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. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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