on their credit card in time. Sometimes cash is just the way to go.
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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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