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  1. #1
    gkisystems is offline Member
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    can i pay with legal tender?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Wisconsin.

    I have some 1 dollar coins that are rolled up fresh from the us mint. The county refused to accept them as payment. They told me to have the bank convert it but the bank charges a $100 fee.

    Is the county breaking the law?
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkisystems View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Wisconsin.

    I have some 1 dollar coins that are rolled up fresh from the us mint. The county refused to accept them as payment. They told me to have the bank convert it but the bank charges a $100 fee.

    Is the county breaking the law?
    No
    Find a different bank
  3. #3
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    No
    Find a different bank
    Or, another possibility:

    Ask your teacher.
  4. #4
    gkisystems is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    No
    Find a different bank
    Just to clarify - I am NOT a law student and this is NOT homework. I do not have a teacher. This is a legit question.

    Zigner - could you please let me know which law trumps Section 31 U.S.C. 5103 in this case? I'm not talking about a truckload of 30,000+ pennies. I'm talking about 20 rolls of $1 coins.

    § 5103. Legal tender
    How Current is This? United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.

    [url=http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/31/usc_sec_31_00005103----000-.html]United States Code: Title 31,5103. Legal tender | LII / Legal Information Institute[/url]
  5. #5
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    Zig, Silver, I've also encountered this problem with various institutions not accepting legal currency. Many convenience stores and fast food places won't accept bills over $20 as well. I know one person who, upon trying to pay his car payment at the dealership (buy-here-pay-here place) in $100-bills at the end of day it was due, and they refused to accept the bills, claiming the bills had to be smaller. Nothing in the contract stated that there was a limit to bill-size, and cash was listed as acceptable payment. He as smacked with a late fee because he couldn't get a money order until next day. Sued them, and won.

    gkisy, banks can, as of right now, charge for exchanging currency for different denominations. It's a service you're opting for.

    As for the county, a government agency, refusing to accept legal-tender US coins, you are right. But you'll have a hard time suing. It'll be a lot easier to deposit the coins into your bank account rather than exchanging, and then getting a money order or cashier's check. If you want to sue "for the principle of the matter," keep in mind that the cost of the county's defense won't come out of the pockets of the county workers who didn't accept your coins, nor their supervisors' pockets. The taxpayers will bear the burden. So just let this one go. You've suffered no damage, only inconvenience.
  6. #6
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkisystems View Post
    . They told me to have the bank convert it but the bank charges a $100 fee.
    the bank charges a $100 fee to convert how many $25 rolls of coins to paper?
  7. #7
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    =QueenofEngland;2759090]Zig, Silver, I've also encountered this problem with various institutions not accepting legal currency. Many convenience stores and fast food places won't accept bills over $20 as well. I know one person who, upon trying to pay his car payment at the dealership (buy-here-pay-here place) in $100-bills at the end of day it was due, and they refused to accept the bills, claiming the bills had to be smaller. Nothing in the contract stated that there was a limit to bill-size, and cash was listed as acceptable payment. He as smacked with a late fee because he couldn't get a money order until next day. Sued them, and won.
    but in general, a private entity can demand payment in any terms they desire. The corner gas station can price their gas in terms of Little Debbie Snack cakes if they want. The can set any limit of coin count or bill denomination they want as well.

    gkisy, banks can, as of right now, charge for exchanging currency for different denominations. It's a service you're opting for.
    simple cure: deposit the coins. Turn around and withdraw the money and accept only paper money.

    You've suffered no damage, only inconvenience.
    Inconvenience the OP was attempting to hoist onto the county offices. There are dweebs out there that do this in protest all the time.

    I can guarantee I have a method that would get the taxpayer to give it up, at least the one time and there is nothing the taxpayer could do about it.
  8. #8
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    Simple. Most banks now have coin counting machines, and if it's your bank, there is no fee. Throw them in the machine, get paper money.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  9. #9
    gkisystems is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    the bank charges a $100 fee to convert how many $25 rolls of coins to paper?
    The charge is $100 to convert $1,000 in coins (10%). Because the bank is a private business, they are not obligated to accept my coins but are willing to do so for a fee. I do not want to pay a fee, nor should I have to pay a fee just to get my property taxes settled.

    So this all boils down to two issues:

    1. It is inconvenient for them to count the money and it is inconvenient for me to try and figure out how to change it into other denominations without getting hit with a fee, but at the end of the day, I believe the law is on my side.

    2. Let's say I go back, but this time with a camera and record the whole thing. Assuming they turn me away again, I have proof that they refused to accept legal tender. As a result, my property taxes go unpaid. Then, they claim I"m delinquent and start charging interest and put a lien on my property. Then, I sue in small claims court. I believe the judge will side with me, but what will his decision be?

    Decision A:

    County broke the law, property owner made sufficient effort to pay property tax, debt discharged.

    Decision B:

    Same as A, but property owner gets court costs + perhaps a little extra.

    Decision C:

    Court rules in property owners favor and orders the county to accept payment in coins.
  10. #10
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    ;2759219]The charge is $100 to convert $1,000 in coins (10%). Because the bank is a private business, they are not obligated to accept my coins but are willing to do so for a fee. I do not want to pay a fee, nor should I have to pay a fee just to get my property taxes settled.
    Never said they couldn't but if it was me, I would be looking to do my business at another bank.



    1. It is inconvenient for them to count the money and it is inconvenient for me to try and figure out how to change it into other denominations without getting hit with a fee, but at the end of the day, I believe the law is on my side.
    it is

    2. Let's say I go back, but this time with a camera and record the whole thing. Assuming they turn me away again, I have proof that they refused to accept legal tender. As a result, my property taxes go unpaid. Then, they claim I"m delinquent and start charging interest and put a lien on my property. Then, I sue in small claims court. I believe the judge will side with me, but what will his decision be?
    you would likely win on the delinquency charges and there will likely be a lien until the taxes are paid or foreclosed on.

    Decision A:

    County broke the law, property owner made sufficient effort to pay property tax, debt discharged.
    not gonna happen

    Decision B:

    Same as A, but property owner gets court costs + perhaps a little extra.
    not gonna happen

    Decision C:

    Court rules in property owners favor and orders the county to accept payment in coins.
    already been done they just don't know it yet apparently.
  11. #11
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you went to some effort to obtain these coins in the first place, they didn't just fall into your lap that way. You CHOSE to get the money in coins and might have even paid to get it that way. Why should the county be inconvenienced because you are an idiot and felt the need to make a "statement"? You're not getting out of paying your bill no matter what. And complaining about the fee to convert the coins BACK to either the electronic funds in your bank account or paper money that they were before shouldn't get you anywhere because nobody told you to do that in the first place.
  12. #12
    gkisystems is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you went to some effort to obtain these coins in the first place, they didn't just fall into your lap that way. You CHOSE to get the money in coins and might have even paid to get it that way. Why should the county be inconvenienced because you are an idiot and felt the need to make a "statement"? You're not getting out of paying your bill no matter what. And complaining about the fee to convert the coins BACK to either the electronic funds in your bank account or paper money that they were before shouldn't get you anywhere because nobody told you to do that in the first place.
    Are you aware of any case law where the taxpayer sued and won? Links would be appreciated!

    The reason I have $1,000 in coins is because I wanted to put my taxes on a credit card. The county offers this payment option, but charges you 102.5% of the total tax due (2.5% extra). The US Mint sells coins with no service charge and free shipping. It is my legal right to purchase coins from the US Mint. Considering the coins are legal tender, I want to pay with them. I have no legal obligation to the county other than paying my taxes with legal tender.
  13. #13
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    just throw this down on them. Unless they can come up with some nuisance coin law (there were such laws when I was a kid), it should shut them up.

    31 USC § 5103. Legal tender

    United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.
    You should also understand that it costs them money to accept a credit card so they are justified in charging the fee. The cannot not charge the fee.
  14. #14
    gkisystems is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    just throw this down on them. Unless they can come up with some nuisance coin law (there were such laws when I was a kid), it should shut them up.



    You should also understand that it costs them money to accept a credit card so they are justified in charging the fee. The cannot not charge the fee.
    I know it costs money to take a credit card, but if I have an option available to me where the cost of accepting the credit card is on the burden of the US Mint instead of myself, then why would I want to do it any other way?

    I did some additional research and found that:

    1. An Ohio court ruled that the municipal clerk can refuse unrolled loose pennies because having a requirement that pennies be rolled is not unreasonable. In my situation, I am not using pennies and all my coins are rolled.

    Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Ross County.
    STATE of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
    v.
    Brian CARROLL, Defendant-Appellant.

    No. 96CA2236.
    March 13, 1997.

    2. Governments used to have the ability to reject payment. "The minor coins of the United States are legal tender for any amount not exceeding 25 cents in any one payment. Act Feb. 12, 1873, Rev. Stat. § 3587, Comp. Stat. § 6574, 6 Fed. Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 298." However, this was done away in 1965 with 31 U.S.C.A. 5103.

    3. According to Dooley v. Smith,_ 80 U.S. 604, 20 L.Ed. 547, 13 Wall. 604 (1871), offering payment in coins stops accumulation of interest. Theoretically, I can offer to pay my debts in coins, they can reject, they will add interest charges, and then when I eventually do pay the debt, I can have the interest charges canceled out. In effect, I can borrow money at a 0% interest rate.

    4. § 3-603(b) supports my comments in #3 and may even go so far to eliminate the debt:

    3-603. TENDER OF PAYMENT.

    * (a) If tender of payment of an obligation to pay an instrument is made to a person entitled to enforce the instrument, the effect of tender is governed by principles of law applicable to tender of payment under a simple contract.
    * (b) If tender of payment of an obligation to pay an instrument is made to a person entitled to enforce the instrument and the tender is refused, there is discharge, to the extent of the amount of the tender, of the obligation of an indorser or accommodation party having a right of recourse with respect to the obligation to which the tender relates.
    * (c) If tender of payment of an amount due on an instrument is made to a person entitled to enforce the instrument, the obligation of the obligor to pay interest after the due date on the amount tendered is discharged. If presentment is required with respect to an instrument and the obligor is able and ready to pay on the due date at every place of payment stated in the instrument, the obligor is deemed to have made tender of payment on the due date to the person entitled to enforce the instrument.

    5. Public Law 42 Stat 122-113 73rd Congress HJR 192 Nullifies Obligee power to require a particular type or coin or currency in the discharge of debts. Failure to do so is “interference with commerce”, a felony under the RICO ACT, 18 USC 1951. Also see Guaranty Trust Company vs. Henwood, 307 U.S. 247 (1939).

    Thoughts???

    6.
  15. #15
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    the decisions in an Ohio state court aren't going to bear a lot of weight in a Wisconsin court.

    and if you really want to push this, set aside $100,000 for your legal fees to get it started.
    Last edited by justalayman; 02-23-2011 at 09:58 PM.

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