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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Greene: Uncool to Ticket a Dead Man

The Denver Post

It may be true that you can't fight city hall.

Nor should you have to, especially when you're dead.

Family man and all-around nice guy Rick Liby was busy living his life when, like many of us, he put off renewing his car registration. The 40-year-old attorney died suddenly in his sleep in April one week before the grace period tolled for his tags.

There would be no grace from the Denver parking enforcer who immediately ticketed Liby's 2002 Acura RSX — the day of his funeral.

Fourteen more tickets have followed for his expired plates. As have several letters threatening a man the parking bureau repeatedly has been notified can no longer take a number at the DMV.

"All this drama, if you can believe it, over a little sticker with the number '10,' " says his widow, Shari Liby. "Rick would have called this like it is — a giant cluster-(expletive) of epic proportions."

Days after losing her soul mate, Shari notified the city in writing that she was working on renewing his expired tags and perfectly willing to pay the $105.68 to do so.

She spent months searching for his title, which she finally found in a cardboard box under his bike tools in their garage. Then came delays getting the death certificate she needed to transfer the title into her name.

Understandably, she put her responsibilities to her kids and job — also as a lawyer — ahead of the long list of tasks needed to settle

what seemed like relatively minor bureaucratic matters. Five months later, she's still pushing the probate paperwork needed for the yellow sticker that would enable her to keep the car for their son, Laken.

Meanwhile, she's caught in a legal Catch-22.

She can't renew tags with a title that isn't yet in her name. She can't drive the car with expired plates, nor leave it on her street in central Denver where Rick had always parked it.

At the urging of a supervisor in the Parking Violations Bureau, she left a note in the window saying that the "OWNER IS DECEASED, PLEASE DON'T TICKET."

The city should have gotten the message.

But the tickets keep coming, one after another, tucked with yellow envelopes into the crack of the driver's side door. Enforcers booted the car last week. Shari has paid more than $1,400 just for her day in court.


Anonymous said...

Its time we booted the so called enforcers. What part of dead dont they understand? djw

Unknown said...

Is that what we call "government intelligence"? Isn't that an oxymoron?!?!