[Dutch Lock Down Day Two Hundred Forty Nine]
TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.
Oke, so remember When Life Hands You Lemons?
But first the news:
Let’s start with the punchline, eh?
I forgot to pay a bill, it went to collections, then to small claims court.
The twist is that I was sick while all this was happening, so when I received the summons, I wasn’t surprised, just a bit disappointed.
The sucker punch is how triggering all the legal documents were.
I was involved in a criminal case AND a civil case in the States – the former dropped by a District Attorney, but not before a hearing judge ruled in my favour that there was enough evidence to go to trial, and the latter lasted five years.
The twenty-eight page summons, in Dutch, referencing €25,000, freaked me the fuck out.
I ran to a lawyer.
Who translated the whole thing. And gave me legal advice. And proposed next steps to resolve based on possible scenarios. For an hour. For free.
I could pay €203 by 13 December and the charges would be dropped.
Or I could go to court on 15 December to protest. And possibly pay an additional €124, depending on how the judge ruled.
I did research. Nope, totally no matching payment to Zalando (yup, this is over a pair of pants).
I paid double to the collections agency. In February.
I call the bailiff (the group taking me to court on behalf of Zalando). Can I speak English? No, I don’t have a reference number.
“It’s better if you email us.”
Fine. I email in English and Dutch. Here’s proof of payment. How do we move forward.
They reply within a few hours, “Client indicates that the payment was for another file.”
And I absolutely CRASH.
Crumble. To. The. Floor. HOWLING.
I haven’t cried like that in years. Not since the original trauma / trials / recovery.
P advises I just pay it.
But I’m crying because of the fucking injustice.
Is the Netherlands as corrupt and awful as the States?
I thought I lived in a safe, just, FAIR country?!?
I calm down a bit. I dry my tears. I work a bit. I walk a lot. I eat an entire box of chocolates.
And I reply, “Voor welk ander bestand was de betaling bedoeld? Ik heb geen enkele andere relatie of enige schuld aan Alektum, daarom kan de betaling alleen betrekking hebben op het enige dossier dat ze hebben voor ons huishouden.”
English: “What other file was the payment intended for? I have no other relationship of any debt to Alektum, therefore the payment can only relate to the only file they have for our household.”
By the end of the day, I’m no longer broken and bleeding, I’m PISSED with SWORD DRAWN.
And then I wrote that post.
That night I ruminated hard – was up for hours with a racing mind – just like when I was in the midst of the civil suit years ago – but this morning when the alarm went off, while I wasn’t exactly ripped out of bed, I growled, set my shoulders, and I’m ready to fight.
Over pants. Yeah.
But also, for a criminal case dropped because of “he said she said” bullshit in the state of Tenneessee. And for a civil case dropped because we ran out of money and wanted to move on with our lives.
Continue reading “Time For Vodka Tonics w/a Twist of Lemon”