March 3, 2010 > Letter to the editor: Victim of City of Fremont
Letter to the editor: Victim of City of Fremont
I became aware on November 6, 2009 that a levy had been placed on my bank account by the State of California Tax Collector. When I called them, they informed me that Alameda County Collections gave them a court order to this effect. I then called Alameda County Collections at which point they informed me that the Fremont Court had issued the court order. I then called Fremont Court at which point they informed me it was for restitution for one of several crimes that I had committed. They further went on to inform me that I stopped paying after I got out of jail. Not only was I shocked but I was terrified because I have never been arrested. I also do not live in the Bay Area. The humiliation that I felt when the Fremont Clerk told me I was arrested was unbearable. At this point, it was confirmed that I was a victim of identity theft, as this was all being done in my maiden name.
I was instructed to go to my local police department and get fingerprinted. The Fremont Clerk informed me that I should not be arrested but that if I didn't show up for court, which was that same morning, the judge would most likely issue a bench warrant in my name. I wasn't sure if I was going to come out of the Sherriff's office or I was going to be arrested. The Sherriff's office had to waive the $10 fingerprinting fee because I didn't have access to my own funds. Before leaving, they gave me a special paper that I am required to carry in case I got pulled over.
I contacted Officer McDonald to file an identity theft case. After she took the report, 091109027, she filed it with the D.A.'s office. They returned it to the police department for additional information. During the continued investigation, it was discovered that an employee at the jail clicked the wrong name in their database. The woman who was arrested did not provide any of my information as previously reported to me. Although I realize that people make mistakes, the error that was caused was not a minor traffic ticket that was added to my name. My bank account was levied, funds were taken out to forward to the State of California, Insufficient Funds charges were assessed on my account, not to mention the emotional stress that this has caused me and my family. This is where I believe I am allowed compensation for the grave error that was caused by the City of Fremont.
Maria A. Duenas