Man fined for paying fee in pennies

(YAHOO NEWS)   No lucky pennies here: Police have charged Jason West, an aggrieved medical patient in Vernal, Utah, withdisorderly conduct. His alleged crime? Attempting to pay a disputed medical bill of $25 entirely in pennies.

The story, reported in the Salt Lake City Deseret News, describes the “penny offense” this way: West, 38, did not believe he owed the medical clinic $25 but came in to pay the fee in person. He first asked the clinic staff if the facility accepted cash payments, and then dumped 2,500 pennies onto the counter and demanded that they be counted.

But West apparently hadn’t counted on the clinic calling the police; the arresting officer contended that West’s protest served “no legitimate purpose.” The charge carries a fine that can go as high as $140–and there’s no word as yet on what currency West will use to pay it.

West isn’t alone in the ranks of penny protesters. A wise guy in Frederick, Maryland, showed up at the county clerk’s office last summer with bags of cash to pay off his tax bill with $966.86 in change.

And a New Jersey school district a few years back punished 29 students who paid for their $2 school lunches in pennies–possibly as a prank–with two-day detentions. After parents protested, the students were pardoned. The school explained that the use of the small change slowed down the lunch line.

3 Responses to Man fined for paying fee in pennies

  • That’s stupid money is money if they don’t like it tell the government to get rid of change!

  • Sounds like Jason West was pissed off that he didn’t get the prescription medicine that he REALLY wanted, otherwise he would not have DUMPED the coins on the counter, causing a RUCKUS that, in turn, pissed off the hourly-minimum-wage people on the other side of the counter? Only a THEORY … but he didn’t get a D.U.P.!

    I’m FROM Maryland – not “FredNeck” – but notice that THAT guy didn’t get busted? Seems like Maryland doesn’t really care HOW you pay your taxes … as long as you DO?

    Looks like the “Jersey Shore” series has 29 up-and-coming “clownstarz” …

  • I think the cop is a moron, and he should pay that fine in pennies as well. We should call this hero “the penny protester!”

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