Letter to the Editor

Iowa Legal Aid

Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Sept. 24 Spencer Daily Reporter carried a front page story about Iowa Legal Aid hosting a free expungement and employment barriers clinic on Nov. 6. According to the story, Spencer is one of the sites for the clinic due to having the highest number of contempt for nonpayment of court debt. We're even higher than Polk County.

What to do if one is in contempt, besides talking to an experienced attorney, might come down to taking advantage of Iowa's recent law that allows sports betting. Stay with me on this, OK? I'd be willing to bet that a high percentage of those currently in hock to the courts have been betting on their favorite teams long before the state of Iowa legalized it. Why not make a deal with the courts that the proceeds of now legal betting be applied to the debt that keeps on accruing? The player is already playing, but now his/her skill can create a win-win situation.

To be sure, this is not an answer for everyone who owes the court money. It could, however, provide a real opportunity to wipe the slate clean, allowing the offender a new lease on life through expungement and restitution.

Bill Kersting, Spencer