We’ve all heard stories of people paying fines in pennies and most of us cheer on this kind of behavior. The government may be able to put a gun to our heads and force us to pay unjust fines but paying it in pennies is one way we can at least stick it to them a little bit. Well that used to be the case as it seems paying in pennies will get you charged with disorderly conduct now:
No lucky pennies here: Police have charged Jason West, an aggrieved medical patient in Vernal, Utah, with disorderly conduct. His alleged crime? Attempting to pay a disputed medical bill of $25 entirely in pennies.
What’s funny is this charge came not from trying to pay an unjust government fine but by paying a bill to a private corporation. According to United States law any currency issued by the Federal Reserve is considered legal tender for all debts. Although you don’t have to accept Federal Reserve issued money for instant transactions you must accept them if somebody is paying back a debt which a bill can be considered. Apparently pennies are no longer considered legal tender though if this charge is to be taken into account.