Abolish Seattle Parking Ticket Garnishments!
Seattle has other ways to collect money from Scoflaw offenders without destroying inocent lives and wiping out small businesses.
Please give your signature to help prevent future heinous acts of bureaucratic barbarism from happening to individuals and small businesses in Seattle!
Imagine someone racking up $800 worth of parking tickets in downtown Seattle and not being able to pay the fines. The City then turns it all over to a pit-bull collection agency that parlays the fines into $8,000 in court judgements and legal fees. With no hope of paying the bill, the scofflaw goes into hiding. In their infinite bureaucratic wisdom, the City's collection agents sue and prosecute the scofflaw's Facebook friends by falsely claiming that they are his employer and ultimately cause more than $800,000 in damages to some special nonprofit programs. The closure of these programs could exceed $80,000,000 in lost tourism dollars for Washington State. Sounds like a stupid use of tax payer resources, doesn't it?
Seattle Farmer's Market and tourism promoter, David Petrich spent more than a year arguing with the City of Seattle and their collection agents about why he couldn't garnish a paycheck that never existed. The City claimed that the accused scofflaw parking offender was employed simply by being a FaceBook friend of Petrich in association with the farmer's market where the person participated as an independent merchant a year before. The overreaching accusation by Seattle Court officials had no basis of proof, yet they vigorously pursued the case anyway because actual employers in Washington State can be held liable for employee debts.
Petrich is also the founder of several nonprofit programs that were developed to enhance tourism in Washington State. But instead, he had to spend much of the last year blowing his life savings and time on fighting an insane legal issue with Seattle's parking enforcement henchmen over infractions he had nothing to do with. They labeled him as an outlaw because he wouldn't agree to be a garnishee of a person he never employed.
Seattle Municipal Court policies have really become oppressive against the general public. With recent supreme court rulings giving debt collectors more latitude to lie, Petrich learned that anyone can now be frivolously accused of being an employer of a deadbeat debtor--even if they never employed anybody. The door is open for aggressive debt collectors to claim that ordinary people owe wages to deadbeats so that they can be sued for previously uncollectible debts. It's a racket that should never be allowed in a free country!
City of Seattle and their pit-bull collection agents say that it's completely legal to chase after people they find on Facebook that are unknowingly linked to ticket debtors. They claim that factual proof of employer liability is no longer necessary. Social groups, club members, nonprofit volunteers and any other active Facebookers beware!
This is a government abuse of power that has gone too far. Washington traffic courts should not be allowed to use garnishment laws to collect money from innocent people who had nothing to do with the original offenders and their infractions.
Contact your local and state representatives and tell them to CURB THE ABUSE! ABOLISH PARKING TICKET GARNISHMENTS NOW!
State garnishment laws are meant to enhance economic activity, not destroy it (RCW 6.27.005)