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Change In Policy, Coins Accepted As Payment

May 18, 2012 by  

Change In Policy, Coins Accepted As Payment
Ted Nischan tried to pay a $160 speeding ticket with change.

The Fort Collins Municipal Court changed one of its policies after Ted Nischan, a 24-year-old college student in Colorado, tried to pay a $160 speeding ticket in change.

“I went home, got my savings, counted it out and it was $160,” Nischan told CBS4 in Denver.

Nischan’s “savings” consisted of coins in a 5-gallon bucket. The bank would have converted the change into cash, but Nischan couldn’t afford the fee, so he lugged his bucket to the courthouse. City officials refused to allow Nischan to use his coins to pay the ticket.

The Fort Collins Municipal Court has traditionally refused payments in change.

“It’s not the best use of resources for us to spend counting, not once, but twice, to check (that it’s correct change),” said city spokeswoman Kim Newcomer.

Nischan said: “I was just aggravated. It’s just the principle. It’s real money.”

Nischan eventually paid the ticket online. Since the incident, the city has discussed the policy and plans to allow people to pay tickets in change from now on.

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

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  • Harold Olsen

    Unless the law has been changed, it is illegal for ANYONE to refuse payment made with American currency or coins in this country. When I was little, if you went to a store to buy something, and the store couldn’t make change, you got the items for free. Also, you could not refuse payment by legal tender. Fort Collins Municipal Court just may have violated the law.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      They can refuse the money in coinage if the cost to them in time wasted is higher. Time is Money.

      • fastfood

        “the store couldn’t make change, you got the items for free.”

        Yeah, right! A real sound business practice.

        In addition, not all states and municipalities carry, let alone enforce law or statute requiring payments to be “in currency”, and certainly not in all circumstances. And Just Meis is correct with respect to such policies having been “in force over 15 years ago.”. In some states over 30 years ago.

    • eddie47d

      Some folks don’t have bank accounts to write a check and stash what they have in piggy banks or under the mattress. To convert to a check or paper money this person would probably have to pay a fee to do so. That would leave this person with even less money so be happy with what you get and the way you get it. Besides if this person didn’t pay he would have been changed a late fee. That way they can say they gotcha no matter what.

    • Vicki

      “When I was little, if you went to a store to buy something, and the store couldn’t make change, you got the items for free.”

      ????. Why? The law that operates is that the currency is legal tender for all debts public or private. When you go to the store to buy something no debt is created. You have a transaction between you and the seller (store).

      Now if you set up a contract to take an item and come back later to pay for it then you have a debt.

  • dan

    If he had sold the change for copper and nickle content…he would have had a profit,
    but I guess that’s why he’s still a student
    awfully fussy for folks making revenue off of a victemless crime…but I don’t know how and where he was allegedly speeding

    • Dave

      US coinage has not contained copper or nickel (much less silver) in decades. Perhaps he isn’t as ignorant as you gave him credit for.

      • JJM

        Correction: Penny was converted to Zinc in 1982, today’s melt value = $0.005. Nickel is still nickel, today’s melt value = $0.050 (last month it was closer to 6 cents.
        A hundred dollar bill has no real value other than faith in it’s purchasing power. Electronic funds rely on faith in the money counters.

  • SSMcDonald

    It is a federal felony to refuse to take legal tender for payment of any debt. Too bad this student wasn’t (isn’t) bright enough to hire a lawyer and own the local government employees of Fort Collins.

    • scared

      It seems some places do refuse money. The fL does not take any cash from what I read in a leaflet at the welcome center. If you don’t have their pass they mail a bill along with a surcharge to the cars registered owner. I’m sure not the only place. How is this legal

  • Just Me

    There are several outlets in the USA that do not accept cash IN ANY FORM. Just try to purchase an airline ticket with cash. You cannot ship a letter via FedEx with cash, they require a credit card or that you have an account established with them. That policy was in force over 15 years ago.

    Airlines no longer accept cash for their outragiously expensive food and drink in flight, only credit cards. Also you cannot buy stocks or mutual funds with cash, just try to show up to any brokerage house and tell them you want to open an account with cash

    More and more companies are refusing to accept cash.

    • http://http// sophillyjimmy

      If any of these companies don’t accept cash when I pay a bill, then I want a letter from their manager to explain they do not accept cash since it is legal tender so since they won’t accept American currency, they won’t get paid then when they send a lawyer or a collecor after me I will whip that signed letter out of my zipper as though I was going to take a leak on their shoes then next step, see them in court.

    • Combat seabee

      Because they are granted a fee for processing a credit card. More money to them!!!!

      • Vigilant

        Au contraire. They have to PAY a fee to offer credit card payment. That’s why some stores always refused credit cards for purchases under a certain amount. It cost them more to process the transaction than the profit that would have been received if cash were used.





  • Big Woody

    The State of Florida refuses to accept cash payment for commercial license plates and has done so for years. The State Police operate the license office. Is there a trust issue with these people?

  • JON

    American coin is American money. They need to “Get over it”!

  • Carol J

    And no one seems to notice that it said his bank charges a fee for converting the coins. Since When? I have never had to pay a fee at a bank. All they require is for you to bring the coins in already rolled.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      You took the time to roll them and you were honest in not putting the incorrect count or slugs.Very few institutions believe that people are honest, they learned otherwise the hard way.
      As was stated, time is money and even if the banks and businesses, etc., hired people to count and roll the coins it is not profitable for them.

      • CJ

        One time I got some rolls of coins from a bank, and some of the coins turned out to be nearly worthless foreign coins the same size. You can’t even trust the banks!





      “Carol J,”



  • taycomama

    Last time I took coins to the bank, htey didn’t charge a fee. However, I had to unroll all my nicely rolled coins so they could throw them into a sorting/counting machine. It only took a few minutes to count over $150.00. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable waste of time for the Municipal Court.

  • Wendell

    The only reason many companies/government agencies won’t accept cash is because the sheeple allow them to dictate what they’ll accept and what they won’t. But, I guess it’s too much trouble to hold these creeps accountable to follow the law by protesting their nonsense–so they think they can take advantage of the rest of us.
    I think it’s true; the gutless wonders (sheeple) of the world are the ones mainly responsible for the mess the world is currently in…

  • General ” Bull ” Shipper

    Where i work, it is unlawful to have cash to do business with, payment must be a check, business, personal, money order or a bank check, no plastic or cash. State law, we do not have a choice.

  • CJ

    All US currency still says on every note: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private”. However, even the IRS will not accept cash for payment. Just another one of thousands of ways the laws of this country are no longer enforced if the government finds it inconvenient.

  • Brian Corcoran

    Under the Uniform Commercial Code, of which every State in the Union is a signatory, if a party declines to receive payment for an indebtedness, the indebted party is freed of the indebtedness. Had this kid understood the law a little better he could have argued that he was no longer liable for the fine as the Police Department had refused his payment.

  • FWO21

    Coins are legal tender and I don’t understand why they would say the guy couldn’t do this.

    On the other hand, he could have sat at his kitchen table and rolled them up. That would have been the considerate thing to do. The paper rolls are pretty inexpensive too.

    • Libertytrain

      He could have rolled them, however even many banks won’t accept rolled coins in my experience. I guess they don’t trust us anymore…. :)

  • Barbara Humbert

    I paid my taxes in pennies to protest the school board because they would not let parents have school choice of any school in our county, which was one district. We PARENTS FOR CHOICE, did not want any voichers just the choice of the best school for our children. We would tranport them ourselves. I wrote the attorney general of SC for a letter stating that coins were legal tender. They didn’t want to take them but they had to. The coins were not wrapped. This was new years eve an I went to the tax office about four o’clock. I wanted the tax office to take the pennies to the school board and let them wrap them. They said they couldn’t. So they had to count every pennie and it was over seven hundred dollars. If more people protested taxes in pennies, I wonder what would happen. BJH

  • T. Jefferson

    Legal tender is legal tender. If you accept cash then you have to accept it in the manner which the payer wishes to pay it.

  • coal miner

    You are right about that.

  • David Dean

    Is it true that the writing of the United States of America Constitution provides that the only method of paying a debt is with gold or silver coin. The 1792 coinage act established the exact amounts of minerals in each coin. After JFKs death, Johnson repealed the coinage act removing all real methods for debt payment. HR 95-102 states that no one can pay a debt in America anymore. The new term is discharge a debt. See the Pioed Pipers of Babylon. The use of variable value paper is a clever ruse to contract the wealth of a nation into the hands of a few. An example is retirement, where savings for a lifetime are reduced to the value of dust at retirement because the value of the money has reduced to where the cost of commodities is extreme. Another example is the value of silver coins. Go to the bank and request $300 of quarters. There is not one that is silver anymore. They have taken all of the silver ones that are real money and exchanged them for worthless slugs.
    All of the pre 1964 quarters are worth more than $1 dollar. The examples are just too many to comment on here.


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