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Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The road to justice is blocked by the postal service
"I got a letter from the government
The other day
Opened it and read it
It said [I'm a sucker]..."
...and that the post office has no sympathy for my foolhardy attempt to "avenge" my Toyota van, which was towed by the city from a spot in front of my house earlier this month.
I sent a letter to Portland's Code Hearings Office requesting a sit down to discuss the legality of the tow. One of the stipulations of a hearings request is that I would need to get it to them within 10 days of the van's removal. While I dropped the letter in a mailbox with enough time to get down there, the postal service wasn't able to deliver it for reasons unknown. Not only that, they were unable to get the letter back to me because my mailbox was allegedly "blocked" the day my friendly, neighborhood mailman came to return it. Apparently, the letter sat in his mailbag for nearly a week before he decided to make another attempt.
My letter with, "unable to deliver to mailing address" and "unable to return/blocked box" scribbled on the front finally arrived last week. Forgetting the 10 day deadline, I made another attempt to get it down to the Hearing's Office. On Monday, a letter arrived from the office saying something to the effect of "no can do. Your request arrived 16 days after the tow. You're outta' luck, pal."
Is this even worth pursuing at this point? Another letter with an explanation probably won't get me far. Furthermore, even if I were to guilt them into arranging a hearing, little would come of it. I would probably need to take time off from work to go down to PPD for a day of hassles and for what? Even if they do admit fault, this isn't in a court room setting. I'm not suing anyone. Best case scenario: I'm offered some sort of official apology. I would never be compensated for the tow fees. So I've decided to toss in the towel. I can't win.
Let this be a lesson to you: if the Portland Department of Transportation comes a-knockin' with a tow warning, take it seriously. On the other hand, if it's not your car, plan on it being there for a while.
Sorry, you old bucket of bolts. I tried. Good night, sweet prince of Maine. You king of New England. At least I have this blurry photo of you in the parking lot at Sergeant's Towing to remember you by. You didn't look like much but you had it where it counts. If put to the test I'm sure you could have made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.