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3 On Your Side

Buckeye woman says fine is taking a 'toll'

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A buckeye woman said she got a notice about a toll bill that wasn't hers. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) A buckeye woman said she got a notice about a toll bill that wasn't hers. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Thanks to 3 On Your Side, Marlene Wiley didn't have to pay a fine she didn't owe. (Source: KTVK) Thanks to 3 On Your Side, Marlene Wiley didn't have to pay a fine she didn't owe. (Source: KTVK)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Buckeye woman says she was sent to a debt collector for a traffic fine that she says wasn't hers.

"This was the last time we were at Disneyland, 2004," Marlene Wiley said.

Wiley's family photo album is filled with memories of their vacation to Disneyland.

"We do like to travel but we haven't traveled in a while," Wiley said.

 And according to Wiley, that 2004 trip was actually the last time they were in California. With that being said, you can imagine why Wiley was so surprised when she received a late notice in the mail.

"The letter that I received is from Linbarger Goggan Blair and Sampson," Wiley said.

The letter came from a law firm claiming to represent the Orange County Transit Authority and that law firm said Wiley had some kind of unpaid bill.

"As of June 20th, 2016, we owe $103.35," Wiley said.

 The $103 notice included the license plate number on her 16-year-old Dodge Neon. According to the letter, a car with that license plate number was traveling last December in the westbound lanes of the 91 Express in Southern California.

But Wiley says that's impossible.

"I haven't been on this highway, I haven't been in California since 2004 and my engine’s dead. That ain't happening," Wiley said.

In fact, Wiley says her Dodge Neon hasn't moved out of her garage since April 2015 so it couldn't have been her. Wiley thought the notice was suspicious.

"It's just not right whoever is doing this. It needs to be investigated," Wiley said.

3 On Your Side started looking into the matter and discovered the law firm is legitimate and they do represent the Orange County Transit Authority in order to collect past due fines.

3 On Your Side started asking questions regarding Wiley's situation and the transit authority as well as the law firm confirmed the notice was sent to Wiley in error.

In an email to 3 On Your Side, the law firm says, "Turns out that the plate number was read correctly. However, the plate was from Oregon and the computer misidentified it as an Arizona plate leading to the erroneous fine."

As a result, they say Wiley will not be bothered again and she certainly won't have to pay a fine she doesn't owe. Wiley is thankful.

"It did make my heart skip a beat because when you get a letter from an attorney, that's serious. It makes, you know, you pay attention," Wiley said.

A big thank you to the law firm for getting to the bottom of this issue and clearing it up like they did.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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