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This Vietnam Vet’s Car Was Stolen….Then It Got Worse!

There is no question that government bureaucracy can be incredibly callous, and this is one area that political scientist Hannah Arendt once termed as “tyranny without a tyrant.” One Virginia couple learned just how accurate that phrase truly is.

Doug Nelson is a 73-year-old postal worker and also a proud veteran of the Vietnam war. He and his wife Nancy were carjacked at gunpoint six months ago, according to WJLA-TV. Although they eventually go their car back, they encountered the rabbit trail of big brother quite quickly, and it would be an unpleasant ride for the couple.

This is where things get really messed up for this law-abiding couple. Come to find out, the criminals who stole the Nelsons’ vehicle had ultimately racked up as much as $2,000 in traffic fines because they were caught speeding at a rate of 70 mph in a 30 mph zone. Unfortunately, these violations were not administered by a police officer. Instead, they were compiled by a litany of six separated automated camera systems that caught this camera on screen. Naturally, they didn’t send the tickets to those individuals that were actually driving the vehicle, but to those who are were on the vehicle’s registration: the Nelsons.

Nancy Nelson thought that it would be a simple affair; all she had to do, she thought, was simply to send the District of Columbia proof that the tickets occurred while the car had been stolen, as corroborated by the police reports. However, she mailed in the tickets with a note regarding the fact that this happened while the car had been stolen, but that’s when the nightmare really began for this couple.

Once the ticket came back, the Nelsons were in for a tremendous shock because it showed that they were still on the hook for literally thousands of dollars in traffic fines due to the joyride of these criminals!

The couple proceeded to send that police report in, and they thought that the matter would be resolved simply because it clearly showed that the car had been stole before the speed camera had taken that first picture. However, the couple were rejected for a second time. Of course, the Vietnam vet and his wife requested a hearing, but the hearings officer said that their request couldn’t be fully verified until they had their vehicle tag number placed on the police report.

The Vietnam vet and his wife went to the police station, but they told that it wasn’t possible to put a tag number on that police report, but at least it was still “in the system.” Does it seem like this Vietnam vet and his wife are getting the runaround? It sure does to me.

“I’m in tears over all of these things,” Nancy said. “It’s literally $2,000 worth of stuff that we are not responsible for.”

“I decided to call a member of my city council and I called the mayor’s office,” she said. “They both told me to hold on and I never heard back from either of them.”

After all of this, D.C. officials elected to close the Nelsons’ case, and they stated that they would have to pay the tickets simply because the couple didn’t know that they needed to file an additional document requesting that the case continue to stay open. Oh brother.

This proud Vietnam vet and his wife were told that they had to go through an appeals process to reopen the case, but in order to appeal, they would have to pay the fines for the late payment, which would now total $5,000. What a bureaucratic nightmare, and we aren’t even getting to the worst part.

Apparently, this Vietnam war-era couple was also denied tags for their vehicle simply because of the fact that these “tickets” of theirs were “outstanding.” This meant that the couple couldn’t legally drive until they paid for the crimes of these thugs that carjacked their vehicle in the first place!

They were told there was an appeals process to reopen the case, but in order to appeal, they would have to pay the tickets and the fines for late payment, totaling more than $5,000, according to WJLA.
One of the worst parts of the situation?

With outstanding tickets on their record, the Nelsons were rejected by the DMV in their attempts to acquire new tags for their license plates, meaning they could not legally drive until they paid for the crimes of the people who had violently stolen their vehicle.

Although it took six months, the Nelsons finally caught a break. The labyrinth of inhumane bureaucracy that is the D.C. DMV decided to dismiss all of the charges when a local news outlet announced they were going to air a report regarding how inept the DMV had been at handling this situation from this Vietnam vet and his wife.

Really, it shouldn’t have gotten to this point, and this is what political scientist Hannah Arendt had warned us about over 50 years ago. If this couple had been assisted by a real-life person instead of a bunch of technocrats addicted to red tape, this situation might have been resolved much sooner. They deserve better and Americans deserve better.

What do you think about this story? Your comments would be appreciated!



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