This newspaper recently reported that the District Attorney’s office has said it will no longer accept restitution payments in cash. Only bank checks and money orders will be accepted.

The reason given for this change is that the DA’s office in the old Kennebec County Courthouse does not have security officers. The story reports that other DA offices in the state are establishing similar restrictions.

A defense attorney pointed out that bank checks cost $5 so the new policy places an additional financial burden on people who make the restitution payments.

The DA’s office should facilitate restitution payments, not make them more costly and difficult.

Taking a dollar bill out of my billfold, I read in small block letters: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” That is the end of the sentence. It doesn’t say, “Except where officials say they don’t have adequate security.”

This change of policy seems part of an unfortunate trend across the country to pile more and more financial burdens on people who become entangled in our legal system.

It would seem that in Augusta’s huge new multimillion-dollar courthouse, our judicial system can find somebody who can receive and safely hold restitution funds without adding to the cost burden of people making restitution.

Jon Lund


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.