What happens if you lose a license plate? You can go to court (and win)

Eventually, a sentence comes that does justice. The Justice of the Peace accepts an appeal against an injunction for payment that follows an absurd fine, after the loss of the license plate of a motorcycle, and condemns the Prefecture of Rome to pay the costs of the trial as well. It is the epilogue of a story that lasted almost two years. A story that brings together the worst that the ‘public thing’ can express in relation to a citizen. Mistakes, sloppiness, arrogance. The Police of Rome Capital manages to make a lost plate, and returned by the same offices of the Municipal, a bureaucratic short circuit that leads to a grotesque result, a fine of 890.50 euros with injunctive order of the Prefect of Rome. a series of stages that describe in detail where the public car gets lost in an inextricable tangle. Computer systems that do not talk to each other, the mistake of one official, the inability to take responsibility for correcting it, the distraction and superficiality of another official. Procedures that once triggered there is no way to stop. Up to the Prefect. To pay is the citizen, disarmed in front of a sequence of registered letters, summons, clarifications, an appeal and yet another crazy communication.A quick reconstruction of the facts helps to understand better. In July 2020, a normal report of loss of a motorcycle license plate to the Carabinieri opens the bureaucratic process. A month and a half later, the call from the Police of Rome arrives: the plate has been found. It is returned to the offices of Circonvallazione Ostiense 291, with the signing of the relative report. Ten days later, a registered letter arrives with an invitation to report to the Roma Capitale office, in via della Greca 5. In case of no-show, a fine of 431 euros will be imposed. In the offices of Via della Greca, an invitation arrives to return to Circonvallazione Ostiense 291. In the offices of Circonvallazione Ostiense, another official carries out an electronic check: the plate has been duly reported and then returned. The case seems closed. A month goes by and the report for 431 euros arrives at home. We go back to the offices of the Police of Rome Capital, in via della Greca 5 and the reconstruction of the story starts, cards in hand. Various discussions and a couple of phone calls follow, then an answer that is generally acceptable is received: “Evidently a mistake has been made but at this point to cancel the report, we need an appeal from him. He goes downstairs, complaints office, and makes an appeal explaining what happened. The appeal will come to us and we will cancel the report “. Once the appeal has been made, the case now appears to be effectively closed. But then comes the order for payment. That’s 890.50 euros, because the agreed appeal was rejected. At this point, all that remains is to find a lawyer, pay him and go all the way to the Justice of the Peace. Scheduled and then skipped hearings follow, postponements, until today’s sentence. The report relating to the order for payment was issued “on the erroneous assumption that the loss of the license plate had not been reported, whereas instead not only was this loss reported on 10 July 2020 but the license plate was also returned on 17 August 2020. , therefore, the conditions for the invitation did not exist, nor for the contestation “. It was enough to consult an electronic archive or, more simply, it was enough to read two pieces of paper. Instead, the sick bureaucracy involved a waste of time and resources. Obviously, statistically, it is worthwhile to focus on those who do not have the tools to react and must accept to pay.

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