Driver pursued for 10-year-old ticket he claims he paid

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SCOTTSDALE -- The city of Scottsdale is pursuing a Valley driver for a 10-year-old ticket that he says he paid.

Imagine paying for a traffic ticket a full decade ago. Now fast forward 10 years and imagine being told you have to prove you paid that ticket.

Could you? Chances are probably not, but that's what one Valley man is being forced to do.

Rick Snodgrass is unemployed but riding his bicycle to look for a job is nearly impossible. Sure, he'd rather drive to search for employment, but he's not allowed to drive.

"I can't even find a job because of what they have done to me," Snodgrass said.

He's talking about Scottsdale Municipal Court. The court recently suspended Snodgrass' driver's license after he received three tickets at a Scottsdale intersection -- one for allegedly running a red light back in 1999.

Snodgrass says he paid the tickets, but 10 years later, a judge is telling him to prove it.

Snodgrass says such a request is ridiculous.

"Not being able to prove anything, I don't keep records that long," he said. "I don't know anybody that does."

Snodgrass says he started getting notices from the court back in 1999 saying he never paid. As a result, Snodgrass says he went to court twice years ago to prove he actually did pay.

"Well, I just remember me having to prove that I did pay the ticket and I had to do it like two different times," he said.

And now, 10 years later, Snodgrass says the city of Scottsdale wants him to prove he paid those tickets a third time.

"The judge says, 'Well, prove that you paid the tickets,' and I said, 'It's 10 years ago,'" Snodgrass said. "It was in my ex-wife's account that it was paid for. There's no way to find it. There's just no way."

Cydney DeModica with the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles says Snodgrass' dilemma is not uncommon. She said she knows of one Valley driver who lost his license due to a ticket from more than 40 years ago.

"The oldest one that I have personally seen is from 1969 and it was from Chicago, Illinois, and it was a person who found out they had an unresolved issue all these years later in Chicago and he had to pay it," DeModica said.

And that's what Snodgrass will have to do, except now, the court says he's delinquent and is demanding almost a thousand dollars.

With no way to drive and to look for a job, Snodgrass says good luck getting that money out of him.

"There's no way I can afford it right now, there's just no way at all," he said.

"When you pay your citation, hang on to the paperwork, hang on to the canceled check because it's the only proof that you have," DeModica said.

DeModica suggested hanging on to it forever.

Now, the city of Scottsdale tells me that they're not to blame.

They claim that that they and other cities had to turn over unpaid tickets to the state court system so they say blame the state court system for hounding Snodgrass and others.

Regardless, hang on to all your receipts.