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Old 6th November 2019, 05:01 AM   #1
Puppycow
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Jailed Over Medical Debt

Apparently this is really thing in America. The only advanced country where this happens anymore.

https://slate.com/podcasts/what-next...f-medical-debt
(Podcast)

For those who prefer the written word:
Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.

Kansas kinda figures. Thanks governor Brownback.
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Old 6th November 2019, 05:38 AM   #2
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Jesus.
*******.
Christ.
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Old 6th November 2019, 05:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Apparently this is really thing in America. The only advanced country where this happens anymore.

https://slate.com/podcasts/what-next...f-medical-debt
(Podcast)

For those who prefer the written word:
Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.

Kansas kinda figures. Thanks governor Brownback.
Covfefeville?
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Old 6th November 2019, 05:50 AM   #4
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I'm not saying it's right, but read the article. They aren't being jailed for their medical debt, they are being jailed for missing court dates regarding their medical debt. It's very scummy to be sure. It flat out says that the debt collectors are the ones deciding who should go to jail, etc. But it also says that as long as you make your court dates-which are really just a way for the debt collectors to get you face-to-face to try to work out a payment plan-you won't be jailed.

They are certainly poverty shaming, which is despicable.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DuvalHMFIC View Post
I'm not saying it's right, but read the article. They aren't being jailed for their medical debt, they are being jailed for missing court dates regarding their medical debt. It's very scummy to be sure. It flat out says that the debt collectors are the ones deciding who should go to jail, etc. But it also says that as long as you make your court dates-which are really just a way for the debt collectors to get you face-to-face to try to work out a payment plan-you won't be jailed.

They are certainly poverty shaming, which is despicable.
I did. But this is a distinction without a difference.

Some of the defendants are are physically able to get to the court room but think about it.

Quote:
Biggs, who is 41, had to take a day off from work to be there. He knew from experience that if he didn’t show up, he could be put in jail.
He actually has to take time off work which isn't going to help him pay his debt. If will just put him deeper into the hole.
His initial crime?
Quote:
Biggs, who is tall and broad-shouldered, with sun-scorched skin and bright hazel eyes, looked up as defendants talked, but he was embarrassed to say much. His court dates had begun after his son developed leukemia, and they’d picked up when his wife started having seizures. He, too, had been arrested because of medical debt. It had happened more than once.
He has a son with leukemia and a wife with seizures.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Jesus.
*******.
Christ.
It's like hearing news from a third-world country.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It's like hearing news from a third-world country.
Worse, in some ways. A third world country would have volunteer missions and UN agencies there to help out. Being poor in a poor country is not treated shamefully. Being poor in a rich country...
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Being poor in a rich country...
...is treated like it's one own shame?
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:36 AM   #9
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Medical debt is one of those issues where it sucks for pretty much everyone involved. The system we have is total garbage, and everyone loses excepts the lawyer and the insurance companies.

Unpaid medical bills can close a hospital and leave a community without nearby coverage. Medical bills obviously severely damage the lives of the people who owe and can't afford to pay. It clogs up our court system with debt proceedings.

If only there were some other alternative. Alas, there is not, and no country has ever figured out a better option. Oh well.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Medical debt is one of those issues where it sucks for pretty much everyone involved. The system we have is total garbage, and everyone loses excepts the lawyer and the insurance companies.
But it isn't normal that the prosecutor, essentially, gets a cut of the procedings. It's a blatant conflict of interests.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
...is treated like it's one own shame?
Pretty much. It's frequently viewed as a moral failing. If you can't make it in the "land of opportunity" then there must be something wrong with you. It could be anything from just laziness to offending God with your evil.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Pretty much. It's frequently viewed as a moral failing. If you can't make it in the "land of opportunity" then there must be something wrong with you. It could be anything from just laziness to offending God with your evil.
You're right, but that isn't what I meant. What I meant is that, in a rich country, the poor are treated as the country's shame. As if it's better to ignore them because we don't like the idea that, in our country, people can be poor. It's when you address it that you often start with the idea you described here.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
But it isn't normal that the prosecutor, essentially, gets a cut of the procedings. It's a blatant conflict of interests.
I'm not at all surprised that conservative strongholds like OK or KS have barbaric debt collection practices. Being poor is the greatest sin to the eyes of these people.
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:10 AM   #14
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Are there no prisons? Are there no work houses?
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
The Coffeyville hospital’s attorney, Doug Bell, said that its only motivation is to continue to serve the area, and that Kansas’ decision to not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has had a “dramatic effect on the economic liability of small rural hospitals.”

Three nearby hospitals in this rural region have closed in the past several years, meaning ambulances make more trips.
Maybe if Governor Brownback hadn't refused federal money to expand Medicaid?

Quote:
Biggs was still on the hook for the bill that had landed him in jail; bail had covered only part of it, and the rest was growing with 12% annual interest. The hospital had garnished his wages, and the radiologist had garnished his bank account, seizing contributions that his family had raised for Lane’s care. Living on $25,000 a year, Biggs couldn’t afford to buy insurance. His family was on food stamps but didn’t qualify for Medicaid, a federal insurance program for people in poverty. Other states were about to expand it to cover the working poor, but not Kansas, which limited it, for families of his size, to those who earned under $12,000. Like millions of others across America, he and Heather fell into a coverage gap.
So he's got a son with leukemia, a wife with a heart problem who suffers seizures, but he makes too much to qualify for Medicaid in Kansas because the Governor at the time didn't want to cover the working poor.

Quote:
By 2012, the Biggs family had accrued more than $70,000 in medical debt, which it owed to Coffeyville Regional Medical Center and other hospitals, pediatricians and neurologists. Some forgave it; others set up lenient payment plans. Coffeyville’s was the only hospital that sued. The doctors who took them to court were represented by Hassenplug.
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Maybe if Governor Brownback hadn't refused federal money to expand Medicaid?



So he's got a son with leukemia, a wife with a heart problem who suffers seizures, but he makes too much to qualify for Medicaid in Kansas because the Governor at the time didn't want to cover the working poor.
Got to fight socialism!
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Got to fight socialism!
If I see any socialism, I'll be sure to drive up the public road to the police station (which is next to the fire station and the public school) and let them know!
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
If I see any socialism, I'll be sure to drive up the public road to the police station (which is next to the fire station and the public school) and let them know!
What, too cheap to use your own bullets? Just draw and fire! Jeebus will protect his own!
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
If I see any socialism, I'll be sure to drive up the public road to the police station (which is next to the fire station and the public school) and let them know!
If I see somebody with socialism on a plane? I'll kill him.
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:35 AM   #20
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Should everybody digs their own socialism?

Elton John totally ripped off socialism!
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Old 6th November 2019, 07:39 AM   #21
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There are those that find this acceptable. For you see, Health Care is exactly like Video games, and we can't allow the wrong sort of people get health care now, so that we can have more research so that the right people can have better treatments tomorrow.

That and socialized health care is evil, will lead to communism and the destruction of western society.
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Old 6th November 2019, 11:09 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
He has a son with leukemia and a wife with seizures.
We'd all be better off if we could end this bloodline. Creditors should at minimum be allowed to seize this family's redundant organs.
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Old 6th November 2019, 11:35 AM   #23
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Only in America folks, the country where the ruling party is trying to do everything it can to tear down the Affordable Care Act so that those who cannot afford medical care either have to go withut it, or rack up debt to stay alive and healthy.

A Society's civilisation level is measured by the way it treats it poor, its infirm and its sick. America's level is low.... very low.
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Old 6th November 2019, 11:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Only in America folks, the country where the ruling party is trying to do everything it can to tear down the Affordable Care Act so that those who cannot afford medical care either have to go withut it, or rack up debt to stay alive and healthy.

A Society's civilisation level is measured by the way it treats it poor, its infirm and its sick. America's level is low.... very low.
We must prioritize. Right now the problems most in need of attention are who can pee in the ladies room, and how can we save billionaires money when they inherit from other billionaires. We'll handle the trivial stuff later.
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Old 6th November 2019, 11:49 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by DuvalHMFIC View Post
I'm not saying it's right, but read the article. They aren't being jailed for their medical debt, they are being jailed for missing court dates regarding their medical debt. It's very scummy to be sure. It flat out says that the debt collectors are the ones deciding who should go to jail, etc. But it also says that as long as you make your court dates-which are really just a way for the debt collectors to get you face-to-face to try to work out a payment plan-you won't be jailed.

They are certainly poverty shaming, which is despicable.
A local or state government has no business collecting private debts with the use of law enforcement officers.

That line has blurred wrt the collection of child support (California's State Disbursement Unit) but only to the extent that the failure to pay child support is considered to have a potential negative financial impact on the state - if an individual doesn't pay a bill that's a civil matter, not a criminal matter.
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Old 6th November 2019, 11:57 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Worse, in some ways. A third world country would have volunteer missions and UN agencies there to help out. Being poor in a poor country is not treated shamefully. Being poor in a rich country...

Back in 2014, The Daily Show had a segment in which Aasif Mandvi interviewed Fox Business commentator and Obamacare opponent Todd Wilemon, who had argued that it would cause US health care to fall into Third World status. Footage was shown of Mandvi and Remote Area Medical in an impoverished area the group was assisting, which Wilemon assumed was Africa or South America. It was Knoxville, Tennessee.

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/cbbn22...nessee-edition

Last edited by Armitage72; 6th November 2019 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 6th November 2019, 12:22 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
Back in 2014, The Daily Show had a segment in which Aasif Mandvi interviewed Fox Business commentator and Obamacare opponent Todd Wilemon, who had argued that it would cause US health care to fall into Third World status. Footage was shown of Mandvi and Remote Area Medical in an impoverished area the group was assisting, which Wilemon assumed was Africa or South America. It was Knoxville, Tennessee.

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/cbbn22...nessee-edition
W... w... w.... eh.... um.... err....... people fall through the cracks.

Outstanding!
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Old 6th November 2019, 03:10 PM   #28
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Coffeyville is where, in 1892, the Dalton Gang came to a bad end. Now the bandits are running the country.
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Old 6th November 2019, 03:34 PM   #29
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I'm not sure how missing a civil court date would result in jailing. Usually, if you miss the court date, they issue summary judgement against you. Do they do the same thing with regular consumer debt or is this specific to medical debt? Do they jail you for missing any civil suit or just debt-related ones? Seems like a very extreme law that would jail people for not showing up for civil suits.
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Old 6th November 2019, 03:55 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I'm not sure how missing a civil court date would result in jailing. Usually, if you miss the court date, they issue summary judgement against you.
To my knowledge, this is how it's always been. I've never heard of a situation like this, it seems to be an abuse of the judge's discretion to charge and jail people for contempt-of-court.
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Old 6th November 2019, 04:02 PM   #31
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I guess that a judge has the power to hold a defendant in contempt if he doesn't show up to court. Maybe this is something particular to Kansas.
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Old 6th November 2019, 04:04 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by DuvalHMFIC View Post
I'm not saying it's right, but read the article. They aren't being jailed for their medical debt, they are being jailed for missing court dates regarding their medical debt. It's very scummy to be sure. It flat out says that the debt collectors are the ones deciding who should go to jail, etc. But it also says that as long as you make your court dates-which are really just a way for the debt collectors to get you face-to-face to try to work out a payment plan-you won't be jailed.

They are certainly poverty shaming, which is despicable.

A court order can't be ignored. But it shouldn't be so easy for the collector to have people summoned in the first place. And the solution to ignoring the order might be to arrest someone and bring him to court. Imposing a fine and even jail time seems entirely unnecessary under these circumstances.

From the article:
Quote:
The first collector of the day was also the most notorious: Michael Hassenplug, a private attorney representing doctors and ambulance services. Every three months, Hassenplug called the same nonpaying defendants to court to list what they earned and what they owned — to testify, quite often, to their poverty. It gave him a sense of his options: to set up a payment plan, to garnish wages or bank accounts, to put a lien on a property. It was called a “debtor’s exam.”

If a debtor missed an exam, the judge typically issued a citation of contempt, a charge for disobeying an order of the court, which in this case was to appear. If the debtor missed a hearing on contempt, Hassenplug would ask the judge for a bench warrant. As long as the defendant had been properly served, the judge’s answer was always yes. In practice, this system has made Hassenplug and other collectors the real arbiters of who gets arrested and who is shown mercy. If debtors can post bail, the judge almost always applies the money to the debt. Hassenplug, like any collector working on commission, gets a cut of the cash he brings in.
https://features.propublica.org/medi...yville-kansas/

Is that what the courts are for?

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Old 6th November 2019, 04:05 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
W... w... w.... eh.... um.... err....... people fall through the cracks.

Outstanding!

If you're poor, stop being poor.
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Old 6th November 2019, 04:06 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
IHe has a son with leukemia and a wife with seizures.
They should get jobs so their employer can give them generous health plans.
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Old 6th November 2019, 04:51 PM   #35
kellyb
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Are there no prisons? Are there no work houses?
"Then let them die..."

Originally Posted by Cain View Post
We'd all be better off if we could end this bloodline. Creditors should at minimum be allowed to seize this family's redundant organs.
"...and decrease the surplus population."


Life expectancy is falling in the US. Most are what they call the "deaths of despair" (things like suicide and illegal drug overdoses) but there's an increase in early deaths from other things, like cancers, too.

Also:
https://www.commonwealthfund.org/pub...ears-after-aca
Quote:
Today, 45 percent of U.S. adults ages 19 to 64 are inadequately insured
Our healthcare system functions like social darwinism, just kind of purging the poor. It's about half a million Americans a decade who die from lack of insurance.
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Old 6th November 2019, 05:02 PM   #36
kellyb
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I guess that a judge has the power to hold a defendant in contempt if he doesn't show up to court. Maybe this is something particular to Kansas.
No, it's been happening all over the US for at least a decade.

2010:
https://crosscut.com/2010/10/are-loc...ping-bill-coll
Quote:
Leslie, 39, spent the night of July 31 in a jail cell, which she shared with three female inmates who were in on drug charges and who, unlike her, had been in jail before. “It was a huge shock,” says the soft-spoken mother of three, who answers questions with “yes sir” and “no sir.” She found the experience “pretty hurtful and embarrassing.”

She was released the next day after posting a $90 bail. Still not knowing exactly what she was jailed for, she was told to contact the Yakima County District Court. She did, and learned she had a court date on Aug. 19. After driving four hours to Yakima that day to make the 1:30 hearing, she finally learned that a civil default judgment had been entered against her in 2006 for about $1,000 in unpaid medical debt incurred while she was living in Yakima.
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Old 6th November 2019, 05:11 PM   #37
Stacyhs
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
Back in 2014, The Daily Show had a segment in which Aasif Mandvi interviewed Fox Business commentator and Obamacare opponent Todd Wilemon, who had argued that it would cause US health care to fall into Third World status. Footage was shown of Mandvi and Remote Area Medical in an impoverished area the group was assisting, which Wilemon assumed was Africa or South America. It was Knoxville, Tennessee.

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/cbbn22...nessee-edition
"If you're poor, just stop being poor."

That should be a GOP slogan. Wilemon pretty much summed up the GOP healthcare plan. Because they certainly haven't presented another one.
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Old 6th November 2019, 05:29 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I'm not sure how missing a civil court date would result in jailing. Usually, if you miss the court date, they issue summary judgement against you. Do they do the same thing with regular consumer debt or is this specific to medical debt? Do they jail you for missing any civil suit or just debt-related ones? Seems like a very extreme law that would jail people for not showing up for civil suits.
Keep in mind that we are talking about "show-me" country here!
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:11 PM   #39
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Keep in mind that we are talking about "show-me" country here!
That's Missouri. I believe the OP article was about Kansas.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:16 PM   #40
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Bernie will fix that ****.
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