Opinion: Talks with legislators prove less valuable than some may think
This letter is written in response to a statement I often hear that is somewhat annoying: “If you don’t like the law, talk to your legislator.” I generally find this to be a cop out and basically a wasted statement.
Why? Because we all know it seldom does any good to try to get through to a legislator. If you are successful, most of the time you get a song and dance as to why the law should stay. Nevertheless, I will try again and hope the letter to the editor approach might work.
The situation I am referring to is an event that happened last summer involving a roof replacement. There was extensive hail in Elk River and our roof was badly damaged. A contractor was coming through the neighborhood, offering to inspect the roof and put in a bid. This situation had occurred five years previously and everything turned out fine.
This time would be a different story. I signed a contract, paid $2,500 down for supplies and set a date for the roofer to do the work. That day came and no replacement happened. I assumed he was busy, so I waited a week before I called.
I attempted numerous times to contact the contractor only to get the voice mail. This game continued for several weeks until I finally went to the company office. No one was in. I kept stopping by until one day I got lucky and found the owner and contractor in the office. When I confronted him, he basically told me he was going out of business and admitted he knew he was even when he took my check.
The sad reality was that he had done this to several other homeowners. We all contacted his attorney and spent many hours to eventually get a confession of judgment from him that we could use to file a claim with the recovery fund in the Department of Labor.
When I went downtown to file the confession of judgment, I was shocked to learn that the filing fee would be $322, which could not be recovered. When I asked why so much, the clerk said the law is set so that monies are collected to help pay for the court library and numerous other services that were listed. In other words, the violated person, who has already lost a great deal of money, time and effort, is now being screwed again by an insane law that takes advantage of the violated party. When I protested with the clerk, she said to take it up with the legislators. The irony is that if the contractor had filed the confession of judgment, he would only have paid $70.
So, here is my attempt to reach as many legislators as possible. If you have an ear to hear, please evaluate the insanity of this law that truly penalizes victims who have already suffered a loss. — Dan Creed, Elk River