help if you can - BLM ticked problem

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help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Timi » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:51 pm

me and my boyfriend have been coming to burning man for 4 years now. this year we had a Little encounter with the blm and my boy got a ticket for possession (525$).
we are both from Israel and did not have any kind of id on with us at the time but the cups still wrote him the ticket only they got the details wrong:
his first and last name are spelled wrong - but only one letter wrong in each. his id number is also wrong as it is missing the first and last number. also it is not his passport number but his Israeli id.
now we are not sure if this ticket is at all valid and need to be paid. also we are worried about the next time he will want to enter the u.s. and maybe actually paying the ticket can do more harm because then they will have all his correct information from his credit card details.

please help us figure out what to do if you can so we can come back next year too.

thank you very much
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby robrob » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:04 pm

you did the crime, pay the fine.

send a cashiers check or a money order. both provide a paper trail so you could prove that the fine was paid at a later date in the event of a dispute, without giving them any more personal or financial information than they already have.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby junglesmacks » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:13 pm

The safest thing to do is of course call the phone number on the ticket and speak to someone about it, and pay it.

Now.. the chances of that ticket ever getting traced back or repercussions.. very slim. But.. it's up to you. Is it worth the risk upon re-entry? That's your judgement call.

Typically for international people, the records are kept via your passport number. If they don't have that, well then..
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby some seeing eye » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:39 pm

You might contact lawyers for burners. Well worth it given the unique nature of your situation. And please if you come again, don't get caught, it gives BM a bad name.

Here is some 2011-specific information: http://sites.google.com/site/lawyersforburners/
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby trilobyte » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:40 pm

As others have suggested, contact a lawyer. Otherwise, pay the ticket or he may risk annoying things like not being able to enter the US, or even having a warrant put out for his arrest. Not sure how wide reaching those things are, but it could make for additional hassles at airport security checkpoints (several countries cooperate with each other and use shared watched/offender lists). Good luck!
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Shpilkus » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:09 pm

I tend to fall on the side of feeling that most of the tickets that are issued during Burning Man are on the thinnest of infractions, (ie: 2 mph over the speed limit, no seat belt in BRC while crawling in the ticket line) all to raise revenues from people who live too far away to fight the unfair ticket. The ticket for possession is a bit more serious.

I'm not sure how serious heinous infraction is, but if the name, ID information and other details are wrong on the ticket (for an international person), it may be a good calculated bet to consider this one a win. I just can't imagine that Peggy Sue working in the office in Washoe County is going to contact Israeli police to try and collect a fine from someone who's name and ID information are wrong. They might hear: (מ"ק) (סלנג וולגרי) מה לכל הרוחות, מה לעזאזל, WTF (ביטוי להפתעה או כעס) Also, with all that information wrong, do you think there would really be an alert at any airport looking for an international passenger with an infraction for something considered minor?

I would never tell this person what to do, but if it were me.............
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby moonrise » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:23 pm

Sounds like they got the WRONG guy; call a lawyer and throw a party!!
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:33 am

Shpilkus wrote:Also, with all that information wrong, do you think there would really be an alert at any airport looking for an international passenger with an infraction for something considered minor?

Ask Deb Prothero about that. There's a reason she didn't attend this year. I'm not sure that the cases are subject to the same pressures, but getting involved with border and customs doesn't seem like much of a lark to me.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Sail Man » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:56 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Shpilkus wrote:Also, with all that information wrong, do you think there would really be an alert at any airport looking for an international passenger with an infraction for something considered minor?

Ask Deb Prothero about that. There's a reason she didn't attend this year. I'm not sure that the cases are subject to the same pressures, but getting involved with border and customs doesn't seem like much of a lark to me.


And if I recall, it's why she couldn't attend Lakes of Fire this year either.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Shpilkus » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:10 pm

If the "authorities" have no idea who this person really is, don't you think that paying the fine with all the correct information might just give this person a criminal record when NOTHING exists now? Why open up that can of worms if there is a good chance that it will never be discovered.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Hoolie » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:29 pm

moonrise wrote:Sounds like they got the WRONG guy; call a lawyer and throw a party!!

Agreed.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby robrob » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:29 pm

Shpilkus wrote:If the "authorities" have no idea who this person really is, don't you think that paying the fine with all the correct information might just give this person a criminal record when NOTHING exists now? Why open up that can of worms if there is a good chance that it will never be discovered.



Not with a cashiers check.

No need to correct anything, but you could have a paper trail to prove it was paid in the off chance it does come up.

It strikes me as one of those questions where the op has already made up their mind to not pay the ticket and is looking for validation. Good luck with that. Looks like that plan has lots of supporters. personally, I'd pay for it with a money order and put it behind me forever, especially if it's one of those blm "littering" tickets. count yourself lucky you just got the stupid tax and not a felony.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby robrob » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:33 pm

Now I can't wait for lakes of fire, where there are no federal agents. Or really any sort of police presence. So refreshing!
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Lassen Forge » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:40 pm

trilobyte wrote:As others have suggested, contact a lawyer. Otherwise, pay the ticket or he may risk annoying things like not being able to enter the US, or even having a warrant put out for his arrest. Not sure how wide reaching those things are, but it could make for additional hassles at airport security checkpoints (several countries cooperate with each other and use shared watched/offender lists). Good luck!



Sail Man wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:
Shpilkus wrote:Also, with all that information wrong, do you think there would really be an alert at any airport looking for an international passenger with an infraction for something considered minor?

Ask Deb Prothero about that. There's a reason she didn't attend this year. I'm not sure that the cases are subject to the same pressures, but getting involved with border and customs doesn't seem like much of a lark to me.


And if I recall, it's why she couldn't attend Lakes of Fire this year either.


You know... pay the damn ticket. Yii.

You really don't want to ever be allowed into the US again? You got a ticket on US FEDERAL land, for a federal offense, and I GUARANTEE as a foreign national Homeland Security has his info. Even with the minor misspelling of his name - well, more on that later. You're not in some backwoods 6th world sheisthole...

He may not catch shit back at home, but just wait until comes back and he's at emigration here in the states, they get that little flag next to his name, and he gets to go sit in a rather barren room, talking to nice DHS officers, while they decide whether or not to let this person into the country, or send him back to Israel. IF he can even get the visa to come on over, say howdy.

Unless you never want to come back to the USA again in your lifetime. Remember, this is the whole new USA, we're learning from those who do serious tracking and security. That's his choice - pay the fine and get on with his life (and possibly come back for the burn, or a job, or to visit relatives, or vacation, or whatever) or write off the ticket and likely get to catch the red-eye back to Ben Gurion when he's denied entry.

You got busted. They got enough info to ID you (minor misspellings and missing numbers on an otherwise complete ID sequence are linda like mising the tip of your index finger when they got your whole palmprint). Pay the stupid tax, and be glad you didn't get to spend time in Lovelock for your not reading the survival guide about NOT BRINGING DRUGS!!!

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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Karma » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:20 am

Wow BBS, well said. Plain, simple, no ambiguity.

Pay your fine Israelite .
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby BBadger » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:14 pm

See what'll be hilarious is if you two buy tickets for another year, and then when you try and travel to the US for your trip you get denied because of an outstanding ticket, and flight prior to paying the fine. Then it's some desperate attempt to try and sell a will call ticket as a foreign national. Hilarity ensues.

But hey, maybe it's all for the best. This will be social darwinism at its finest.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Savannah » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:52 pm

Since you wish to come back to the Burn, look at this way: If you've attended the Burn 4 times and have possibly had something improper on your person at least per once per Burn (which seems likely, if you like to indulge), the ticket really just averages out to $131.25 tax per Burn, which is not so bad. I'm not actually kidding!

I think of this every time I cross the street where I shouldn't. When I eventually get ticketed for jaywalking and get some $100 ticket, I will be paying about a penny per time I have crossed the street where I totally shouldn't, and I will technically deserve what's coming to me.

Pay it, and come back. :)
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby lucky420 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:02 pm

PAY the damn fine and quit being weasley cheesy about it. Sure $500 is a bit of change but come on you got caught. Think of it as something along the lines of an expense that you were caught by surprise with. Such as a car repair bill or a dental bill. Yep it sucks but be glad you weren't in the Phillipines and got busted. If you split the cost with your boyfriend it is only a little over $250 each...
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby A Jester » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:13 pm

If I were to read between the lines here a bit I would rephrase your question like this:
"He got a ticket. We will pay it if that is what we have to do. However, because there are so many errors on the ticket it almost seems like we would be fools to pay it. If they have his name and ID so wrong, is it impossible for them to track us? If it is, we should save the money for something we'd rather spend it on, like a huge gift of hummus for BM 2012." (Okay, I totally only said hummus because you're Israeli. I guess I'm likely to pre-judge Israeli people to like hummus.)

I think the most honest answer a citizen of America can give you is that we honestly have no idea if it's a real concern or not.

I'll say this, since you probably have to spend around $2,000 or more each to come to the burn the fine doesn't seem that huge to pay to not have to worry about a shocking stop at customs. After 9/11 I have no idea how the No-Fly, Don't-come-into-the-country, they-overstayed-their-student-visa-we-should-waterboard-them rules work.

Personally, I don't think it's worth the risk. I'd pay the fine.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby BBadger » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:55 pm

Another thing to do is contact the authorities about the ticket. If they do have the wrong information, or just partial amounts of your information, you may actually pay the fine but get no credit for having done so. If the ticket is not in the database, then they might be able to verify that the ticket does not need to be paid if there's no reference to your passport. Basically, cover your damn bases if you hope to ever enter this country again.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby mazatta » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:03 am

I'm not an American, so I don't know how American courts usually operate, but in Canada you can get a ticket tossed out if there is incomplete/incorrect information listed on it. I would definitely talk to Lawyers for Burners and see if they can get it dismissed for you. In my opinion, this is the best course of action as you don't have to admit guilt, which might still come to haunt him next time he's at the border, even if he has paid the fine.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby jkisha » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:12 am

mazatta wrote:I'm not an American, so I don't know how American courts usually operate, but in Canada you can get a ticket tossed out if there is incomplete/incorrect information listed on it. I would definitely talk to Lawyers for Burners and see if they can get it dismissed for you. In my opinion, this is the best course of action as you don't have to admit guilt, which might still come to haunt him next time he's at the border, even if he has paid the fine.

This seems like good common sense advice and I think it's what I would do if I were in a similar circumstance. Get an attorney!
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Dr Helix » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:38 am

Don't mess with US Customs. I have two friends who were nailed on a "minor infraction and turned back three years ago. Thousands of dollars later, they finally made it across this year.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby deutlich » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:18 am

It doesn't seem to me that this person is trying to shirk the fee. What I've gleaned from the original post is that the information on the ticket is incorrect. And I think their concern is that by paying it, they'd be identifying themselves as the people behind the "John Doe" ticket.

Unfortunately, I've not got the SLIGHTEST clue about any of the legal ramifications, so I can't really chime in. I mean, if I got fined for something in another country but they had all my info wrong, no finger prints, no other real identifiers?

I'm not all too sure how I'd handle that either.
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Re: help if you can - BLM ticked problem

Postby Canoe » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:49 pm

jkisha wrote:
mazatta wrote:I'm not an American, so I don't know how American courts usually operate, but in Canada you can get a ticket tossed out if there is incomplete/incorrect information listed on it. I would definitely talk to Lawyers for Burners and see if they can get it dismissed for you. In my opinion, this is the best course of action as you don't have to admit guilt, which might still come to haunt him next time he's at the border, even if he has paid the fine.

This seems like good common sense advice and I think it's what I would do if I were in a similar circumstance. Get an attorney!


Many jurisdictions have policy and practice (not always the same) regarding cancelling/throwing-out of tickets due to "fatal errors". Some can get tossed at the Court House, others require a determination in court. If you lose, in most jurisdictions you're up for the original ticket, plus court costs; and, the court may or may not have the authority to change (lower, or raise) the fine. Minor errors are often NOT "fatal errors". And, trying to go that route in any jurisdiction could end up being a gamble, and that process would end up correcting the errors in name and id number, and possibly adding passport number to prove correct identification.

Pay the ticket. Use a payment method that doesn't waste their time correcting the errors.

You weren't arrested, so you can answer that question truthfully the next time you enter the U.S..

Hope the ticket doesn't get cross referenced to your name and that it concerns them when you next go to enter the U.S.. This could be a worthwhile question to find an answer to.
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