What can I do if the Mayor’s Court has no record that I paid my traffic ticket but I did?

I just got a letter from the Mayor’s Court yesterday regarding a traffic violation from almost 1 1/2 years ago, stating that I did not pay my fine and that they were going to notify the DMV and put warrant out for my arrest if I did not pay it by next month, plus a $150 non-compliance fee. However, I paid my ticket promptly and in person at the mayor’s office. I even spoke with one of the officers present during the time of the citation, however I paid with cash. At this point, I do not have the receipt and they can’t find proof either even though I stood there and watched her log it. They are also saying that the other officer present during the citation did not include that there were 2 officers present during the citation, so they do not believe me that I spoke with the other officer at the office that day. I’m terribly frustrated since they want $325. I called them and they said they were reviewing records from last year and that mine came up unpaid. Sounds like poor management to me. Do I have a leg to stand on ?

Asked on September 18, 2018 under General Practice, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

This is the reason that you should never pay for anythign in cash. Unfortunately, there reall isn't much that you can do in this situation, at least not without a receipt. If you had used a credit or debit card, then you would have a record of your payment.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you don't have a leg to stand on, unfortunately. NEVER pay with cash, because proving it becomes problematic--even you get a receipt, it's one slip of paper which you could lose. You want to use something like a credit card, check, funds transfer, etc. so you can look up and prove payment electronically (e.g. by getting an online statement) at need. The law presumes that if you paid something, you can prove that you did; hence, if you can't prove it, you will almost always lose.

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