Fighting For You: Huntsville Woman Fights Illinois State Police Over Erroneous Toll Booth Tickets

Have you ever gotten a ticket for something you believe you didn’t do? A young woman in Huntsville is dealing with that right now. The state of Illinois accuses her of driving through the toll booths without paying. She has tickets totaling more than $700 in fines. Her mother called WHNT NEWS 19 to ask Venton Blandin to take action.

Venton Blandin got results on this story. Click here to see the update.

The mother isn’t just taking her daughter’s word about not being responsible for the tickets. She told Venton Blandin her daughter sold her car in 2009, had the car destroyed and was in Huntsville at the time Illinois State Police say she drove through the tolls booths.

Cindy Barber wants Illinois Police to understand her daughter no longer owns the car tags.

The problem for Barber’s daughter started in 2009.

“My daughter sold a car to be junked and did not know she was supposed to take the tags off of it,” said Barber.

Barber did not learn of the problem until June 2010. Barber said that’s when her daughter received a ticket from Illinois State Police. Barber did not worry too much.

“I thought they had just made a mistake. I thought they sent it to the wrong person,” added Barber.

The concerned mother did call police to get more information. She found out highway traffic cameras snapped pictures of a car bearing a license plate registered to the car her daughter sold and destroyed in 2009. The mother began to worry.

“Sometime between the time she sold it and the time they crushed the vehicle, the tag was stolen,” added Barber.

Barber made several calls to the Illinois Department of Transportation, wrote letters to Illinois State Police and other offices. None of it worked.

“It’s getting serious. You’ve done all you can do. You send them all you can do. You have talked to everybody you can imagine talking to,” added Barber.

The state sent two more tickets in July and August. Barber realized she had a true fight on her hands.

“You get frustrated when they come to the point of threatening you. They’ll say we are going to suspend the license, put out a warrant for your arrest and turn it over to the credit bureau,” added Barber.

Barber could not take this on alone. She decided to call Venton Blandin to pick up the fight.

“We’d like you to investigate it and into it. We’d like to see if you can find out some way to get it cleared up because everything Illinois is asking for Alabama does not issue,” added Barber.

Venton Blandin met with Madison County’s Licensing Director to talk about Barber’s situation.

“We have seen things like this from time to time where we get phone calls from other law enforcement agencies,” said Mark Craig.

Craig says Barber’s case could serve as a learning experience for anyone getting rid of a vehicle.

“The first thing they should do is remove their license plate, dispose of it or bring it in,” added Craig.

The salvage yard responsible for crushing the car wrote Barber’s daughter a letter to send to Illinois. The letter didn’t change the situation. Venton Blandin asked Craig if he could help Barber fight Illinois State Police.

“I could possibly try to do something on letterhead and send it to proper jurisdiction. It may help with outlining what happened,” added Craig.

Barber told Venton Blandin she may just decide to pay the tickets. It’s worth mentioning the payment may take care of the fines, but won’t destroy the tags which could end up on another car in the future.