Officials Adjust Policy After Man Tries To Pay $160 Ticket In Change

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Ted Nishcan walked into the Fort Collins Municipal Court on Monday to pay a $160 speeding ticket.

He discovered that the credit card machine wasn’t working, and he didn’t have $160 in cash, so he thought of another plan.

“I went home, got my savings, counted it out and it was $160,” Nishcan told CBS4.

The 24-year-old Front Range Community College student says he doesn’t have much money; his savings consists of coins in a “change bucket.” He says he couldn’t afford the extra bank charges to convert his change into cash, so he walked back into the courthouse, this time with his big bucket full of coins.

“They weren’t happy. They were like ‘Is that change? Is that how you’re going to pay for it?’ I said ‘Yeah, it’s money.’ They said ‘No, we can’t accept that.'”

City officials say it has been a long standing city policy not to accept coins for payment of tickets and fines.

“It’s not the best use of resources for us to spend counting, not once, but twice, to check (that it’s correct change),” city spokeswoman Kim Newcomer said.

Nishcan says he was furious, plus he was worried he might lose his license.

“I was just aggravated. It’s just the principle. It’s real money.”

CBS4’s Tom Mustin asked Nishcan if he was “just trying to be a smart aleck” by paying such an expensive ticket with coins.

“No, that’s just what I have. I’m a college kid so I don’t have a lot of money,” Nishcan said.

Newcomer says city officials thought it over once they found out about the situation and said they now plan to ditch the coin policy. They are working on a plan to borrow the coin counting machine used by the parking services department.

“Although it’s rare that people come in and want to pay with a large amount of loose coins, we want to find a way for people to do that,” Newcomer said.

Ted was finally able to pay his ticket online using his financial aid reimbursement card. He says he’s happy to hear of the change the city plans to make.

“Hopefully more people that are broke like me can pay with their pocket change,” he said.

Comments

One Comment

  1. obhtn3 says:

    “Hopefully more people that are broke like me can pay with their pocket change,” he said. Nishcan wasn’t worried about being broke when he was speeding.

  2. Dale says:

    When is it right noqt to take legal tender!!! These were made to pay all debts, public charges, taxes and dues. In additon it is illegal for a goverment office to not accept.

  3. the_punnisher says:

    When is it right noqt to take legal tender!!! These were made to pay all debts, public charges, taxes and dues. In additon it is illegal for a goverment office to not accept.

    Since the FED IS NOT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, the STATE and LOCAL governments can decide whatever policy they want including PRINT THEIR OWN MONEY. They cannot mint coins because of the metal content. It wouldn’t do to have a state money system with money that is worth the value of the metal in the coin.

    We can have an UPPITY president, but not UPPITY state and local governments that actually ENFORCE THE LAWS ON THE BOOKS..

    1. steveville says:

      It’s right in every way. Money is money whether it’s in coins or paper, you idiot.

  4. HM says:

    Money is money. 100 pennies equals one dollar, be it a Susan b Anthony coin or paper-still one dollar.

    People should have every right to pay in any denomination they chose to as long as it is US Mint.

    He paid his fine for his mistake that he made, with money he saved. So what if the clerk was unhappy. Their paid job is to TAKE the money correct?

    i say good for the kid–at least he saves money.

  5. denvervet says:

    Ah, I don’t know really what to think on this one. I think they should have lowered his fine since he proved he had no money first of all. They do that all the time. He made an ernest effort to pay his fine, that he DID do.

  6. bell407 says:

    Wow, how fast do you have to go in Colorado to get a $160 speeding ticket?

    1. Jon says:

      10 over! Just got one over a month ago and it was $167.00. I admit I was in the wrong but man thats steep.

  7. Russ says:

    THIS IS JUST WRONG…SINCE WHEN IS COINS NOT MONEY? I GUESS THEY DIDN’T NEED HIS PAYMENT THAT BAD.

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