(Reuters) - A Pennsylvania handyman who protested a $25 parking ticket by trying to pay it with 2,500 pennies was denied the satisfaction by town officials citing federal law.
But justice denied to Justin Greene may simply be justice delayed for others facing fines in Chambersburg, where officials learned the law had been repealed and on Thursday said they are now considering installing coin counting machines that accept pennies.
“Every penny I have is stretched to the limit,” said Greene, who showed up on Friday at Chambersburg finance department with 2,500 pennies, only to be told that pennies and nickels are not legal tender for transactions over 25 cents under federal law.
Greene, 35, of nearby Shippensburg, said he got the ticket earlier that day when he returned to a house to pick up tools from an earlier job. He said he parked on the wrong side of the street, went inside for 10 minutes and was frustrated to see the parking ticket on his truck when he came out.
“It was about how belittled I felt because of being parked this way and being charged so much when it wasn’t inconveniencing anyone,” said Greene, whose wife is a stay-at-home mom to their three young children.
Chambersburg Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill said in a press release on Wednesday the federal law had been repealed, and the department would accept coin payments in the future.
Still, Stonehill said he does not support Greene’s form of protest.
“Tormenting a Borough cashier, rather than pleading not guilty to the offense in a court of law, which is his right, is not an appropriate protest in my opinion,” Stonehill said in the press release.
Greene said he has since paid for the ticket with mostly paper money.
“I just want to prove a point. More people need to stand up for themselves,” he said. “They were enforcing a law that’s been vetoed for years. What other laws are there like that?”
Reporting by Katie Reilly in New York; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Lisa Lambert