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Camden and Bayonne, NJ. A Tale of Two Cities' treatment of citizen (where error was the cities')

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05/03/2013 02:00 PM
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Camden and Bayonne, NJ. A Tale of Two Cities' treatment of citizen (where error was the cities')
I'd be interested to know if this happened to you, and how it was resolved:

My son got a parking ticket court appearance notice from city of Camden. He had never been there. Puzzled, he checked the website on the issued notice to get further details. It turned out is was for a different car, even the color and make did not match. It appeared that the license plates were mixed up. Because these notices threaten with arrest warrant, etc. he wanted them to correct the error, so kept calling the phone number on the notice. He never got through to the phone. After many many tries, he took time off from his work, went to the Camden court and after spending many hours there got the ticket cleared (only 40 dollars, by the way). They admitted it was their mistake and he did not have to pay anything.
Fast forward I get a similar notice from city of Bayonne. Never set foot there, neither was my car ever there. Knowing what my son went through I dreaded the possible trip to an urban area near NYC where I am completely unfamiliar.
I call the number on the notice. I explain that neither car, nor me were never there. Clerk notes several reference numbers from the notice, puts me on hold couple of minutes. Then says I can ignore, it was sent to me in error. Filled with relief, I hang up.
As a citizen, I do not mind the human error, or even the inconvenience of the phone call, as long as my government (local, or otherwise) treats me with respect and efficiency, acknowledges their error and clarifies records.
Camden does not meet the criteria and is the worst-case scenario example of power making citizen dis-empowered.
You, We all have an obligation not to let our government(s) crush us and do us disservice, rather than serve us.
My Hats off to City of Bayonne.